John Paul

Understanding BOP Market Needs

One of the strongest themes to come out of the ’Eradicating Poverty Through Profit’ conference was the need for companies to?develop a?deeper?understanding of their target market’s needs before developing products and services that intend to fulfill them.?

This report addresses some of the challenges of assessing the needs of people at the BOP.? Although it refers specifically to defining community needs for the SARI telecenter project in Southern India, the lessons learned by the field researchers are applicable to all businesses?looking to better understand their target market through surveys and outreach.? Challenges cited?include: ?local villagers having little ability or basis on which to judge the costs and benefits of unfamiliar technologies, the researchers themselves contaminating the results with their own biases, and the delicate balance between patient research and the implementation of a business model.?

For companies intending on conducting such field research themselves, this paper may serve as a useful guide for planning such activities.?