Market Research in Tech

I have been offering market research services for a while now and while this may come across as a pitch, I am simply trying to get headway into the anatomy of market research in the context of tech firms.

For those who work for tech firms (IT software, infrastructure and related services), have you considered doing market research at any one point internally or externally? What informs your decisions on which products to develop, who to target, usability etc?

It is interesting because while I have done very in-depth consumer research for services firms, none have been in the tech sector. The projects I have been part of have had tremendous influence on marketing strategies and overall company directions and what otherwise would be considered mundane insights on customers resulted in critical market penetration. But again, none of these have been tech companies!

Another observation is that startups funded from abroad prioritise market research to other expenses at the start (this may not be related to what we are discussing here).

So, again what are the dynamics related to market research at your firm?