Bringing your product or service to market successfully means researching market data to identify potential buyers. Many companies start their research by asking one general question: “What’s the market size for this particular industry?”

Answering this is a good first step toward gaining context, but to make sure your product or service is truly successful in the market, you need have a strong case with a coherent story for why customers get on board. Following are three questions to ask yourself that will help ensure you have the data you need to put together a persuasive case, or perhaps highlight the areas where additional life science market research will strengthen your argument.

Who am I “selling” my idea to?

Your very first “buyers” aren’t end users—they’re the stakeholders who must approve your idea so it can move forward. In making your case, think about who your audience is and what type of data they’ll need. If you have qualitative data, but your audience deals in facts and figures, then you’ll need quantitative data as well.

For example, if you’re putting together a business case to ask for an investment, then you need data on market projections. On the other hand, if you’re charting a course through product development, you might need data that will convince your R&D team to de-emphasize one attribute in order to emphasize another. View your proposal as a story, and then figure out what kind of data you need to supplement your story.

Where are there gaps in the story I’m telling?

A “gap” is a point in the case for your idea where an unbiased observer might raise an eyebrow at the logic or coherency of your narrative. It could be borne of an assumption you’re making about your competitor, your customer, or your value proposition for the sake of bringing your idea into reality.

Let’s say your product or system has a network effect. A clinical AI tool, for example, might become more effective as more users join the platform and there is more data to work with. The value of the platform might be very clear under the assumption that it has a large user base, but if it’s unclear how or when that adoption would be achieved (if at all) that represents a gap in your story that could benefit from doing additional market research.

Where am I relying on “common knowledge”?

If your argument starts with, “Nobody wants” or “Everybody wants,” then also ask yourself, “Is this actually data-driven information, or am I relying on anecdotal evidence that may or may not be representative of the reality of the market?” Catching yourself in your own logical fallacy can be tough, but if you don’t, then your stakeholders and customers will.

It’s helpful to double-check your data by using an off-the-shelf market research report, doing some secondary research, or bouncing your findings off of a colleague or external opinion leader. The route you take will depend on how specific your question is. (For more on this, see our post in Life Science Leader.)

Ask yourself the questions above, and use the resulting insights to round out the story you’re telling. A well-researched story can ensure that you have the depth and detail needed to sell your idea to stakeholders, and ultimately, to customers.


Author | Anthony DeBenedetti

Anthony is passionate about helping bring new products and services to market. He has advised on numerous product development engagements, ranging from market size and opportunity assessments through go-to-market and product launch strategy.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, or contact the DeciBio team to get the right life science market research to answer your most pressing business questions.

Disclaimer: Companies listed above may be DeciBio Consulting clients and/or customers