A Comprehensive Guide to IT Market Research for Software Products

June 17, 2024

ViB Editorial Team

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Software development without market research is like sailing without a compass. Why? 

If your team lacks insight into the client’s needs and industry trends, the software development project will most likely fail.

You might have an amazing team of software developers, but your chances of successful software development will be significantly low if your team doesn’t align its goals with the needs and expectations of the target market

IT market research is critical for software development.

Strong and compelling market research can help you understand your target audience’s needs and the ever-changing tech landscape. This intel gathering is vital for building software that solves real problems and stands out in a competitive market 🙌

B2B organizations must have a solid awareness of their industry space and the current market trends to stay relevant in an ever-competitive digital landscape.

Importance of IT market research in software development

Doing IT market research is crucial for giving your audience exactly what they want when they need it.

 Thorough IT market research is vital for the success of your software development project.

Here are some benefits you can expect to gain: 

  • Understand customer needs: IT market research lets you hear directly from your target audience, uncovering their desires and frustrations. This ensures you’re building software that solves real problems, not creating a solution for a non-existent issue.
 
  • Validate ideas: Don’t waste time and resources building a product nobody wants. Market research helps validate your initial concepts, and gauge customer interest and findings before development begins in earnest.
 
  • Personalize your approach: Understanding individual user behaviors allows for personalized marketing experiences. This translates to targeted ads, emails addressing specific pain points, and in-app recommendations that actually fit user needs.
 
  • Identify market trends: IT market research keeps you in the loop on emerging trends and competitor activities. This allows you to adapt your product offering and stay ahead of the curve.
Inner pages of Siemplify - market research report
  • Create buyer personas and customer journey mapping: Market research allows you to build buyer personas (ideal customer profiles) and map their journey with your software. This helps you craft targeted messages to speak directly to their needs and challenges at each stage. It enables you to spend resources on channels that reach them best.
 
  • Build a better product: Market research isn’t a one-time deal. It’s an ongoing conversation with your customers. By continuously gathering feedback throughout the development process, you can refine your product features. This helps ensure your product is truly what your target market needs.
 
  • Develop winning marketing strategies: Market research provides the data you need to craft targeted marketing messages and campaigns. This helps attract the right audience and convert them into loyal users.

See how Robert and others easily build libraries of differentiated content from a single research report.

Discover everything you need to know about ViB Research, including how it works and its success stories through our comprehensive video walkthrough.

Utilizing Customer Insights: Essential Strategies for Conducting IT Market Research

Conducting IT market research involves several key steps to ensure you collect only reliable data. Qualitative and quantitative research are two key methods for IT market research that drive actionable insights:

Qualitative research

This type of market research is best for finding out the “why” behind customer behavior. It focuses on finding motivations, attitudes, and experiences that traditional surveys might miss.

This data is non-numerical and yields open-ended results.

  • Focus groups: Convening a select group for discussions on ideas, products, or concepts. Focus groups provide a window into group dynamics, offering valuable insights into your audience’s perspectives.
 
  • Interviews: These are in-depth conversations with target audiences. Interviews provide detailed feedback and allow you to explore specific topics in more depth.
 
  • Observational studies: This tactic involves watching users interact with technology or software prototypes. Studying behavior can show hidden pain points and user needs that they might not even be aware of themselves!

 

Quantitative research

Quantitative research, on the other hand, is all about the “what.” Focused on gathering measurable data and statistics to find trends and patterns within your target audience.

This method uses larger samples and yields numerical and conclusive data.

Some data collection methods for these types of research include:

  • Surveys: These are market research questionnaires that you can share with a large sample of your target audience. They can help you gather the right data on preferences, demographics, and usage patterns.
 
  • Website analytics: By analyzing website traffic data, researchers can understand user behavior on IT product websites. This includes metrics like number of visitors to product pages, time spent on specific features, and conversion rates.
 
  • Sales data: Sales figures for IT products and services reveal valuable insights into market trends, customer preferences, and pricing strategies.  This data helps you analyze unit sales of specific IT solutions, revenue generated from different product categories, and market share within specific IT segments.
 
  • Customer satisfaction scores:  Numerical scores (e.g., Net Promoter Score – NPS) are used to gauge customer satisfaction with IT products or services. These scores are often derived from surveys and can be used to benchmark performance and identify areas for improvement.

     

The right kind of B2B survey research is the secret sauce for your software launch. It helps you gather valuable info from real people, transforming your good idea into software that customers love 🩷!

Setting up for software success: IT market research tools & partners

Building a successful software product isn’t just about coding – it’s about truly understanding your target audience. 

This is where IT market research steps in. With it comes a wealth of tools and partners to make your journey easy :

1 – Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an online survey tool, perfect for getting quick feedback directly from your software users. It has a user-friendly and visually engaging interface and lets you target specific user groups.

However, it might lack the punch for complex research as it has limited analysis features. It also cannot create highly customized surveys or reach a broad audience.

