How to Determine Opportunity Size When Expanding into New Markets

doors that represent opportunity

It’s safe to assume you’ve stumbled on this blog post because your organization has been brainstorming on a new product or service idea. Perhaps you’re planning on commercializing this new concept, but are unsure if it will result in a significant ROI.

The costs needed to develop new product expansions are rarely minimal. Therefore, to make smart, informed decisions you want to determine the potential opportunity size for entering a new market.

To measure the appeal of a new product concept and define how much market growth you could experience in the next few years, consider using market research.

In the case study below, we explore how a healthcare organization used in-depth interviews and online surveys to get a clear picture of a new product’s potential among target buyers.

Reasons Behind Determining Potential Market Size

Our client primarily focuses on the Acute Care market for surgical gloves. However, given this is a mature market space, the healthcare organization was looking for opportunities to grow adjacency markets.

They identified Hospital Pharmacies, Clean Rooms, and Biotech/Pharmaceutical as the best markets for potential growth opportunities. As a result, our client wanted to expand their understanding of surgical glove usage within these areas to gain a sense of the opportunity size.

Together, our healthcare market research company and the client would determine who the decision-makers are in this new market and define their usage, attitudes, beliefs, pain points, and need gaps.

Using Market Research to Measure Opportunity Size

While there are many approaches to measuring the potential market size of a new product, market research is the only strategy that focuses on gathering feedback from a target audience to inform future decision-making.

Our team learned more about the goals of the healthcare client in a kickoff meeting. These objectives included:

  • Increase understanding of surgical glove targets within the hospital pharmacy setting.
  • Understand the usage, attitudes, beliefs, pain points, and need gaps surrounding gloves.
  • What gloves are currently being used in all areas of the pharmacy and why?
  • How gloves are currently being purchased and who is making these decisions?
  • What factors are most important when choosing gloves to buy for the pharmacy?

Based on these objectives, Drive Research recommended a hybrid research approach to be able to determine the opportunity size for their product expansion. This included both in-depth interviews (IDIs) and an online survey.

Recommended Reading: Market Research for New Product Development

Phase I: In-depth interviews

Qualitative in-depth interviews (IDIs) allow for focused discussions one-on-one with your targets.

For this study, the discussions dove deeper into pharmacists’ glove use behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs as well as what’s working and not working with their current glove solutions, revealing pain points and need gaps/opportunities. 

We recruited 10 participants to complete 8 interviews. Each session lasted 45-minutes. The audience we spoke to included hospital pharmacy managers and techs.

Phase II: Online survey

The new product demand survey for Phase II was developed prior to fielding and tested during the interviews to ensure the key questions are appropriate for the audience of Hospital Pharmacy Managers and Techs.

In addition to their usage patterns, the following objectives were explored for the survey:

  • Are we talking to the right people for hazardous drug handling?
  • Are we asking the right questions about usage?
  • How much influence do they have over purchasing?
  • What are common gloves currently used in their facility?

More specifically, the data collected would help assist with future market sizing metrics such as volumes, types of gloves, contracts, etc.

The online survey included 36-questions. We obtained 100 responses from hospital pharmacists across the country.

Results of Calculating Opportunity Size with Market Research

For many reasons, market research is necessary for testing a new product. It provides a clear path forward in understanding if the concept is valuable to buyers, understanding customer preferences, and if there is a need among your target market.

It can also provide details on the strengths and weaknesses of your competition so you know what to do (and more importantly what not to do).

For instance, here are some relevant questions the new product market research was able to answer for our healthcare client:

  • What gloves are used and why?
  • What are the PPE requirements related to gloves in their environments?
  • When are they supposed to use sterile gloves? Frequency of use?
  • When are they supposed to use sterile surgical gloves? Frequency of use?
  • How do they choose between exam and surgical gloves?
  • What procedures/processes are most common?
  • How many gloves of each type do they typically use? The overall volume of gloves?
  • What protection do they believe is really necessary?
  • How important is quality/protection vs. cost
  • Do they buy off hospital contracts or pharma contracts?
  • Who is the decision maker?
  • How many hospitals have “clean rooms” within the pharmacies, and do they have additional special glove needs/requirements?

The results would be used to fuel decisions on product design, marketing, and sales strategies.

For more insights, watch our video on 3 tips for product development research.

Determine Market Size with Drive Research

There are a lot of unknowns when entering a new market.

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are their buying behaviors?
  • What is their price point for similar products or services? 

The list of questions can go on and on. That's where market research can help. Instead of making assumptions about the potential opportunity size, get fact-based evidence to support all business decisions. 

Drive Research is a full-service market research company that can assist with product development. We have experience working in many industries to help our clients succeed in many different marketplaces.

To learn more about our services, contact us today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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