Market research - don't trust your success to a guesstimate!

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MARKET RESEARCH

MARKET RESEARCHDont trust your success to a GUESSTIMATE!1

Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Market Testing Your Product IdeaWe tend to think our customers have the same tastes, income, lifestyle that we doWhy is this so? Well, as creatives, we tend to make items that we like, therefore, logically, people like us should be our market, right?In fact, the reality is very often not like this at allThe importance of making sure you understand your market cannot be overstated!Just think for a minute how much time, effort and money you could waste if you make your products and they dont sell if that happened would you know why?

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

The feasibility and ease of conducting market testing today leaves NO excuse for not including this as part and parcel of your business!Granted, you wont be able to carry out an exhaustive survey, but you CAN gather sufficient information to help you make sound decisionsGoogle Forms; Survey Monkey provide free options to conduct a survey Google forms collates your responses into a spreadsheet and you can easily include product pictures and a wide variety of questionsA photo, or album of photos on any social media platform can be a market test Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or your own Blog just ask people to answer a few well-crafted questions that relate to the product pictures. And if you need to give them an incentive, offer a random draw prize, or early-bird discounts to all who participate

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Meet your TRIBE - go Old School and get out in the public. Ask a supermarket or high-traffic area in a mall if you can put up a table / display and conduct a survey for your productNothing beats being able to see people face to face - While online surveys are great, you cant match the power of meeting the people who might buy your product they will connect with you and you can SEE their reactions as well as record their answers an invaluable combination!Nothing beats letting people see, touch, taste your product: A real product that can be touched, turned over, tasted/smelled, tried out, will always be more effective than just a picture people are able to give you much more accurate answers and insights when they can do this.Note: If you do an in-person survey, it is useful to have a team of people who are familiar with your product and know all the answers to questions, so you can gather enough data at one go.4

Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Working out your Poll SizeThe number of persons you need to poll can be scientifically calculated (see here: https://www.checkmarket.com/sample-size-calculator/ ) however, you can still use whatever results you get just poll as many as you can.Let us still look at working out a sample size though, so we have a good idea what would be ideal:You first need to know approximately how many people are in the geographical area you will first sell your product: Lets say its the whole of Saint Lucia thats 180,000 people. But its unlikely that the ENTIRE population is your true target market especially for start up, so think about who you believe are most likely to buy your products

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Is it women? Men? What age range? Income level? Geographical area?For Saint Lucia, go to http://204.188.173.139:9090/stats/index.php/statistics/population Click the online database link go to Basic Tabulations persons and choose the options illustrated below (or whatever options suit your need) In our case we are choosing Sex and Age and not selecting a geographical area smaller than the island

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

say your target market is males between the ages of 25 40 years: according to the statistics that is a total population of about 20,000 persons

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According to the Check Market website, we need to invite 1885 people to take our survey. This will yield us (at 20% response rate @ 5% margin of error) the required sample size of 377 completed surveys

Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

This number allows a 5% Margin of Error and a 95% confidence level which means our estimates will not be super accurate, but since this activity aims to give you a good idea what your market wants, we dont have to insist on a super-accurate survey.In reality, you may find it VERY difficult to get almost 400 completed surveys unless you put in a really good lure like a prize or something and make sure the survey is short and easy to doUnless you are investing in something that requires large amounts of money and time, you can safely say, If you get 100 - 150 surveys completed, it will still give you good insights into what people want and what they are likely to do. 8

Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Asking the Right QuestionsSo, what are you trying to find out? You want to know if your product is really going to sellYou want to know how much your target market will pay for itYou want to know how many they will buy and how oftenYou want to know if the people you think will buy it are really the ones who willYou want to know where they prefer to buy it fromYou want to know if there are things you could adapt that would make them pay more or buy moreYou want to know if they have any useful feedback for you

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

So, what should you ask? There are a few logical, time-tested steps to doing a good market survey You will not be able to ask ALL the questions possible; this would take too much time. So decide what is most important we will go through some of the most fundamental ones here: Do try to survey as many people as you can and first, find out a bit about WHO THEY ARE before you ask about your product this will help you clearly identify who will and who wont buy your productWhat questions can you ask to achieve this ? Focus on what is called Demographics10

Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Try these questions first, they tell you who you are talking to - the demographicsAre you Male / Female? (Only when not a person to person survey! Dont ask if you can see them and answer this for yourself!)What is your Age?Are you employed?If yes, how much do you earn? Now you can start to ask questions that will help you define your TARGET MARKET? Perhaps ask Do you, or anyone you purchase for, wear formal men's shirts?

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

If they answer Yes you can safely say they might be open to buying cufflinks right? But you would not be very sure yet.If they answered No, does it mean they will not buy cufflinks? That is hard to say, but it would seem like they would be less likely than people who buy formal shirts right? So at this point, you could decide only people who buy formal shirts are your main TARGET MARKET So, now you would want to ask another question that helps you find out more about who they are and then if they would use your product you could askWhere do you shop for formal shirts? this will let you know possible places to try to sell your item

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

Now you want to be ask more specific questions that relate to your product you could ask: Do you, or the person you buy for, ever use cufflinks?If they answer Yes you will take them through a longer survey as outlined in slides below - that will help you define how much your market is worth and other useful information.But If they answer No, you may think you should let them go, BUT it is useful to find out more about the people before you let them go maybe they dont buy cufflinks for a reason that your product may be able to solve?So, find out WHY they never use cufflinks and then find out if your product may change their minds

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

To find out what you need to know, you could ask: Which of the following is the main reason for you not buying or using cufflinks?Dont leave answers open, always give the respondents specific options this helps you to accurately quantify responses. Try the following type of answer options:Cufflinks are old fashioned If your cufflinks are amodern style may be appealing to them; Cufflinks are too difficult to use - If your cufflinks are easier to use, they may buyCufflinks are expensive - If your cufflinks are lower price this may appealAffordable cufflinks dont last long - if you have both lower price and good quality, they may buyOther reason please explain - This is your only open answer it allows you to get information you may not have thought of. If enough people have the same other reason, then it could be an issue you should pay attention to if not for a primary market, then for when you are ready for a secondary market

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Author:Finola Jennings Clark for the Cultural Development Foundation, Saint Luciacdfstlucia.org

To someone who