Steve Jobs didn’t believe in market research. I think he said something like “It’s the consumer’s job to know what they want” and the unsaid is that it’s the researchers’ job to ferret out what that is. You could also assume that he was alluding to the fact that the numbers or the data is NOT the holy grail of decision making. There are a few important things that market research, no matter how good could never really uncover.
According to the SBA, 95% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. One of the main reasons these businesses fail is the lack of a clearly defined target audience. If asked, many small business owners will say that their target audience is stay at home moms, college students, or middle-aged men. That’s too general of an audience for the end result to be profitable. Some will even say that they don’t have a specific target audience their products or services are for everyone. That’s a mistake that is all too familiar to thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs. When you…
Let me begin by saying that this is NOT a rant. As someone who works with corporate clients and who implements and runs customer surveys I can completely appreciate the effort — but what’s the point if it’s not generating the desired results. Or is it?
“Why do I always get screened out of surveys?” Given how difficult it is to actually get targeted respondents, I thought this was a provocative question. Apparently there are folks who actually get their feelings hurt for being screened out and will bail on your survey. Hmmmm
I’ve spent the last 25 years preaching that people make decisions, not committees and not some industrial complex. But get this — there’s been some research that’s come out that shows that B2B decision makers aren’t exactly like the “rest of us”.
It was going to be “one of those meetings” and I knew it. The executive team gathered around the conference table and we were about to discuss a new product that was in R&D and getting ready to launch. But there were still a few questions that needed answered and the reason it was going to be “one of those meetings” is because we were about to get into an argument about what our customers really wanted. We should have just asked.