How should Market Size be established?

by Darmer
27 replies
I am in the early stages, of a new venture, and would welcome guidance on how to go about establishing a Market Size.

For the purposes of this question, let's say I am a Sculpture Artist whose work is based on various Sports Stadiums and Teams around the World. Each piece of Art will be exclusively available via an eCommerce website, and marketed on a Global level.

After perusing the Internet, many articles (and Forum responses) have suggested that I should focus my research on the Art Market as a whole.

My first question would be 'why'? Whilst I would be looking to participate in the Art Market, wouldn't such research simply be too broad and give historical figures from the past that may not be useful for future projections?

Alternatively, wouldn't it be more useful to obtain figures of various Sports Fan Bases as these would be potential customers or have I misunderstood the purpose of Market Research; in particular Market Sizing?
#established #market #size
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Forget the market, concern yourself with your niche. People interested in your niche will buy from you; the others will not.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Thanks for your reply DABK.

      As well as identifying the relevant Niches, I would like to gain an understanding over the overall market. Having a view of the overall Market Size, could help with understanding potential market growth for the future etc.

      You say to forget the market but isn't a Niche a market anyway? As such, it would be useful to understand the Market Size of a niche; albeit on a smaller scale?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mobile Fixita
    Find the People interested in your niche will buy from you, not other pay.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Mobile Fixita ...

      I would like to perform the required Market Research before planning the necessary Marketing. Lets say I wanted to reach out to a Sports Team. I could look up their social media channel as to give an insight into their Fan Base count. Whilst this would indicate whether they have a small, medium or large fan base, it would not account for all those who do not have Internet access or simply have signed up with their Social Media channels. As such, I would be concerned that having an inaccurate Market Size figure may skewer any sampling work I may perform during the Market Research phase.
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Darmer View Post

    I am in the early stages, of a new venture, and would welcome guidance on how to go about establishing a Market Size.

    For the purposes of this question, let's say I am a Sculpture Artist whose work is based on various Sports Stadiums and Teams around the World. Each piece of Art will be exclusively available via an eCommerce website, and marketed on a Global level.

    After perusing the Internet, many articles (and Forum responses) have suggested that I should focus my research on the Art Market as a whole.

    My first question would be 'why'? Whilst I would be looking to participate in the Art Market, wouldn't such research simply be too broad and give historical figures from the past that may not be useful for future projections?

    Alternatively, wouldn't it be more useful to obtain figures of various Sports Fan Bases as these would be potential customers or have I misunderstood the purpose of Market Research; in particular Market Sizing?

    I would recommend you follow your own instincts (and not the advice from a bunch of pundits spewing rhetoric about art markets as a whole)

    Not all art lovers are sports fans.

    Going after the art market as a whole could prove to be a long, hard road to travel. Because someone who's interested in Picasso or Monet, probably isn't overly enthusiastic about a paper-weight that looks like a football.

    And besides, it's impossible to know how many art lovers there are in this world because art is a subjective concept. (what one person calls art, someone else might call crap)

    Personally, I would look at targeting your market towards the individual sports teams

    Sports are a very tribal thing in this world. There are some extremely fierce rivalries among sports fans, and even fiercer loyalties for their own teams.

    So you already have a very passionate, emotionally charged market for sports memorabilia.

    What you need to do now is tap into that emotion with your advertising.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Thank you for your reply SARubin.

      I would like to perform the necessary market research before implementing the suitable marketing strategies as to reach out to the desired market segments. Brand related Questionnaires, Product Feedback etc.

      I am fairly confident with implementing strategies such as Email Marketing, PPC, SEM/SEO etc. My concern is with the process involved with the market research itself. Therefore, the necessary research that will help to inform the marketing that should be implemented.

      I fully agree with your view that going after the whole Art Market would be a difficult challenge. I would go as far as to say that it would be impossible to obtain accurate and actionable data that would help to provide any meaningful insights when it comes to looking to identify market sizes etc. Not only is the Art Market far too broad but, as you rightly highlight, it is subjective.

