Ask Your Target Market
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Remember - you have spent long hours thinking about your creation but your survey respondents are just discovering it. Try to figure out their behaviors, or their usage of similar products/services. For instance, don’t ask “would you be interested in buying my product?”, but rather “do you currently use a similar product, how often, in which circumstances, and would you appreciate such-and-such improvements on it?”. Ease your way up to the big question.
Try to learn something about the respondents that will help you separate those who might be interested from those who aren't. Are they male/female? Do they already purchase something similar or would this be their first purchase in this category? Many research respondents hesitate to say they will definitely buy something that they have only just learned about – it's a little too fast. They are more comfortable honestly telling you whether they would or would not be interested in learning more about it. Understanding if you got their attention and WHY is often more useful than going for the killer question of “Will you buy it?”.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Keep questions brief and easy to digest.
AskYourTargetMarket.com was designed with the power of simplicity and quick turnaround in mind, so it’s easy to write for you, and easy to answer for our consumer panel members.
People tend to lose their focus when reading long copy… so the shorter it is, the more chances you have to communicate your question and get meaningful answers.
Don’t use your industry-specific jargon that your target market may not be familiar with. Keep language neutral to make sure you are getting responses to your questions, not responses to the tone of the copy.
Keep in mind that research is meant to be continuous and iterative – an ongoing dialogue of sorts.
Give consumers small, easy to understand “bite size” pieces of copy to be sure they are reacting to your ideas – not to their lack of interest in long winded survey questions.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Most people at some point in their lives have dreamed of becoming entrepreneurs.
Many friends of mine have their own "million-dollar-idea", but they never can be sure that the concept is viable until they execute it. To try the idea they have to raise funds, use all their savings, quit their jobs, etc., which can lead to success but, more often leads to a complete failure.
Big companies use expensive market research firms to reduce their risks and make better business decisions. While several thousand dollars is nothing for big companies, it's usually out of the question for most people dreaming of their own startups.
Asking friends and family their opinions is the most common first (and often only) step that bootstrap entrepreneurs take. Unfortunately, it's not a very good platform to use to make major business decisions. Here's why: first off, friends and family members may not represent the target audience the idea is designed for. Second - 'friends and family' is a very limited network that can't represent a neutral nationwide opinion. Finally - these people may not be honest in their feedback in an effort to be encouraging, or at least not offensive.
So, many potentially great ideas never get off the ground just because traditional market research services are financially out of reach and home-made alternatives are just not reliable.
David and I had a similar problem with the Facebook app we were building 2 years ago. We spent quite some time developing awesome functionality and driving users to the app, put a great deal of money and effort into tons of cool innovative features, and yet it didn't take off as we had expected.
Our endless "to do or not to do" discussions were mostly intuition and logic driven, but often ended up being very far from actual users' demand. We were quite frustrated and wished there was a simple and affordable way to ask potential users what they would appreciate the most in the app before we ever started development and spent any time on it. We looked around and were amazed that there was no tool out there affordable enough that we could use.
At that point we realized that this situation can and should be changed. That's how AskYourTargetMarket.com was born!