Market Research with Small Business IT Decision-Makers

male IT decision-maker on a computer

Looking for detailed feedback from IT decision-makers on an upcoming product or service launch? Market research is a great fit!

When launching a new product for IT decision-makers, questions from developers may include:

  • How appealing is this new product and why?
  • What benefits of this new product are most appealing?
  • Are there any benefits that aren’t currently mentioned that should be included?
  • What barriers to using the new product exist and why?

A recently completed research interview project answered each of these questions! Learn more about the project below.

The Challange

A large technology company is looking to create a custom solution for small businesses IT decision-makers anywhere in the world. 

The objective of the project was to assess the benefits of the new product, which would be targeted at IT decision-makers in small businesses.

The goal was to use the research to confirm the features/benefits of the new product, drivers to use the new product, and identify any barriers to using the new product that may exist. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Qualitative market research is an excellent fit when looking to answer questions about the reasoning behind the interest in a new product and specific details about what would make a new product appealing.

Recommended Reading: Choosing a Methodology: Explore or Measure?

The Solution

During the proposal phase of a market research project, we will work with clients to understand their needs.

This process helps determine which small business market research approach will meet their unique goals and objectives. 

Qualitative in-depth interviews (IDIs)  were a great fit for this project because we knew the client was looking for very detailed information and reasoning behind thoughts/decision-making.

For more insight, read up on the pros and cons of using in-depth interviews versus focus groups.

For this IDI project with IT decision-makers and small businesses, Drive Research conducted 20 interviews with the target audience. Interviews were 60 minutes in length. Fieldwork began on April 27 and lasted until May 16, 2022. 

Participant targeting included:

  • Up to n20 total interviews (English speaking)
  • Best efforts mix company size and revenue
  • Job title/function targets (included business and tech titles, a specific list of titles was targeted):
    • CEO/Owner
    • CFO/VP/Director of Finance
    • CIO/VP/Director of Information Systems
    • COO/VP/Director of Operations
    • Business Unit Manager/Leader
  • A requested mix of n15 business titles and n5 tech titles
  • Country response goals include 4 interviews in each: US, UK, Germany, India, and Australia 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Defining the scope is a crucial first step in the market research process. During this stage, a market research professional will work with the client to understand their needs and ultimately recommend the study type. Knowing the unique and detailed needs for this project, 60-minute research interviews with 20 IT decision-makers were recommended.

The Approach

Like many services, market research follows a process! Each step in the market research process is equally important and helps ensure success in the project overall. Learn more in the project overview below.

How to approach conducting market research with IT Decision-Makers:

  • Kickoff meeting: This meeting typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes. During the meeting, the market research and client teams will meet to discuss the goals, objectives, scope of the project, and next steps. This step ensures all team members are on the same page!

  • Workplan sent: After the kickoff meeting, the next step is to deliver a project workplan. The workplan specifies each step and expected deadlines. The workplan is flexible based on the client's needs. Moreover, if the client needs more time to sign off on the research screener, they can take it!

  • Provide screener: The recruitment screener is critical to ensure the research team reaches the right audience. During this step, all screener criteria are addressed in a way that eliminates bias or leading language. 

  • Provide discussion guide: The discussion guide is the document a market research moderator will use during the research interview. This typically includes sections for an introduction, categories for specific questions and follow-up questions, and a wrap-up. 

  • Agree to a finalized screener: Before recruiting can begin, the screener will be signed off on by the client.

  • Begin recruiting: After the screener is signed off on, recruitment for the small business IT decision-maker interviews can officially begin!

  • Agree to the finalized discussion guide: Before interviews can begin, the discussion guide will be finalized. While some projects may go through one or two drafts, others may need 3 or 5 drafts to perfect the discussion guide. It all depends on the unique needs of the client!

  • Begin interviewing: Once the discussion guide is signed off on, interviewing can begin.

  • Begin sharing folder access to recordings and transcripts: After the first interview is completed, the client will be given access to the recordings and transcripts from the interview. That file will be continually updated to reflect progress. 

  • Begin report development: After the interviews are complete, the team will begin the reporting process. 

  • Deliver report: It takes roughly two weeks to prepare a typical comprehensive report. Once a report draft is complete it will be sent to the client. After this, a Q&A meeting is set up to walk the client through the findings.  

💡 The Key Takeaway: While market research follows a process, it’s important to remember that market research can be uniquely customized to the needs of each client! 

The Results 

While the results remain confidential with the client, the market research provided the client with answers to their unique goals and objectives as discussed in the kickoff meeting.

Main takeaways included:

  • Details about phrasing related to the new product that resonates with the target audience
  • Interest in the new product and the reasoning behind why there was or was not interest
  • The most and least appealing benefits of the new product and their reasonings for why certain benefits were more or less appealing
  • Thoughts on how to spread awareness of the new product to others within the target audience 

💡 The Key Takeaway: One of the most important steps during this phase of a project is to ensure th results fully address the goals and objectives outlined in the beginning phases of the project. Consider using data visualizations, charts, and quotes to help bring the results of qualitivate research to life.

Contact Our Market Research Company

Want to work with Drive Research on your next market research project?

Drive Research is a market research company that specializes in conducting qualitative with specific B2B audiences. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

Interested in learning more about our small business market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  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 taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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