Market Research | The Brainzooming Group - Part 2 – page 2
0

2014-QuestionsWhat are your most significant opportunities and challenges in 2014? And where do you gather ideas and input on developing the best strategies to address them?

Only you can answer those questions to help shape our Brainzooming editorial content calendar for 2014.

We are asking you and all of our Brainzooming readers around the world to share a few perspectives via a brief online survey. While we talk, email, and tweet with readers regularly about topic ideas, this is the first time we have developed a survey to collect broad input at one time.

Share your perspectives on 2014 starting right here!

Please take a moment to share your perspectives to give us a better sense of where our editorial direction and content should be directed this year. You can access the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014Opportunities_TBG.

Please feel free to share this post or the survey link with other business associates who might benefit from the content on Brainzooming.

As an added reason to participate in the survey, everyone completing the survey can access a free copy of The SmallBusinessTalent.com® LinkedIn* Power Checklist by Stephen Lahey, a Brainzooming reader and producer of the tremendously beneficial SmallBusinessTalent.com podcast.

I’ve been both a guest and a host of the podcast, and I’d encourage you to subscribe to the SmallBusinessTalent.com podcast. Stephen has been gracious enough to provide a free copy of the LinkedIn Power Checklist for everyone completing the 2014 opportunities and challenges survey to help each of us improve our LinkedIn profiles this year.

Share your perspectives on 2014 starting right here!

Thanks for your readership and sharing your perspectives. And here’s to an outstanding and successful 2014! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

1

Question-MarksAs a market researcher, conducting new market research is typically NOT my first recommendation for answering a question.

There are multiple reasons for my reluctance to push the new market research button.

Chief among them is market research often asks respondents to speculate about what they might do relative to a product concept that may or may not exist, with a description that may or may not represent the concept accurately or in a way the respondent would actually perceive it.

Said simply, a helluva lot of market research is so speculative you can’t use it nearly as definitively as you might like.

7 Things to Pursue Before Conducting New Market Research

Instead of jumping right to market research as the first option to get a sense of what your customers want or think, seek out:

  1. Research reports and business articles from external sources related to your area of interest
  2. Internal data that contains at least some of the component pieces for the answers you’re seeking
  3. Data based on actual customer behaviors in comparable situations
  4. Experts (internal or external) with working hypotheses or models related to the topic under study
  5. Previously conducted research that demonstrates methodological lessons you need to understand
  6. Stronger reference points for the concept you want to test based on actual or virtual prototypes
  7. Logic, strategy, and experience-based scenarios to frame the potential answers you should expect through primary research

This is just a starting point.

Pursuing the right strategic thinking before conducting new market research will get you better inputs and greater efficiency for your market research investment. – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

I saved the October 2013 issue of Fast Company, its 10th annual innovation by design issue, from the recycle bin when my wife we de-cluttering for me. To justify saving the innovation by design issue from recycling oblivion, I combed through the brand profile articles in the innovation by design section to identify these fourteen strategic thinking questions as innovation starters for 2014.

Strategic-QuestionsYou can use these strategic thinking questions as inspiration for taking advantage of innovation and change, addressing change challenges, and shoring up your brand’s customer experience.

Creating Innovation and Change

  • After you’ve identified the absolutely essential elements of your brand, how can you start changing all the other elements right away?
  • What might be the place or way you start every new initiative so they are all solidly grounded in your brand?
  • How can you more aggressively prototype the huge change you need to start making right away?
  • What can you change that, if it didn’t work, could be completely restored to how it was before?
  • How about expecting everyone in your organization to create something new and improved EVERY day?

Addressing Change Challenges

  • Who in your organization is obsessed with problem solving, and what are you doing to keep them busy solving problems for clients?
  • If you’re trying to inject new thinking into an old organization, what is the senior leader in charge of innovation doing to morph corporate oldsters into new thinkers?
  • What ways can you track things people originally hated about the new big change that they now love – so you can use it to sell-in the NEXT big change?
  • How can you deliberately move the “How do we build it?” question until later in the innovation process?