      As per my question, I agree with you that the obvious market would be Sports Fans. This could then be broken down into Teams where Buyer Personas could be created as to help with creating targeted ads etc.

      Before moving onto the marketing phase however, such as targeted ads, I am concerned about the initial research phase. In particular, the right way to start the process. In other words, how should I set up the Market Research? Should I look at Sports Teams as a Niche Segment within the wider Art Market or should such a Niche Market be worked on independent of the Art Market? If worked on independently, would it still be referred to as a Niche Market since it would not be a Niche of anything?

      Whilst I agree with most of your answer, I would like to focus on the necessary Market Research before implementing any marketing strategies.
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      • Profile picture of the author SARubin
        Originally Posted by Darmer View Post

        Thank you for your reply SARubin.

        I would like to perform the necessary market research before implementing the suitable marketing strategies as to reach out to the desired market segments. Brand related Questionnaires, Product Feedback etc.
        Hi Darmer,

        Of course I would never tell you how to run your own show.

        All I can do is offer you advice based on what I've done in the past, what I do in the present, and what I would tell my best friend to do if they were in your situation.

        And the best advice I could give you right now is to say... "Yes, market research is very important, but at some point you're just going to have to put down the marketing books, and test some promotions".

        How big of a market size do you need to test for MVP (Minimally Viable Product), to see if anyone is interested in what you're selling?


        You're selling sports related artwork, so the general direction of your audience should be obvious.


        You can start with the info Declan already gave you...

        "There's 73 million fans alone on the Man Utd official Facebook page".

        That's a pretty good market size to start with.


        You can also add some other criteria to your targeting. Your market size will come down, but it will give you a better chance of resonating with a more targeted audience.

        So your criteria could be Man Utd fans, who also like art, and who have recently purchased sports memorabilia or artwork, who also like... (whatever criteria is important for you to tie your product into your market)

        Any legitimate marketing platform, or list broker should be able to give you some basic idea of market volume based on your criteria.

        Then you directly advertise to those fans with a promotion for your sports related artwork.


        Another example...

        Each year over 100 million people watch the Superbowl. Granted, that's a pretty broad market for American football fans.

        So let's narrow that target down to a single NFL team...

        I just did a quick google search for "how many fans do the NE Patriots have" (I'm a Patriots fan) and According to Nielsen Sports, more than 11.5 million people in the U.S. claim the Patriots as their favorite NFL team, second only to the Dallas Cowboys.

        So I'll ask again... How big of a market size do you need, to test for MVP ?


        The point is... You can become frozen on market research, because some marketing book told you that everything had to be perfectly accounted for. Or you can step into the real world of marketing, and start testing your idea to see if you have something worth pursuing.

        Because the feedback loop you get from testing your offer will give you a better understanding than any book, course, article, or speculation.



        All the market research in the world won't necessarily guarantee you a winning promotion. It can help put the odds in your favor, but at some point you'll just need to test the market based on your best assumptions.


        Like any scientific process, the best you can do is start with educated assumptions (hypothesis) and then we test, and measure the results.

        The feedback you get from your promotion will give you some of your own numbers to look at.

        If you get a solid reaction, then you have your first audience to roll out a bigger promotion to. (with a new market I always recommend testing small first, before rolling out big)

        If you don't get any response, then it's time to figure out why not. Was it the wrong market? Wrong medium? Wrong message? Wrong offer? Bad timing?

        How do we know...? We analyze our results, do a bit more research based on the results we've gotten, make adjustments, and then we test some more.

        And there's always the possibility that nobody is interested in what you're selling. (Although with sports related items it's virtually guaranteed that at least some people will be interested)


        Again, the advice I would give any friend right now is to step down off the fence and move forward with a small market test.

        You've already been given an obvious direction to go with your targeting. Now narrow down the criteria for your ideal customers and run a few tests.

        I wish you the best of luck with your venture.
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        • Profile picture of the author Darmer
          Many thanks for your comprehensive answer SARubin.

