Market Research for Startups


Market Research for Startups


Market Research for Startups

Market Research Services for Startups

At Robot Mascot we’ve supported thousands of founders to develop essential pitch assets, and whether we’re developing an investor-ready business plan, financial projections or pitch deck, they all rely on one thing – rigorous market research.

We’ve supported founders from all over the world, helping them conduct market research for their startup via our global award-winning investor pitch service, PitchReady. As a result of our help in preparing their market research our founders find they are 40 times more likely to raise investment.

This page will tell you exactly what market research startups might need, how to gather it and how to use it in their pitch for investment.

Learn more about our approach

Join our complementary fundraising strategy session and learn the methodology behind the best-selling book Investable Entrepreneur, an approach that results in our clients being 40x more likely to raise investment.

The role of startup market research in pitching for investment

Startup market research isn’t just a tool, it’s the cornerstone of a compelling pitch and the foundation of credible financial projections. It’s the beacon that guides a startup through the seas of investor scrutiny, illuminating the path to potential success.

At its core, startup market research provides a foundation of credibility. When entrepreneurs present their business ideas, armed with detailed market analysis, they demonstrate not just a vision, but diligence and a deep understanding of their sector. These insights paint a vivid picture of the market landscape, highlighting opportunities and challenges alike. It’s a narrative that tells investors, ‘We know the terrain; we are prepared’.

Startup market research plays a pivotal role in substantiating claims about a product’s or service’s potential. It’s one thing to assert that a market gap exists, but quite another to back this claim with data and analysis. This depth of understanding transforms a pitch from mere storytelling into a persuasive, evidence-based argument.

Investors are not just looking for a good story, they want assurance that the founder(s) behind the business has detailed and unique market insights that make them more likely to succeed than their competition. Startup market research offers this assurance because it provides insights into customer behaviours, preferences, and trends, enabling founders to showcase how their solution aligns with real-world demands. While also demonstrating an understanding of the market opportunities to take advantage of, and the market risks to be aware of.

This research can also often help in anticipating and countering potential investor concerns. By presenting a thorough analysis of competitors, market size and growth projections, startups can pre-empt questions about scalability, competition, and long-term viability.

READ: How To Master Your Market Opportunity

What startup market research should founders do?

For founders embarking on the journey of establishing and growing a startup, conducting comprehensive market research is indispensable. This research encompasses various types and applications, each serving a unique purpose in shaping a well-informed business strategy.

Each type of market research has its unique application and can provide invaluable insights into different aspects of the market and consumer behaviour. By effectively combining the research methods below, founders can develop a robust understanding of their business landscape, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and strategically position their startup for success.

Here’s a complete list of the types of market research founders should consider:

Industry analysis

Understanding the dynamics of the industry you’re entering is essential. This includes studying industry size, growth rate, trends, and the overall outlook.

Market segmentation research

This involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers who have common needs, interests, and priorities. It helps in tailoring marketing strategies to specific audience segments.

Competitive analysis

Identifying and evaluating your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, market position, and strategies.

Customer analysis

Understanding who your customers are, their demographics, psychographics, buying habits, and preferences which can also involve creating detailed customer personas.

Product research

This type of research focuses on the product or service you are offering. The goal is to gather primary evidence that your product or service is desired by the market.

Pricing research

Determining the optimal pricing strategy for your product or service. This is crucial evidence that your audience is willing to pay a price that can deliver profitability for your business.

Sales and distribution channel analysis

Studying the most effective ways to reach your customers. This should include exploring the successful strategies of similar products or services and could even involve running your own test campaigns to gather vital conversion data.

Market trend analysis

Keeping a pulse on the latest market trends that could impact your business –  both positively and negatively. Awareness of negative trends shows foresight and increases investors’ faith in your ability to adapt to the market and ultimately protect their investment.

SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

This is a comprehensive evaluation of your internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats in the market.

Risk analysis

Identifying potential risks in the market, including economic downturns, regulatory changes, and new competitors. This helps in developing risk mitigation strategies.

Brand and reputation analysis

If you’ve been trading for some time, understanding how your brand is perceived in the market can provide vital strategic insights that will help identify ways to build and improve your brand reputation.