Improving a Brand’s Customer Experience

  • What are the two next-most detailed questions you can explore about your brand’s customer experience?
  • How are you determining the “ooh and ahh” moments of your new ideas before and after you introduce them?
  • In what ways are you figuring out what you need to deliver to customer’s in the future beyond asking them – since they likely don’t know what they are going to need?
  • How are you improving your ability to prioritize and align disparate innovation processes in different parts of your organization so they maximize value for customers?
  • If you considered everything you have accomplished so far as “day one,” where could you be at the end of “day two”?  – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

The last few years have brought about an explosion of online do it yourself or DIY apps and tools. As disruptive innovation is overturning traditional value organizing and value delivery institutions (think publishers, broadcasters, medical diagnostics, and market researchers, among others), individuals with little or no expertise are able to actually or apparently perform as if they are experts.

When a DIY Approach Works

survey-monkey

bisgleich / photocase.com

I am a big proponent of using smart, strategic DIY apps where they serve a bigger purpose and lead an individual or organization to dramatically greater success than depending on traditional approaches.

One example of my belief in DIY was a conversation at a recent event.

I was trying to convince a business owner of his ability and natural expertise in creating his own blog content rather than hiring an outside social media provider to write blog content for him. An SEO specialist is not going to be able to deliver the authenticity and personal insight he would convey as it churns out generalized content on his area of business expertise. The business owner’s ability to create DIY content with available writing apps far outweighs the SEO expertise an outside party might deliver.

When DIY Apps Lead to Crappy Performance

Making sound decisions on using DIY apps takes solid strategic thinking, and my DIY support is not universal.

Later the day of the event where I was discussing blogging with the business owner, the event’s sponsoring organization reminded me why I only selectively support using DIY apps unassisted.

Here was the first question on the DIY post-event online survey the event’s organizer sent out that afternoon.

AMA-Survey-Mistake

Notice the big problem?

Maybe someone who isn’t in market research wouldn’t spot it, but the labels on the survey scale are screwed up. “Satisfied” and “somewhat satisfied,” along with “dissatisfied” and “somewhat dissatisfied” are both reversed in order. So when respondents completed the survey, the event organizer has no way of knowing whether someone responded to the order the labels are shown, or, out of habit, the typical order suggested by the end and mid-points on the scale.

While the event organizer was able to gain speed and flexibility through using a DIY online market research tool such as SurveyMonkey, the survey results it has are complete crap and totally unusable.

So how is DIY going for this organization absent the expertise of someone knowing how to develop and administer a market research survey? And do not forget to consider the wasted time of the event attendees (a number of whom likely ARE market researchers) who paid upwards of $100 to attend the event. What about that?

Smart DIY Uses

Embrace DIY. Use DIY. But do the strategic thinking and be careful the crappy performance DIY apps can create. Take advantage of DIY apps where they lead to smart, strategic advantage. But pay attention if your DIY tools of choice do not have the safety mechanisms to keep you from making “fatal” DIY mistakes. If your app does not monitor and manage your performance, you are still going to need experts to make sure you perform expertly. – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

1

Customer experience and innovation expert Woody Bendle  is here on the Brainzooming blog to share a great approach for recycling the customer feedback program data that’s sitting in organizations with incredible innovation potential . . . for those who are savvy enough to take advantage of it. Here’s Woody!

Recycling Customer Feedback Program Data for Innovation by Woody Bendle

Recycling Customer Feedback DataDoes your organization have a Customer Experience Management (CEM) program?  Are you currently measuring and monitoring Customer Satisfaction (CSat)? Do you have a customer support center receiving and responding to customer feedback through phone calls, emails and letters?  Do you have a Facebook fan page where customer feedback comes via posts about themselves and your company?  Do you have customers talking about you on Twitter or on blogs?

If you said yes to any of these customer feedback scenarios, you’re probably already holding the keys to your company’s next innovation opportunity!

Intrigued?

Many of you have likely made substantial investments in obtaining, monitoring and leveraging customer feedback through CEM, CRM or CSat programs.  Each customer feedback program can create tremendous value for your organization by providing timely and actionable consumer insights related to your customers’ interactions with your associates and brand.

But what you might not realize is that this exact same customer feedback data can be leveraged for innovation.

Innovation is the process of creating new (and differentiated) customer value in the marketplace, which can create a sustainable competitive advantage.  This process has three phases (Identify, Innovate, and Implement) and each phase has three steps:

The most critical step in the innovation process is identifying unmet or under-served consumer needs.  Unfortunately however, this is where so many innovation efforts go awry – that is, right at the very beginning!  And let me tell you, when you screw up the beginning, it’s pretty much all down hill from there.