          I am a stickler for trying to quantify everything, which is possibly why I am trying to achieve the 'perfect market research'. With that said, I am encouraged by your answer as to accept there is no such thing as 'perfect market research'.

          Given the Sports Market is huge, inaccurate estimates are unlikely to have a detrimental impact on my profitability. Capturing 0.02% of the Man U Fan Base alone would still produce sales in excess of 10,000. Hardly a failed effort.

          That being said, I am looking at some other much much smaller niches; especially local markets, where inaccurate estimates could affect the reliability of my initial Sample Sizes when looking to test products.

          Given the availability of online data, many people often suggest looking to resources such as Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter Followers, Google Keyword Planner etc as to get an estimate of market sizes. This is the other headache I am giving myself ... There are many people who may be on Facebook but not on Twitter or vice versa. If I add both sources of data together, I end up counting potential individuals twice. If I do not look at both channels, I do not get the complete market size.

          Other than that, thanks for the advice. It has given me some information to think about.
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  • I doubt Man Utd fans would be interested in a sculpture of the Liverpool stadium.

    If it's sports art, then the approach is obvious. If not, then your example doesn't help.

    Just create an ad targeting a specific fan base on FB or something.

    If you have 10 sculptures or pieces of art on 10 different teams, then create 10 different ads. There's 73 million fans alone on the Man Utd official Facebook page.
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by Declan O Flaherty View Post

      I doubt Man Utd fans would be interested in a sculpture of the Liverpool stadium.

      If it's sports art, then the approach is obvious. If not, then your example doesn't help.

      Just create an ad targeting a specific fan base on FB or something.

      If you have 10 sculptures or pieces of art on 10 different teams, then create 10 different ads. There's 73 million fans alone on the Man Utd official Facebook page.

      Yes, it seems like an obvious target market for anything sports related.

      Hopefully the OP figures it out...
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Thanks for your reply Declan O Flaherty.

      It is not so much the marketing I am struggling with (for now anyway), it is the initial steps involved in Market Research.

      1. How should the market be defined in readiness to be segmented (TAM, SAM and TM etc)?

      2. How useful are historical Art Market figures?

      3. Should I use Historical Art Market figures, to make assumptions on markets I wish to penetrate, or should I make assumptions on markets I wish to market to?

      4. What should such assumptions be based on etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author MDSOnline
    There are practically two methods of market size determination--the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach.

    In the top-down method, a realistic assumption is made on the possible number of buyers. Say, for instance, an agricultural pipe maker might assume that atleast 7% of the existing buyers are likely to switch over to its product.

    In the bottom-up approach, a detailed study on the buyers is made to determine the probability of the demand, and thus to gain insights on market size
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Thanks for your reply MDSOnline.

      Whilst I am aware of the Top Down and Bottom Up approaches, I am concerned on how reliable their approaches are. I have read a lot of articles and books on Market Research and whilst I understand the theoretical aspect, I am struggling to understanding how such research is executed with any form of accuracy. There just seems to be a lot of assumptions that carry no substance, with numbers often thrown about with no insight on how such assumptions are made.

      Would you be able to give a high level example of how your suggestion could work with my question?
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  • Profile picture of the author Darmer
    I see a lot of assumptions made in Market Research. Are you familiar with how such assumptions are performed? For the most part, it feels as though many research papers just pluck out numbers; leading me to question the usefulness of Market Research.

    Whilst I am familiar with the Top Down and Bottom Up approach, would you be able to give me a working example based on my question? Like most Market Research related topics, I am familiar with what would be useful but I am struggling with finding insights on how such research should be executed. Most online resources I have come across seem to be very top level and don't really go into detail or provide any great substance to their explanations.
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      Originally Posted by Darmer View Post

      I see a lot of assumptions made in Market Research. Are you familiar with how such assumptions are performed? For the most part, it feels as though many research papers just pluck out numbers; leading me to question the usefulness of Market Research.

