If the creator's honest AND informed, the answers should help him/her determine the project's commercial prospects.
"Should the beginners, just putting pen to paper for the first time, tackle the questions before doing the research-- test their instincts, get some personal results, and THEN tackle the questions again on a more deductive level...?"
Maybe, maybe not.
The process of making marketing determinations comes at different stages for creators, depending largely on how well they can turn on and off the "creative focus" on projects.
I come up with lots of stuff, make some determination about how it might do, then figure out where to put it in relation to the other stuff I have in development.
Some people just need to work on what they're working on.
Maybe they need to plot out the story, write the script, or draw the comic (or see it drawn) before figuring out where and how they can sell it.
For this last creator, unless their intuitive commercial instincts are fashioned from solid gold, or they're simply brilliant (not just good) at what they do, they're going to have a very tough time of it.
Some people just need to do what they need to do.
If that's not working, some people continue to do what they need to do, and others adapt.
There's no clear path, just clear ranges of options.
At the end of the day, we've succeeded if nobody can (reasonably) complain, "I coulda been a contender."
Because if they really want to, some paths are easier than others.
As always, it all comes down to your goals, because if you're goal is to do it "your way," then you and Frank Sinatra will be in sync.