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IoT Market Research: How to Listen to Your Product

Juan Bello
By Juan Bello
on October 14, 2016

It goes without saying that you should listen to your customers. However, have you ever considered listening to your product?  


Connected Product Management and Internet of Things (IoT) are about listening to your products. Today, we will see how you can actually hear what your products are saying. And believe me, they have good stories to tell you. 

Today, we'll explore:

  1. Consumer insights through products
  2. Basic current market research techniques
  3. What makes IoT special for market research

Consumer insights and beyond: a new research stream

"Listen to your consumers by listening to your product."

Marketing departments often talk about focusing companies, brands and products on consumer needs. This makes extracting, processing, analyzing and reporting new data a must.

Most market research drives both qualitative and quantitative approaches, basing all data extraction in consumer responses (voluntary or automatically). Surveys, interviews and focus groups are direct ways to get data from individuals, but can lead to biased and untruthful results.

When we attempt to get more unbiased answers, we turn to observation, web analysis, neuromarketing or other techniques where individuals are not very aware they are being tracked (well, it's impossible to ignore an FMRI in the case of neuromarketing). But these methods are expensive and time consuming.

Today, we are already getting lots of valuable data from consumers. Market research has seen many improvements and has become more frequent over the years. But it's just the beginning. Now, researchers and entrepreneurs are able to release the power of Internet of Things.

Basic research techniques to identify product insights

First, let's take a look at some of the tried and tested methods of obtaining consumer data:

Focus Groups

Great for extracting deep, qualitative insights and general feedback. This is a solid method of iterating your current product before releasing it to the market. However, the more people you want to reach, the more expensive it gets.


Surveys allow you to compare quantitative data with a larger group of people and can explain how they make decisions about products. Sureys are widely used due to their low cost and high reach, but they do not go as deep as focus groups.

Internal data

With your CRM, for example, you can research consumer behavior through purchase cycles. This method is great for obtaining objective info: you get data from what people do, not what they say. 

Web analysis 

On the internet, you can measure almost anything you can imagine. You can know in real time how users interact with your web pages, software or any digital product.  It could even cost you nothing. Now imagine if you could connect the web and real-world data. The data you could obtain can be described in one word: infinite

All these techniques are great and are still effective even after many years. But with IoT, we can take it one step further. It's time to show you how to release the power of IoT to listen to your product.

What makes IoT so special for market research?


1-It's affordable

Connecting things to the internet is becoming easier. In one hand, there's a bunch of hardware companies launching connected products that can be installed by anyone. On the other hand, electronic hardware kits like Arduino or Particle, and IoT platforms like Ubidots, are making it easier to build connected products yourself, without requiring a large engineering team.

2-It offers real-time data 

No more waiting for weeks until your get the market research results from that consulting firm you hired, or going after your customers to obtain survey answers. With IoT, you can gather data in real-time, without interrupting your customers.

3-It's massive 

Traditional market research relied on statistics to come up with an ideal a sample size that would provide insights on a target population. With IoT, you can use thousands of data sources to increase the number of attributes and observations, and hence the accuracy of your market research.


How to get started with IoT?

IoT is a great new market research stream. It's affordable, automated and unbiased. It could dramatically help you find customer insights through your product voice and would let you scale and iterate your MVP. 

Feel free to dive into our IoT offerings. We provide an IoT platform that has been used by more than 10,000 developers to create IoT projects.  Our codeless platform is designed to get your company quickly started on IoT, explore the benefits of specific projects, and then help you scale your solution.

Ubidots for Business Learn more

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Juan Bello
Written by Juan Bello
Written by Author