      Whilst I am familiar with the Top Down and Bottom Up approach, would you be able to give me a working example based on my question? Like most Market Research related topics, I am familiar with what would be useful but I am struggling with finding insights on how such research should be executed. Most online resources I have come across seem to be very top level and don't really go into detail or provide any great substance to their explanations.
      well market research is pretty much useless when it comes to art or sculptures . and you probably dont mass produce sculptures .

      so there might be a marketet for the current most popular soccer player or the greats in a particular sport but ..the artist who creats theses statues doesn't market the staues ..

      the artist markets their ability to make the statues .so you probably want to put the time and effort into scpulting a few pieces a figure out how to market and sell them. then see if you get commissions to produce new pieces . then each piece . and even who buys from you and where the work gets displayed . becomes your marketing ..

      you can always study successful sculptors and see what they do .

      are you even a sports fan you can start but producing sculptures of your favorite sports figures and show them to other fans of them same people say with av social media fan page and get feed back and see if you have interested buyers .

      there could be a huge market .. but for what ever reason the art you produce no one wants to buy .
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        The size of the niche is more useful to you.

        Sarubin and Declan and odah covered it well.

        How much profit will one sale make you? How much money you want to make a year.

        Divide the second number by the first and you will get a good idea of what you need.

        Which, if you are not extravagant in your desires, is probably provided to you by the supporters of a couple if major teams alone.

        What kind of art are you talking about, anyway?

        Can you sell the art, then images of it as posters? On t-shirts? Beer steins? Caps? Bags?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Sarlo
    Hi,

    Why do you care about market size. Isn't it obvious that the art niche is huge?

    But just for the sake of it I would do keyword research to get an idea how many people are searching each month for keywords related to art + sports (to get an idea on demand) using kwfinder or wordtracker.

    In fb you can find audiences consisting of sports fans + art fans to also get an idea on the demand/size of your niche...
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Thank you for your input Jack Sarlo.

      I am keen on trying to identify an accurate market size, for the purposes of sampling. I would then like to extrapolate the information, from the sample, as to try and establish some reliable estimates and assumptions; rather than using a figure that has been completely made up.

      I am a little hesitant to rely on the Keyword Tool, due to the following reasons:

      - Many people perform multiple searches, using similar Keywords. Therefore, the search volumes may be much higher than the amount of people performing such searches;
      - Many searches are performed for the purposes of content marketing/content ideation. Therefore, it is likely that a percentage of the search volume does not represent the individuals I may wish to reach out to.

      Your Facebook suggestion is certainly something to consider. The downside here is that not everyone is actively on Facebook. Some may be on Twitter or Instagram or both. As per one of my other responses above, I am concerned that if I only use 1 Social Media Channel, my figures would not be representative of the total online market. Therefore, my sample size may create misleading results. Similarly, if I add all the social channel fans etc together, it will be very likely I will be counting people twice; thus creating the same outcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author krekonk
    Thanks for the answer
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  • Profile picture of the author Maksym Babych
    According to my experience, the most general best practices are the following:

    1 List your hypotheses. Idea validation is important to eliminate risks of failure. List every hypothesis and understand how to test them with MVP.

    2 React quickly to changes. This is the main benefit of a startup.

    3 Define your goals. It is important to keep in mind why you started in the first place, who needs your product and how it will innovate the market. Do not lose focus. It will keep you on track and disciplined in achieving your primary goal.

    4 Focus on profit. When you start your brand itself doesn't have value. Your design, logo, slogan don't matter much at this point. All that matters is having a valuable product.

    5 Break into the market as soon as possible. Just get started. If customers love your product then you have the space to introduce creativity.

    6 Always be customer-oriented. A successful product builds, not by dictating, but by working in collaboration with its users. If they have paid once, keep the strategy going and incentivize them to get their friends to sign up too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darmer
      Thank you for your guidance Maksym Babych.

      I don't feel I am at the stages you propose at the moment, though will certainly refer to your answer in the future. I am at the earlier stage of working our my market size(s) ready for Segmentation and Sampling.
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by Darmer View Post

        Thank you for your guidance Maksym Babych.

