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UoC: The Importance of Market Research to Innovation

Date: July 7th, 09:00-13:00

A half-day in person event exploring the importance of market research for successful innovation.

When early-stage companies fail, it’s often because their product does not appeal to their identified market. Solid market research is therefore critical to success, yet most start-ups do not have expertise in market research and do not know how to get best value from the research they do.

This is a joint event brought to you by Cumbria Growth Hub and the University of Cumbria - CUSP II. Using our joint expertise and experience, we will show you what good research looks like for small businesses. You will learn how to scope, conduct, and interpret research that is robust and meaningful to you. This session will give you the knowledge and confidence to tailor your product and service to the needs of the market.

We will be focusing on:

  • Exploring the need for market-centric innovation – for both established companies and start-ups.
    Established companies are experts at refining their product, which means they can miss new opportunities. This is where start-ups come in, but most start-ups are designed around the founder’s idea or passion - only when it’s too late do they realise that there is no market for their product.
  • Product-market fit: changing your product and finding your market.
    PMF is making sure there is a sustainable market for your product. It can only be achieved by understanding your market. But it’s a process rather than an outcome. And it needs the company to correctly understand the data from the market research – you often need to design your product or route-to-market to get that market data.
  • Jobs-To-Be-Done theory: understanding your customers deeply so you can get product-market fit.
    This is used by some of the world’s most successful companies. It’s a technique of designing, conducting and analysing market research to find out what your customers want – even when they don’t know themselves. It is therefore ideal for finding new sources of value and new markets - e.g., how deep research of why people buy McDonald’s milkshakes led to a 7-times increase in sales.
  • False signals and the Chasm: research your market even when you think you’ve cracked it.
    Why the initial stages of market research and growth can mislead you later: the case for continual market research through all stages of growth.

This event is funded through European Regional Development Funding and is open to Cumbrian SMEs only. ERDF eligibility rules apply, for more information please contact

For more information about Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP II), please go to:

This event is for SMEs based in Cumbria with less than 250 FTE employees, turnover less than 50m euros, balance sheet total less than 43m euros.


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