Due North

Four Reasons Why Finance Needs to Participate in Market Research

Market research is a core piece of the commercialization process. Without understanding market barriers and opportunities, one cannot hope to navigate that pathway successfully. Sourcing market data is often left solely to members of the marketing team. Here are four reasons why finance should also participate in the process.

1. Deep market understanding is critical

The finance team has key touch-points in the commercialization process that can make or break an opportunity. One such touch-point is the Price Analysis, which defines the price that the market can bear for a technology. Price is important because it influences decisions about financial viability and business models. Diving deeply into market analysis, the finance team gains significant understanding of the variables that may impact pricing. Because of touch-points like the Price Analysis it is important for the finance team to commit time and energy to understanding the market beyond just the numbers.

2. The Internet is very big

Market researchers have the time consuming task of sifting through online data to provide information to several different stakeholders. Finance is only one of those stakeholders. With the abundance of information available online, marketing may be limited in the time they can dedicate to the financial pieces of research.

3. Market analysts are not financial analysts and vice versa

Just as financial analysts may not have expertise in competitive or product launch strategies, market analysts may not have a financial background or be familiar with financial reporting. With their experience and education, financial professionals can quickly identify the useful data points in a financial report or a research study that may be overlooked by a marketing professional.

4. Personal growth

There is extreme benefit in learning by doing. Sure, a market analyst can put together a report identifying all of the requisite data points, but when a finance professional has to do the research directly, he or she gains a deeper knowledge of the process, a more well-rounded understanding of the data and the opportunity to discover or hone new skills. Any chance to increase professional proficiency is a win not only for the individual, but also for the team.

The bottom line is this:

Companies venturing into the world of entrepreneurship or commercialization rely heavily on financial modeling to project the future health or growth of the company. The level of reliability and confidence in the numbers can be much greater when finance participates in sourcing the data.