Creative economy entrepreneurs and market research


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Many entrepreneurs in the creative economy fail despite claiming to have done extensive market research, but why? This collaborative research project aims to find out the answer.

Key research questions in this project are:

  1. How do entrepreneurs use (or omit) market research, and are there unique market research circumstances characteristic of the creative economy?
  2. How does variation in the use of market research predict creative economy start-up success?
  3. What kind of interventions can improve the effectiveness of market research on creative economy start-up success?

The details

The creative economy encompasses advertising, architecture, the arts and antique market, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software, music, performing arts, publishing, software, television, and radio. The creative economy presupposes entrepreneurial success, and it has become common-place to talk about “market validation,” “customer development”, and “pivots” among creative economy entrepreneurs—suggesting that a market orientation focus yields superior outcomes (such as start-up success, which in this study’s focus) compared with earlier (more internally, entrepreneur-focused) approaches to entrepreneurship.

Yet, despite the widespread acceptance of the virtues of a “market orientation”, especially in the broader circles of entrepreneurship, failure rates for new ventures in the creative economy remain very high. How can this be explained; are there unique circumstances in the creative economy stifling the application of customer-oriented market research by entrepreneurs; can it be that ‘creativity and ‘research’ do not go together well? This research aims at a multi-disciplinary, multi-method understanding of how creative-economy entrepreneurs and corporate innovators use (and omit) market research in the creative economy.

Graduate researcher profile: Gerasimos Kakaroumpas

What did you do before you started your PhD?

Before starting my PhD, I completed my Bachelor's Degree in Economics back in Greece at The University of Patras and my Master's Degree in Business Analytics: Operational Research and Risk Analysis at Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester. After that, I worked as a Research Assistant at Cushman & Wakefield Global Commercial Real Estate Firm and as a Data Analyst-Consultant at a small start-up in Manchester.

What are the challenges of your research role?

The main challenge that I have come to face during my research journey mainly revolves around the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, things cannot go on as "normal ", and therefore I have learned to adapt my research to the current situation.

What is the best part of your research role?

Having the opportunity to gain knowledge and implement creative research ideas from a supervisory Team from two world-class institutions (The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne) provides me with the appropriate tools to not only contribute to the premier marketing field but to also help me become a better researcher overall.

Where do you wish to go after your PhD? Do you want to enter industry or continue doing more research?

I am currently interested in keeping both options available to me. I believe that a combination of academia and industry work could help me gain, apart from knowledge, the experience to know the right, long-term path for me.

Supervision team

First published on 23 November 2021.

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