        I don't feel I am at the stages you propose at the moment, though will certainly refer to your answer in the future. I am at the earlier stage of working our my market size(s) ready for Segmentation and Sampling.
        how far away are you from producing some products and putting up the web pages and social media stuff to attempt to sell merchandise..manufactureing today you can order a few dozen pieces of each product . rather than 20 polus years ago where you needed to order 20 thousand or more pieces .

        if you where really talking about hand made art .. you would not be talking 10000 pieces especially sculptures
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        • Profile picture of the author Darmer
          The 10,000 was the result of the percentage I gave. I was just trying to highlight that even a fraction of the market share would yield a massive potential market that would support the venture for years ahead. As well as myself, there a handful of other Artists who want to collaborate with myself. Hence wanting to ensure the market figures are useful.

          I already have pieces available but keen on gaining an understanding of market interests, sizes and trends etc first. Maybe I am being overly cautious but by concerns lay around the 'you get one chance to make a good first impression' and all that.
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          • Profile picture of the author Odahh
            Originally Posted by Darmer View Post

            The 10,000 was the result of the percentage I gave. I was just trying to highlight that even a fraction of the market share would yield a massive potential market that would support the venture for years ahead. As well as myself, there a handful of other Artists who want to collaborate with myself. Hence wanting to ensure the market figures are useful.

            I already have pieces available but keen on gaining an understanding of market interests, sizes and trends etc first. Maybe I am being overly cautious but by concerns lay around the 'you get one chance to make a good first impression' and all that.
            that is great .. my question is why go through the market size research ..unless of course you in some way are having fun doing it .

            how many pieces can you produce in a month and how many do you need to sell to be a non starving artist .

            i don't know how big the man cave thing is or still is but you could probably market these as the utlimate decorations to have for the true sports fan wanting to turn their man cave into a sports shrine.
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      • Profile picture of the author Maksym Babych
        All time welcome.
        I correctly understood that you have only an idea and you have not yet analyzed any competitors or talked with your potential customers?
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  • Profile picture of the author webcontent
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    Hello, I saw replies of few of the members out here and I am sorry as I am going to suggest something different from all of these. For establishing any business, market research is required and the same is true to your business too. Yes, you need to do market research and for that database or statistics related to clubs, stadium may prove to be useful. However, you need to lay emphasis on your art an creativity work too. You should work more on representing yourself as a brand and let people approach you. For this, you should work on Social Media optimization. It's really very simple to draw attention of thousands of art lovers, if you have something nice to show. By that way, people related to your services would get to know about your services via their social networks. Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Quora and many forums are there to help you showcase your work. But this alone is not sufficient. You should try blogging and let people know how you are different. Paralelly work on SEO to let search engines and unique traffic know about your services. I am sure this will help you in establishing yourself as a brand. The similar strategy was applied for https://www.stonemartindia.com you may check its presence online. There are many other such examples like https://www.netmarkers.com Hope this is going to help!
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by Darmer View Post

    I am in the early stages, of a new venture, and would welcome guidance on how to go about establishing a Market Size.

    For the purposes of this question, let's say I am a Sculpture Artist whose work is based on various Sports Stadiums and Teams around the World. Each piece of Art will be exclusively available via an eCommerce website, and marketed on a Global level.

    After perusing the Internet, many articles (and Forum responses) have suggested that I should focus my research on the Art Market as a whole.

    My first question would be 'why'? Whilst I would be looking to participate in the Art Market, wouldn't such research simply be too broad and give historical figures from the past that may not be useful for future projections?

    Alternatively, wouldn't it be more useful to obtain figures of various Sports Fan Bases as these would be potential customers or have I misunderstood the purpose of Market Research; in particular Market Sizing?
    I sell things like this on eBay from time to time.. and generally speaking each one is a limited run of either 5000 to 10000 units, and in some cases less. There are Many Many examples of this to determine market size - just hit up ebay and type in a "<insert stadium> statue / figurine" and then look at the listings to see how many have limited runs and how large they are.
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