In this Expert Insight Interview, Sean Campbell discusses how market research can be used to gain insights into customers. Sean Campbell is the co-founder and CEO of Cascade Insights, a competitive intelligence and market research firm for B2B technology companies.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- What market research is and how it works
- What it takes to have an unbiased process
- Why talking to your current customers is not always the best idea
Not everybody understands what market research is and how it works. Real market research is typically considered to be an unbiased view of whatever your business problem is. Interestingly enough, “unbiased” doesn’t necessarily mean you hired someone external to do it for you. You can run a process internal to the organization that generates unbiased results.
It’s all about whether you’re running an appropriate process to generate the insights and assigning the right people to collect them. If you do that, you can perform unbiased market research with internal or external resources.
A critical part of an unbiased research process is not being tempted to look for confirmation of what you already believe. There are so many places in a research effort that allow you to tilt the results. From the very beginning, the most obvious place is who you choose as a candidate.
If you have the right people in the study and ask the right questions, you’re almost guaranteed to have the right outcomes, meaning actual actionable intelligence that you can use to make business decisions.
Getting the Right People
What people frequently get wrong is that they don’t get the right people in. One of the most common mistakes is sending out surveys just to your current customers. Chances are, they already like you, they do want to buy more stuff from you, they tend to like your support, your sales team, and your product.
Sure, if you have a horrible churn rate, then absolutely talk to your current customers because many of them may not be customers in the near future. However, if we’re talking about a standard environment, one in which your company is not in freefall, talking to your own customers probably won’t lead to a massive amount of insight.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.