Qi3 – Quality, Insight, Integrity & Innovation - UNITING TECHNOLOGY & MARKETING

Qi3 Insight

Ask the right question and know who to ask….





By Mark Littlewood

Last week, I attended a winter beer festival at Cambridge University. A beer festival is a great place to find out about unfamiliar and new beers from the growing number of microbreweries around the UK. This, however, can bring a dilemma for the consumer. When I arrived, there were approximately 90 beers available to; so where to start? At first, I asked for a recommendation, but got the answer, “well what do you like”? I realised my simple error. I hadn’t  asked the right question to the right people. I resorted to using the tasting notes on the Festival website, and it occurred to me that good, up to date information is vital in so many settings – whether helping in making a purchase as a consumer, knowing how to get from A to B without getting caught in heavy traffic, or guiding the commercial decision making process when determining which market to target for a new product.

One of the most difficult steps in market research is working out information is really needed and what questions should be asked to tease out the answers that address the big issues. Qi3 has recently launched “Ask the Experts” as a quick and easy method of getting to the right answer without the need for an extensive market survey. The concept is a simple one. For a modest fee, we offer to ask a single question to a handful of experts in a given field. That’s it. Short and to the point.

This approach of insisting on a single question focuses the mind to that information that is really needed to make a significant difference to a business’ market intelligence. Cutting everything down to that one question takes a surprisingly long  time, but is in itself a useful process. The people we go on to talk to are carefully selected either from our large database of contacts, or sourced on a project by project basis, depending on the technology and the market.  By limiting the scope and targeting the right people we can quickly get an insight into a defined marketing challenge. We believe that this methodology is going to be invaluable in helping companies guide product strategies in times of stringent budgets. The first projects using this methodology are underway. Watch out for case studies in the near future.

By the way, if you’re interested, the beer of the night for me was “San Jacinto”, an American IPA brewed by Bexar County Brewery near Peterborough, closely followed by Lord Conrad’s “Zulu”. That’s just my opinion; I guess it really depends on what you like.

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

By Amir Mirza

In many countries witnesses giving testimony are made to swear that they will give the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Usually, there are legal penalties if the witness is found to be at odds with their oath.

Sometimes in business too there are times when to make an important decision you also need the truth and nothing but the truth. Within companies technologies get developed that look promising with many envisaged uses or applications. But how do you know if there is real customer demand and not just “technology push” from the engineering department? The technology may solve one problem, but is it the entire solution the customer is looking for? Is the technology truly novel?

Academic institutions can sometimes fall into the same trap. Industrial advisors to the institution are often encouraging and supportive of new technologies. But that doesn’t mean there is a market for the technology, or that competing solutions might prevail regardless.

In order to get straight answers, you really need an independent organisation that does not have a bias or preconception about a technology, its merits or the people who developed it. The organisation also needs to go wherever the market evidence leads. In order to be able to tell the company or institution that it has a “tiger by the tale” or that the new technology is just not disruptive enough to excite the market into action. That’s the only way to get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Government Support for Technology Commercialisation

By Robin Higgons

The Innovate UK Smart Scheme Proof of Market grants provide a great opportunity for early stage companies to assess the commercial viability of a project through market research, market testing and project planning for commercialisation.  The next assessment date deadline is 24th January.  Our Qi3 Rapid Market Prototyping™ for fast growing technology businesses is described here. If you’d like help putting together a Smart Proof of Market application, please contact me.

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