Do you realize that 80%+ of all new products launched each year fail?  This is beyond absurd; it is down right irresponsible and completely unnecessary!  The reason for this massive failure rate is because organizations either don’t understand the importance of addressing unmet consumer needs or they simply don’t care to take the time to identify their customers’ unmet or underserved needs.   And this where your existing CEM, CRM and C-Sat customer feedback program comes into play.

It’s all about customer needs!

Let’s face it – the only reason your customers interact with your organization is because you satisfy one or more of their needs in some capacity.  By interacting with you, your customers are able to get through their day a little better than if they hadn’t (or at least that’s how you ought to be thinking about it).  And, when they reach out to your organization (either directly through you customer support center or your CSat program), they’re likely doing so because you have either exceeded, or have fallen short of satisfying one or more of their needs.  And while nobody likes to hear about how they’ve frustrated or disappointed customers, it is precisely in those circumstances that you need to pay closer attention because:

  1. They wouldn’t be sharing their opinions with you if they didn’t have a need that they were hoping you could or would satisfy (or satisfy better)
  2. They wouldn’t bother telling you what they thought if it were easy to get that need satisfied elsewhere, and
  3. They wouldn’t waste their time taking a survey or sending you an email if they didn’t care about the relationship they have with your organization.

It’s for all of these reasons that you should view your customer feedback system and data as a valuable innovation asset!

So while many of you are sitting on this incredible innovation asset, I’m guessing few of you have spent much time thinking about how to mine it for product, service and/or process innovation opportunities.  The good news is that you already have a ton of hugely valuable customer feedback data; and getting this data in the first place is the hardest and most expensive part!  With just a little additional effort, and perhaps some additional technology, you will find you are much closer to your next innovation opportunity than you realize.

In order to begin recycling customer feedback program data for innovation opportunities, you’ll want to employ a process where you:

8 Telltale Customer Feedback Phrases Identifying Unmet Customer Needs

To help kick-start your efforts, here are eight telltale phrases you will commonly encounter when customers are telling you how your organization is not adequately meeting their needs:

  1. Why is it that…?
  2. This is ridiculous…
  3. I don’t understand why…
  4. You would think that…
  5. How come every time I…?
  6. How am I supposed to…?
  7. I wish that…
  8. It’d be nice if…

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of phrases you’ll encounter once you begin mining and recycling customer feedback data for innovation opportunities, I’m betting you’ll be surprised by how often you actually encounter each of these phrases once you start digging in!  And hopefully, I’ve encouraged you to begin digging!

So what are you waiting for?  Let’s get innovating! – Woody Bendle

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

More Posts

Continue Reading

6

Everyone-Is-the-audienceWhat if your organization thinks “everyone” is your social media audience?

A participant in a social media content strategy workshop I conducted asked what to do if your management group believes there are no specific targets for your brand’s social media content. Her management held that whatever content she created needed to apply to “everyone.” The question sprang from discussing the importance of targeting your social media content by developing audience personas to help you produce audience-focused content.

If you’re writing to everyone with your social media content it becomes very challenging to develop a cohesive and consistent voice.  When you’re forced, in essence, to be all over the market, it’s nearly impossible to assess whether the content you are creating is meaningful to those you are REALLY trying to reach. Sure, there must be SOMEONE who cares about a specific blog post, but is it one someone or thousands of someones? If you know before you start which content is likely to resonate (or not) with key audience targets, you can be much more focused in your content.

Convincing Management You Need a Focused Social Media Content Strategy

So how do you dissuade your leadership from its unwillingness to create focused content? Here are a four ideas to address the issue.

1. Profile your audience

Forrester has a tool showing what percentage of a certain demographic is active in various ways on social media. Using this app, you can identify at least some general social media usage trends, even among “everybody.” One caution: the Forrester tool is now several years old, so the results may be directional, but have lost their earlier accuracy.

2. Survey your customers and prospects

Either incorporate questions into other market research surveys or do a specific survey with a sample of customers and prospects to understand social media usage and preferences. Perhaps you could also capture the same type of market research data on customer service calls. The important point is you can’t simply do an online survey on this question and think you have representative results!

3. Start developing audience personas

Since this is the suggested strategic step that prompted the original question, it’s a natural move. By developing personas of representative, fictional audience members, you’ll gain a big benefit in better understanding your audience. Invite your leadership team to participate in providing input for a few audience personas. As they do so, they’ll see the differences among audience members and gain an appreciation that not everyone is a vital part of your audience.