2 – Qualtrics

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Qualtrics is a heavyweight in the market research world. It offers in-depth research with advanced surveys, diverse data collection, and powerful analysis. 

It’s great for complex projects, but you can expect a steeper learning curve and higher cost. 

3 – Google Trends

Google Trends is a free tool for spotting search trends in your industry. It allows you to see what people are curious about, compare terms, and identify emerging topics. However, it lacks deep insights – you won’t know the “why” behind searches or user demographics. 

It’s a great tool for a quick look, but not complex research. 

4 – SEMRush

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SEMrush is a powerful all-in-one SEO and digital marketing toolkit often used by IT businesses for market research. It finds keywords, analyzes competitors, tracks brand mentions, and identifies industry trends.

However, it has a learning curve, subscription fee, and SEO-centric focus.

It’s a great tool for established IT businesses with marketing efforts. But I would suggest you consider simpler options for basic research or broader research needs.

5 – Loop11

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Loop11 zooms in on user experience (UX) testing for software products. The tool offers both moderated and unmoderated options and has features like screen recording and heat maps.

However, it can be expensive, have limited features outside UX, and lack participant diversity in some regions.

It’s ideal for IT businesses that focus on UX testing, but consider broader research tools or budget-friendly options otherwise.

6 – Forrester

Forrester is a renowned tech research firm. It allows you to gain expert analysis, data-driven insights, and industry credibility. However, the cost of a single report can run into six figures.

It also offers limited customization and focuses on broader trends.

It’s a good fit for mature IT businesses with a budget for in-depth research and a credibility boost. However, you may need other options for tight budgets, niche markets, or hands-on customization.

 7 – ViB Research

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ViB Research offers B2B tech market research with a twist. The solution targets tech professionals for surveys and original content creation.

But its main USP is that it offers accurate, actionable data at a way lower cost than traditional research firms 💸. It also targets a niche market of millions of tech professionals who are actively looking for tech and software solutions.

This is a great option for all IT businesses that need in-depth B2B tech insights and content.

A single original research report is the “gift that keeps on giving”. Yet, traditional market research providers come with 6-digit price tags. Is there a way to do it all, without breaking the bank?

Analyzing successful software development projects guided by market research

Several successful product developments have been driven by in-depth market research. 

Here are a few cool examples of successful market research in action:

  • Slack: Before Slack revolutionized workplace communication, the team conducted extensive market research to understand the pain points associated with traditional email and messaging tools. They discovered a need for a more organized, collaborative, and real-time communication platform. Slack became a go-to tool for teams worldwide by addressing these needs identified through market research.
 
  • Zoom: Zoom’s meteoric rise during the pandemic can be attributed, in part, to meticulous market research. The company identified a growing demand for reliable, easy-to-use video conferencing software that could accommodate both personal and professional use cases. Zoom’s user-friendly interface and robust features catered to this demand, propelling it to the forefront of virtual communication.
 
  • Canva: Canva democratized graphic design by conducting thorough market research to understand the challenges faced by non-designers in creating visually appealing content. The platform’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface, vast template library, and collaborative features were developed in response to this research, empowering millions to create professional-looking designs.
 
  • Dropbox: Dropbox’s success stems from addressing a common pain point: the need for seamless file sharing and synchronization across devices. Market research highlighted the frustration of users with traditional file transfer methods. Dropbox’s simple, cloud-based solution resonated with consumers and businesses alike, establishing it as one of the leading file-sharing platforms.

 

The examples demonstrate that market research can result in the development of software that resonates with consumers and achieves significant market success.  

Market research can help in uncovering emerging trends and validating product concepts. 

Investing in comprehensive market research will allow software development companies to significantly increase their chances of developing successful products that resonate with consumers and drive business growth.

Case Study: Tech Startup Generates $5M in Pipeline with ViB Research

ViB provides a cost-effective IT Market Research solution tailored for the tech industry. Here’s a cool case study showing the value we bring:

They helped a marketing veteran build brand awareness and thought leadership with targeted surveys, high-quality research, and content creation. 

The result was:

  • $3M in pipeline 
  • $2M in revenue
 

The company also set itself up as a thought leader in a new market category. 

ViB empowers startups to create trusted content and build winning marketing strategies through cost-effective research.

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💡 You can download the entire case study here!

How IT market research fuels success

Remember, successful software solutions aren’t built overnight – they thrive on user insights. Market research lights up the path to building a product that truly resonates with your target audience.

Ready to access the true power of market research and take your software to the next level?

ViB Research helps IT businesses leverage targeted B2B tech research to achieve their goals. We offer a unique combination of speed, affordability, and deep industry expertise.

This is all thanks to our millions-strong community of tech professionals who opt-in to seek the solutions you offer!

Chat with our team to learn more about how ViB Research can help you. Download our free ViB Research datasheet here!

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