Consumer satisfaction and loyalty research

Gathering feedback from customers about their satisfaction with your product or service and their loyalty to your brand. You can also get similar feedback on your proof of concept or Minimum Viable Product

Focus groups

Conducting discussions with a selected group of individuals to gain insights into their attitudes and perceptions about a product, service, or concept.

Surveys and questionnaires

Collecting quantitative data from a larger audience to validate the insights gained from other types of research. When raising investment you are looking to gather data that proves there is a meaningful problem that needs solving, your solution is the best answer to that problem, and that the target market is willing to pay a price that delivers profitability.

Field trials and market testing

Testing your product or service in a controlled, smaller segment of the market to gather real-world data on its performance. When speaking with investors they typically talk about a Proof of Concept (PoC) or a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

READ: How Much Time And Money Should Seed And Series A Startups Spend On Market Research?

How to do market research for startups

Embarking on startup market research is akin to charting a map for a treasure hunt; it’s a process that, when done meticulously, can lead startups to the coveted treasure of business success. The journey begins with a clear understanding of why market research is indispensable – it’s the compass that guides startups through the uncharted territories of consumer needs, competitive landscapes, and potential risks.

Below is a very brief description of each step a startup might take as they do market research.

1.      Conduct industry analysis

  • Start by examining the size, growth rate, trends, and future outlook of your industry. Tools like PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) analysis can be particularly useful here.

2.     Segment your market

  • Divide your target market into smaller, manageable segments based on common characteristics. Identify the specific needs and preferences of each segment.

3.     Perform competitive analysis

  • Identify both direct and indirect competitors and analyse their strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and market positions.

4.     Analyse your customers

  • Gather data on your potential customers’ demographics, psychographics, and buying habits. You might create detailed customer personas to better understand and target your audience.

5.     Research your product

  • Assess your product features, pricing, and unique value proposition. Compare your product with competitors’ offerings.

6.     Evaluate pricing strategies

  • Determine the optimal pricing for your product or service and consider what price point your target market is willing to pay.

7.     Analyse sales and distribution channels

  • Study the most effective ways to reach your customers and evaluate different distribution channels for their efficacy and suitability for your product.

8.     Stay updated on market trends

  • Regularly monitor and analyse emerging trends in your market. Adapt your strategies to stay relevant and competitive.

9.     Conduct a SWOT analysis

  • Assess your startup’s internal strengths and weaknesses. Identify external opportunities and threats in the market.

10.   Perform risk analysis

  • Identify potential risks in the market and develop strategies to mitigate these risks.

11.     Engage with your audience

  • Use focus groups, surveys, and field trials to gather direct feedback from your target market and analyse this feedback to refine your product and strategies.

12.   Review and adapt

  • Continuously review the data and insights you gather. Be prepared to adapt your business model and strategies based on your findings.

Market research for startups is a multi-faceted and dynamic process. It’s about gathering a wealth of information from various angles and using this data to paint a comprehensive picture of where your startup stands and where it could go. This process is not just a one-off task but an ongoing strategy that evolves with your business and the market. By embracing this approach, startups can navigate the complex business landscape with greater confidence and precision, steering towards success with informed decisions and strategic foresight.

Are you Pitch Ready?

Join our complementary fundraising strategy session and learn the methodology behind the best-selling book Investable Entrepreneur, an approach that results in founders being 40x more likely to raise investment.

Getting your business ready: Understanding Investment Readiness

Before you consider pitching your business to investors, you must ensure that your business is indeed ready for investment – that it is ‘investment ready’.

Investment readiness refers to the state in which a startup or business has prepared itself to be an attractive prospect for investors. Being ‘investment ready’ means a founder has all the elements in place that investors look for when considering whether to commit funds to a business – including a viable exit strategy.

There are investor readiness agency for startups that can help businesses get ready for investment and develop their business case. We at Robot Mascot are one such company.

If you are seeking investment for your business and need help conducting market analysis and market research why not get in touch?

Let’s get you investor ready, and give you the very best chance of securing the vital funds you need to grow.

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