Buyers in a market are people who have a need and have money to spend on satisfying that need. They are not a “market”. In other words, trying to research if there are 5 million people who all spend $100 on something is misguided attempt to determine if there is a market. Tying to get 5 people to buy is knowing if there is a market for your product.
There are several ways to approach finding a market: 1. Get lucky 2. Call everyone who you think could possibly have the need your product serves or 3. Make enough noise to attract people who have to need – to you. By the way, getting lucky is nice, but not a business strategy.
The goal is, to as accurately as possible, identify customers who are likely to need your product. The best way to get to that level of accuracy is to have customers self-identify and come to you. That’s where marketing is important.
However, another way is to go down the brute-force approach – which is to manually contact every possible buyer in an area you’ve identified as one that has a need. Not very fun, or glamorous, and very time consuming – but there are other values here.
While marketing and self-selecting customers are the most desirable, I’d argue that for a company with a new kind of product or service that brute-force is actually rather important. With brute force, every customer you contact will tell you something important about your “market”.
The ones that say “no” will give you valuable feedback on why not (even if you have to interpret), the ones that say “maybe” will be very valuable in determining the triggers that get them to buy (when and if they do buy) and the ones that say “yes”; well – we just like those, but they become the most important for understanding how your product meets a need.