Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative. Backward Market Research Process

Once Phase 1 is completed and clear choices have been made about what markets warrant focused research, planning for a major primary research campaign can begin. In many cases, this planning starts with a vague definition of the problem at hand or a statement about the lack of information for a certain market or product. The lack of clarity initiates a research process that will most likely end with either the wrong data to facilitate decision making or the correct data acquired at a much higher cost than was necessary because the needs of decision makers were not clearly understood. This process can be defined as “forward market research”.[1] A more successful approach to market research flips this process around and starts with a clear picture of the decisions that will be facilitated by the data, and structures the research effort around getting the information required to make these decisions. This “backward market research” concept is outlined below and followed through the Phase 2 section.

This chart describes the three phases of the market research process and the objectives of each step in the three phases.


  1. “Marketing Research that Won’t Break the Bank”, Dr. Alan Andreasen, Jossey-Bass, 2002.