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The Killer Question! – Market Research

I seldom see people tackling primary market research, which is, probably the most important piece of work they will ever do when setting out on a business project or idea.  As far as they are concerned, it is important that that they find out whether people think an idea is a good one AND this (in my opinion) is the crux of the problem.  Instead of finding out how commercial the plan is, businesses only really want to hear how great it is.  So the questions they pose (if they do any market research at all) tend educe the placatory answers they psychologically desire.  Ouch!

Yet the whole point of market research is to identify the commercial reasons for committing to a project.  Now that is not to say that some wacky ideas don’t work.  Yo Sushi kind of rings a bell!  Raw fish on a conveyabelt????? As Simon Woodroffe says “you can’t market research what a market doesn’t already know about!”

The thing, for most people with a new business offering, is that they don’t have the balls, or the finance to commit to a raw fish business.  Yet they often embark on and commit to a ‘Me Too’ enterprise that earns them less that they would do as an employee of Yo Sushi without knowing to what their potential clients will commit.  Is that odd? Yes; I’d say so …


A market research questionnaire often ends with ‘would you buy it?’ It is the final question that is quite easy for most people to respond ‘yes’ to.  The killer question, however, is WILL you buy it?  …. Followed by … may I have your order?  If there is any hesitation or excuse, then there will be more objections to be dug out to elicit the compelling answer.

So just ask!


1 Comment »

  1. I know exactly what you mean Laura, earlier this year I was forced (literally in handcuffs) to do the market research I didn’t want to do about the proposals for a new membership scheme for the hysterectomy association. My fear was that the results wouldn’t be good enough for the investors. Now, I was still disappointed by them, but my marketing and other colleagues tell me that my 100% success rate was probably a little over optimistic and that I will have to settle for the 50+% that I did get. What was interesting was my resistance to doing it and I’ve been doing this sort of stuff for years.


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