Design Practise in Context: Peter Norris

Yesterday we had our third lecture with Peter Norris; it was focused on Market Data and Market Research. Peter introduced the topic by asking “where can you get market data from?” and said by the end of the session we will multiple answers and feel more comfortable in retrieving market data. When dealing with a client, it is important that you understand the brief, and that your client is happy with your intentions. Market research will help ensure your client your intentions and provide evidence to back up your statements.

Peter informed us of the two types of Market Research; the first being Primary research, which uses quantitative and qualitative methods.


  • Geographic- where you live influences your opinion
  • Psychographic- how you think can determine what you buy
  • Socioeconomic- class and financial ability


  • Detail/Clarity
  • Statistical information
  • Objective


  • Costly
  • Complex and difficult
  • Needs careful control


Qualitative Data includes matter such as: Interviews and focus groups.


  • Cheap
  • Easily done
  • Offers a holistic view


  • No statistical validation
  • Subjective
  • Success depends on control of discussions.

As well as Primary Research, there is also Secondary Research. This is the most popular type, and Peter referred to it as “Desk work”. Secondary data is researching existing data, whether online in a library, etc. Something that you have generated, and using. With data it is important to focus on a certain type of market, this is often influential by what you are hoping to achieve or sell. Therefore acts as your target audience. It can be focused into a number of options such as:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Social Class
  • Geography
  • Hobbies/Interests

Peter told us to consider the market for books. They can be split up into different categories: Fiction and Non-Fiction. However, this can then be taken further to genres, such as: Children, Teenager, Crime, Romance and Saga, Fantasy Sci-Fi, General Fiction and Graphic Novels. With Graphic novels they can be split into annuals, satire, humour, course, age range or a specific story or character. Therefore when collecting data, ensure it is measurable, identifiable, accessible, substantial and meaningful. To ensure successful marketing, Peter said that by segmenting the marketing it gets you half way there. The group needs to be big enough to make money, but not too big as you have to consider everybody. Basically, good segmentation leads to good target market research. Peter advised to define the product clearly and don’t try to analyse different products.

We then moved on to ways of collecting Market Research. Peter provided us with examples such as: Mosaic, Acorn, Mintel, Fame, GMDB, Keynote and Newspaper Proquest. He also said you can use resources such as: Magazines, newspapers, company websites, retailer websites and CSO statistics. Company websites can be beneficial as they give details of products, prices and details of the brand ethos and intent. Retail websites are mainly good for reviews and government data can be useful as it comes from the central statistical office.

Next we were asked “How much are you Worth?” To which my initial response was “absolutely nothing”. Peter told us to calculate how much we spend in a year, I began my listing money spent on shopping and rent and then gave up because it was depressing me. We finally moved on to look at the Buyer Behaviour Process, but first Peter told us what “need recognition” was. Basically, when you need something, you aren’t as hesitant to purchase it, such as food, water. He then showed us a diagram illustrating the process. It went somewhat like this:

Need Recognition > Search > Pre-Purchase Evaluation > PURCHASE > Consumption > Post Purchase Evaluation.

Once when have purchased something, subconsciously we evaluate it. What this product, good or bad? Would I buy it again? It’s very easy to process with the example of a chocolate bar.

Lastly, to end the lecture, we looked at “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” in which Peter said most of us will have come across it before (I hadn’t)

1. Physiological (Food, water)

2. Safety (Shelter, defence)

3. Beloningness (Relationships, family, home, sex)

4. Esteem & Status (Power, respect, worth)

5. Self-Actualisation (Personal values)

The lecture began more interesting and towards the end I lost focus. Providing examples and websites of how to receive market research was worth knowing and may be useful in the future. For our next session, I hope that Peter brings it back to Graphic Design somewhat more so it is more relevant to me personally.


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