4. Listen to what’s being said about your industry and who is saying it

Use social media listening activities and tools to identify and profile the important social media talkers and stalkers around your business, category, and industry. With a better handle on the topics and volume of social conversation, you can better show particular audiences care a lot more than others about what you have to say. Pay particular attention to who your competitors are interacting with on social media. But be warned: your competitors may also be operating from a lack of knowledge about what to do in social media as well.

The Bonus to Pursuing these Social Media Content Strategy Ideas

The bonus here is even if your organization isn’t dealing with the mandate to write to everyone, implementing these ideas will improve the focus and relevance of your social media content for your most important audiences. – Mike Brown

 

Enjoy this article? Subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download 6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!

Learn all about what Mike Brown’s creativity, strategic thinking and innovation presentations can add to your business meeting!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

1

Focus-Group-Reasons For as often as you hear business people mention “focus groups,” it’s clear this qualitative research technique is sometimes used where it should be and used a LOT where it shouldn’t be.

I guess nobody ever said market research was clear cut!

We don’t cover market research much since it’s a more specialized area many of you don’t have in your responsibilities. Even if you’re not managing focus groups or other qualitative research approaches, however, you may be asked to provide input into their use or design.

The importance of having a framework to understand when and how focus groups fit into your decision making process this was underscored while sitting through focus groups arranged by a consultant for one of our clients.These groups were designed and managed in very different and odd ways that weren’t appropriate for the client’s decision making process.

5 Ways to Not Screw Up Focus Group Input

If a focus group is suggested as part of your decision making process, here are five questions to make sure they will contribute valuable input:

1. Are you trying to expand your divergent thinking about whatever you’re testing?

Focus groups (or really any qualitative research) aren’t for decision making by themselves. That’s where projectable, quantitative research fits in your market research agenda. Go into focus groups expecting to have your perspectives expanded since they work better for divergent thinking more than convergent thinking. A focus group shouldn’t be used as a standalone market research technique for gaining the input to make a definitive decision.

2. Are you willing to incorporate varied types of market research input into your decision making?

Traditional focus groups tend to be very verbal experiences for participants. Non-talking participants’ perspectives will be missed unless you have a GREAT facilitator to force these people into the conversation. This is why you see more non-verbal elements in qualitative research now, including written exercises, collage creation, homework projects, show and tell with items from daily life, designing experiences, etc. If you’re uneasy about inputs extending beyond what focus group participants say about your market research topic, think carefully about conducting focus groups to expand your insights.

3. Are you talking to enough different types of people to provide a flavor of the market segments of greatest interest?

If you’re deciding on focus groups, conduct multiple ones to provide the diverse perspectives needed for rich divergent thinking. What you hear in talking to ten people in a focus group facility isn’t representative of a market. It simply tells you what those ten people think. If you’re after expanded perspectives, make sure you conduct enough focus groups. Enhancing your divergent thinking depends on doing more than one focus group per market segment. It takes multiple focus groups to experience a diverse range of perspectives and gain a sense of whether themes are emerging.

4. Are you ready to witness a lot of sameness in the pursuit of stronger divergent thinking?

One focus group is interesting. Six or eight focus groups can be deadly.  While pursuing diverse insights, however, you can expect a lot of sameness: the same facilitator with the same number of participants, similar parts of the day for the focus groups, similar discussion structures, etc. Some facilitators even wear the same clothes for every session because different outfits create different focus group participant reactions. This is all intended to not introduce any non-related cues that might influence responses. When you’re in the backroom observing the focus groups, your boredom with the process shouldn’t lead to demands for dramatic format changes to keep you interested across the entire market research effort. When you want diverse perspectives, format sameness is part of the deal.

5. Are YOU expecting to make the decisions when the focus groups are completed?

While focus group participants may be decision makers in your marketplace, they aren’t decision makers in your organization for whatever you are researching. It’s YOUR decision to select a strategic course of action. Focus groups are just one element – one input – into your decision making. You may need to decide to do exactly the opposite of what focus group participants suggested. That’s okay, because decision making is your job. You have the full view of the strategic situation. Don’t expect to hand your decision making responsibilities over to focus group participants and think you can absolve yourself of having to make a solid strategic decision.

Is a focus group the right market research technique for your decision making?

If it’s not obvious by now, you should have answered “Yes” to each question if focus groups are being recommended to support your decision making process. Any inability to answer these questions affirmatively suggests you need more discussion or different expectations for focus groups to make sense for you . . . no matter how much you love the M&Ms you get in the back room at the focus group facility! – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading