Expert's Panel

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    Is there any strong research tool for predicting future markets and the technical environment?

  1. The best market research tool we have is the past. You need a reasonable amount of hard data of where the market has been in the past, current customer input—as much as possible—and make sure they are “needs”, not “wants”. I do this for a living and I have to tell you that crystal balling the future usually turns out inaccurate to a meaningful degree. The market you figured would be a 5 on a 10 point scale turns out to be a 9, and vis-versa. It is a very inexact science.
  2. A real good product marketing manager is the best source. That person should be immersed in their related market(s). They should have a good historical perspective and be in touch with the forces that shape the market and the technical environment.
  3. The text in Section 1 of Product Marketing Manual for the “Fundamentals of Product Marketing” course has a reasonable current, in-depth write-up of key drivers of the market—things you should be monitoring—as well as some technology directions.
  4. The International Technology Roadmap should be reviewed also. Look at it and ask where is your product in the future and how does it fit. This should be standard operating procedure.