Discovering what clients and potential customers want and need in any specific market segment is essential for successful product development. Market research sets out to achieve these goals by collecting and analyzing data, thus helping institutions better understand and serve potential and existing markets.
Research may be both quantitative and qualitative—investigating either the supply or demand side of a particular market. While the empirical data central to quantitative research provide a useful basic understanding of market characteristics, it is often the narrative aspects of qualitative research that provide deeper insights into client behavior and add important perspective and detail to the overall picture.
The more an institution knows its clients and understands its market, the better it will be in producing products and services to meet demand. Market research and product development are crucial investments that can be managed in-house if expertise and capacity are available, or in coordination with consulting companies that specialize in these areas.