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"Open source" marketing research, anyone? Answered


                                  Calling any and all market research buffs!

  "I need help finding my target market, but I can't afford to pay the giants in the business who have many many years of experience and probably have an agenda."

  I'm sure that has been said, and heard, many times, and now its my turn. I had a thought recently about how I could find a market for a product I'm working on. Since I intend to release it openly, I want most of the side stuff the project spits out along the way to be open as well.

  My idea centers around a collaborative and "smart" marketing research system. Of course there would be problems inherent to the system (trolls and SPAM, for instance) that could be remedied in a similar fashion to Wikipedia or Kickstarter.

Now that I've put this idea out there, who wants to make it happen?

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The Ideanator (author)2010-12-24

The OSMR idea as I've presented it would be for a broad spectrum thing, aiding all areas where something like this could be useful. It would merely be a tool for gathering an ***approximation*** of the final market to help the designers with a tight budget decide whether it would be more worthwhile to work on a different for-profit idea or proceed on the one they proposed. Also, this is by no means "reliable" (in the same sense that Wikipedia isn't "reliable")

What I want it for SPECIFICALLY is an electronic device that has to do with computers. Apologies for the sheer vagueness, but I want to have it completed before I see some other company selling it and say something like "dammit, that was my idea!". And because those are always changing and my project seems pretty novel, I feel new research is necessary. I've thought about what areas it could be useful in (applications) and I have a nice long list, The research could help me narrow down which areas to focus development on or even if I should design/release different hardware versions.

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user

1. Do you already have a prototype or version 1.0 built? At least from there you can modify or adapt it to whatever market you find is suitable for.
2. It sounds more like you want a sales projection of your product or you want to make it fit the most profitable market segment. That is where someone needs to do the legwork to make contacts, set up and get feedback from focus groups, run brainstorming sessions...it takes time and money so any entrapaneur would gain the advantage in knowing, and that's why people will pay for that service. It would be tough to do open source information gathering if you want to keep your idea in confidentiality before it actually hits the shelves.
3. Have you already checked the patent applications or patents to see if someone already has your idea? Did someone already do an instructable on it?

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user

1. No, not yet.
2a. Yea, pretty much. That's (part of?) what the OSMR project would cover and help with, people go on and provide feedback.
2b. True, there would be complications with confidentiality, but that could be worked around (I hope).
3. I have googled it to death and only one product comes eerily close, funded by DARPA, but there are a number of differences between ours (or will be once I get it done).

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user

1. Well, that's another part of the product development life cycle, to see if it will be feasible and economical to produce.
2. If you've got an idea or product that you have have to force on people or no interest from even from a small general group of people(friends, neighbors, mailman, gas station attendant, etc) then you have a tough sell ahead of you.
3. Nice knowing you. Really.

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user

1. Yes, so far it seems like it will be within the price point I wanted initially ($50-150)
2. I don't have to try hard at all, and Ive merely suggested the idea, I haven't even done any spammy marketing yet.
3. .....Why do you say it like that?

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craftyv (author)2010-12-24

I have worked in both Market and Social Research but the problem for "us" is that the type of product or service you are marketing, would often dictate what methods are used. As we have no idea , in fact your blurb is very unclear, it will be hard. I realise that you dont want to release your idea but you have to start somewhere. Not very helpful i'm afraid, but good luck to you.

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lemonie (author)2010-12-23
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The Ideanator (author)lemonie2010-12-23

I want to keep it under wraps until I get something solid nailed down, don't want those big greedy corporations with the money to pay for research having their hands on it yet.

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lemonie (author)The Ideanator2010-12-23


This sounds a bit confusing. What do you want the research for?

Maybe you want someone to tell you what to do, but that's not what research is for.

Maybe you want to know how to market what you have, but that's marketing which may well use research but is not the same.

L

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The Ideanator (author)lemonie2010-12-23

I've already spent enough money on it to make me concerned and if I knew it would sell I'd be willing to invest more.

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lemonie (author)The Ideanator2010-12-24


You want to know whether it's worth putting more money into?
I'd start selling it and get feedback from customers & potential-customers.

L

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user

...this is the inherent problem with the idea. Also, protect the idea with a patent if you're worried.

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user

Perhaps. but like I said to lemonie, blah blah money blah blah blah. For me, R&D seems like its the least expensive part in this whole thing.

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2010-12-23

This is a great concept, but very hard to actually implement. I've been designing and building high end furniture and I've managed to find a few clients, but really getting a product out there is nearly impossible if you're not a huge corporation.

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The Ideanator (author)LinuxH4x0r2010-12-23

The next step is open marketing, but that's after you have a solid product that's ready to be factory produced.

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caitlinsdad (author)2010-12-23

Probably won't happen. Too many MBAs need to pay for their education by promising big companies they have the research. That's the way business works.

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user

One can always hope, right? I mean, if the average school kid can't use wikipedia for a reference because its "publicly editable" or for some other probably valid reason, I'm sure that the potential future for this idea would be treated the same way, and since the big companies like to stick to whats worked for them in the past, they will keep those MBAs coming.

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user

Agreed, the industry of research is based entirely on not sharing information for free... It would be bad business to do so.

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user

Which is exactly why it should be opened up. I feel that I should point out that a bunch of what it would turn up would not be "publishable" since its spam and troll filtered, and any good data should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

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killerjackalope (author)2010-12-23

Both google and yahoo release an awful lot of free research, well information.

The problem with market research is you can get old research for free in some places, however any secondary research is liable to be out of date or the research has been conducted for a different product or reason, making it not entirely relevant.

That's why many companies conduct their own research or employ a research company to conduct primary research.

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user

Don't get me wrong, old research is great, but with the stuff I want to collect research on doesn't have much public info that I can find.

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user

Google trends - This is only about searches and trends within them, however it gets quite detailed if you take the time to filter results, check out the insights for search too. 

That's one little sector to look at.  If you really wanted to do collaborative market research you'd be best getting a community together and doing little stints of face to face research, then aggregate the results in to something usable... 

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user

I was thinking about user-created polls and essay responses for an initial test run. I mean, its not that no research has been done, its just that I've sampled too little a group for meaningful results.

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Lithium Rain (author)2010-12-22

Idea is too nebulous. Needs clarification/refinement. :)

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user

Indeed it is, that's why I'm coming to the community for collaborative help.
I'm hoping Instructables could be an incubator for such an idea, and possibly more ideas like it.

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