PLH Avoid These Top 7 Market Research Mistakes | Product Research

Our resident consumer market research expert Laura Hazzard warns product launchers about the top 7 consumer market research mistakes that can cause a lot of damage and possibly torpedo your overall business and marketing strategy. She packed in a lot of meaty information in a span of seven minutes, solidifying her excellent points on quantitative and qualitative market research fails and how to avoid them. Laura says that good market and product research sets the path forward to great product development, usability, distribution, advertising and marketing, building your brand, and ultimately selling more products for bigger profit. You can get a deeper dive into her market research expertise and use it to grow your business through our membership podcast, where she will happily answer all your market research concerns.

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Welcome back to another Office hours. This one is with Laura Hazzard, our Consumer Market Research Expert on all things quantitative and qualitative market research.

This is Laura Hazzard, your resident Market Research Expert.  I want to talk about the biggest mistakes I’ve seen in research, especially with people just like yourself who are launching their product. Even their first product or their tenth product, I want to talk through it. We are diving in it quickly and hard. This is going to be seven major mistakes I see a lot of people making. Number one, skipping research. We’re going to talk about it because you’re busy, you don’t have a lot of money. You’re, “I just got to get this to market. I’m so excited. I want to build on the momentum.” Stop, take a beat. Let’s do some research. You can find out so much and save yourself so much money by doing some research. Just start somewhere. You’ve got to know what your consumers are going to think, say, and feel about your product. Don’t skip that step.

Number two, doing it themselves. Don’t do this. You can hire me if you want but reach out to someone you know, an acquaintance, someone in your LinkedIn who works in marketing or advertising. Get their eyes on it because what happens is you have the bias because you’re emotional. You’re going to bias the results, you’re going to bias the questions because you want it to succeed. Trust me, we all do. There are ways to approach this and finding the way for it to succeed, but don’t do it yourself because you’re going to have some missteps from your emotion, your hopes, your dreams, and your desires. You want good real honest data.

PLH Avoid These Top 7 Market Research Mistakes | Product Research

Product Research: You do not want to ask the wrong questions because then your research was a waste.

Number three, the other major problem I see in market research is asking the wrong questions. What do I mean by that? You can ask, “What do you like? What do you dislike?”  Great questions. What are we missing? You’re not talking about the why and the emotion. Give me the full picture. What are we feeling? What are we thinking? What a lot of people who are doing specifically product research is you’re forgetting that it’s context. Do you know your consumers? What do they value in life? What do they care about? Is family most important? Is adventure most important? All of that goes into this product that’s going to be fitting into their life and hopefully buying a lot or opt in or spending a lot of money on it. Asking the wrong questions can be a huge no-no. It goes back to that professional or someone with a different lens, the non-bias. You do not want to ask the wrong questions because then your research was a waste.

The next piece that I see people screwing up is not doing all the different types of research. What I’m talking about is competitive analysis. What’s happening? What’s missing? Prices, colors, the retailers, all of that. You also need your own quant data, your online surveys. You need a number, especially if you’re going to investors. They want to know what percentage of people plans to buy your product. This is also a line in the sand, something definitive we can grip our teeth on. Later when we’re tracking, how far did we come? How many people are planning to buy your product?

The third piece is qual. Qual adds the color to your quant. 70% of moms will buy your product. Why? How do they talk about it?  What’s impactful about your product? How does it make them feel? You can only get that from qual.

Number five, not talking to enough people. For quant, I want to see 500 at least and I want it to be representative, all ages, genders, regions. Anything that’s relevant that may buy your product, we need to talk to them. We need to talk to a lot of them otherwise, it’d be qual. Let’s talk about qual. I recommend talking to at least 25 to 30 people and that can be in group setting, chat setting, or phone setting. You need different opinions and different values. You need well-rounded enough people to get all the opinions and for you to be confident and sure of what you do next.

[Tweet “You have to keep doing research because the market changes.”]

Another major problem I’m seeing, tracking. People aren’t tracking their data. Remember when we started off, we’re putting a line in the sand, here’s where we stand, you need to follow-up. You have to keep doing research because the market changes. Celebrities change or influencers change. Colors change. We have new colors every season. Weathers change. Politics change. That will change how people interact with your product, how they feel about it, what they’re buying. The economy’s changing. You need to track. Continue doing research. Don’t stop now. Once you’ve put the money in to start, great. Get your products out there and get it distributed on the right shelf, your right brand message, and then check back. I recommend checking back quarterly. If you can’t afford it, I get it, once a year at least. The key is you’ve got to track.

Number seven, being scared to follow up. Sometimes I see people doing a bunch of research, “The products out, we are selling,” and then not following up. Don’t be scared. Many times people are like, “I’m nervous. What are they going to say?” They’re like under the rug, they’d rather just wait to see if people re-buy again. No. Get ahead of the game. Send the follow-up email even like, “How do you enjoy your purchase? What did you think? Did you love it? If so, leave us a review on Amazon. Didn’t love it as much? Here, please take this survey and tell me why and by the way, I’ll give you $10 back.” People will do it and they’ll be honest. You need to know so don’t be scared.

I’m going to have tons of follow-up videos about digging into a lot of these issues. Check out the blog. You can read through everything. Send me an email. I’d love to answer some of your questions and dig in with you. The takeaway is you need to do research, it needs to be well-rounded and it needs to be non-biased. Asking the right questions to the right people and to enough people, this will really help set a path forward for not just product development and usability but also distribution, advertising, marketing, building a brand and ultimately selling more products and making more money. I’m here with you. We’re alongside to each other. I’m excited to dive in and talk to you more about your individual problems and the things you’re running into and to research. Let’s do it. Talk to you soon.

Tune in to Laura’s next Office Hours. Connect with and find out more about Laura in our Experts Directory.

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Laura Hazzard
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