Archive for the ‘#getrealinsight’ Category

Love the problem

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

priscilla-du-preez-101759
Priscilla Du Preez

As researchers, we know it’s not customers’ jobs to know what they want – it’s our job to understand their problem.

Product development (the kind that solves actual problems, rather than solutions looking for a problem) depends on customer research to define and prioritise real problems.

 

“Finding the right problem to solve is the most important predictor of success.”

 

Loving the problem means obsessing over customer needs and wants, not features…

 

BUT WAIT!

 

…this doesn’t mean you can just ask customers what their problems are either!

 

REALLY? GIVE ME A BREAK!

 

The reason for this is that you will only uncover surface problems or solutions dressed up as problems (customers suffer from the same solution bias as makers do).

Identifying deep problems and root causes takes greater observation and analysis. It’s where something like the jobs to be done (JTBD) approach can help because it focuses on desired outcomes.

And this of course means focusing your research up-stream:

research-phases

This is a hot topic at the moment and this is just a brief discussion of it. Below you can find more thinking on the subject, including the free online course that inspired much of this post.

Monthly #getrealinsight round-up

The good stuff we’ve read on Loving the problem this month:

Themes – A Small Change to Product Roadmaps with Large Effects

Love the problem (Free training course) – Learn the Secret to Building Products Your Customers Cannot Refuse

The problem roadmap – Why a problem roadmap is better than a feature one (spoiler: solves customer problems, avoids feature bloat)

Thanks for reading,
– Ben

The biggest barrier to customer insight

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

biggest-barriers-results

“People want great insight but don’t want to pay for it”

 

Apart from lack of time (a common complaint in life!), this was the most popular response. In fact the top 6 responses all relate to how research is VALUED (which as we will see later is directly related to how the value of research is communicated).

The actual collection of insights doesn’t appear to be a challenge. Methodologies and tools appear adequate.

biggest-barriers-results-top6

Examining the top 6 responses, we see how they all relate to the perception of value within the wider organisation – and therefore, I would argue, how successfully we as researchers communicate that value:

1 & 3 – “Not enough time”, “Lack of budget” – there would be enough made available if it was valued enough
2 – “People want great insight but don’t want to pay for it” is another way of saying they don’t value it high enough
4 – “Hard to communicate the value” – speaks for itself
5 – “Not enough internal support” – how does it help me? What’s the value for ME and MY department?
6 – Lack of resource – again resource would follow perceived value

 

We are struggling to communicate the value of customer research. I blame Steve Jobs

One of our responders (thanks J-CZ :)) commented that one major barrier was:

“Managers quoting Steve Jobs about the ‘asking’ customers what they want. And using this quote to forgo in-depth customer understanding and insight generation.”

Characterising market research as ‘asking customers what they want’ is of course ignorant at best and disingenuous at worst.

So, no of course I don’t blame Steve Jobs, the blame is with people mis-representing what Steve Jobs said in order to avoid doing the hard and valuable work of research.

As Brian Solis puts it:

“Steve Jobs was quoted in Fortune Magazine in March 2008, “We do no market research.” The quote was more in reference to how Apple crafts its business strategy not necessarily its product roadmap. It is however, widely known that Apple pays close attention to customer experiences and feedback.”

So 1) that quote is taken out of context and 2) you are not Steve Jobs

 

Customer genius is not formed in isolation

There is a romanticism of the lone genius whose masterworks come out fully formed. But it’s as Malcolm Gladwell notes in Blink – good intuition takes approximately 10,000 hours to develop. And it’s not done in isolation. Customer intuition is built up from experience and exposure to real customers and their needs.

In our defence of Lazy Manager™, perhaps organisations aren’t helping them:

“Organizations stifle insights because of forces locked deep inside their DNA: they value predictability, they recoil from surprises, and they crave perfection, the absence of errors.”

From Seeing What Others Don’t: The remarkable ways we gain insights by Gary Klein.

 

Organisations can be a problem, but there’s no such excuse for entrepreneurs

Free from traditional organisational constraints, there are still many (most?) entrepreneurs who would rather do anything else than customer research, preferring instead to leap right in and ‘build’. This is partially explained by confirmation bias – any research might tell them that their precious vision is wrong. Often this ignorance is perversely preferable to spending years of time and money developing something people don’t need.

See http://nativeye.com/blog/what-research-is-and-what-it-isnt/ for more on this topic.

 

Ego and self-delusion lie at the heart of the problem

A “We don’t need research” attitude is pure ego – it’s the belief in the sovereignty of the imagination. But effective imaginations need to be open. As Tony Robbins says:

“Stay humble or get humbled.”

Also, a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous, but so can the illusion of knowledge:

Daniel Boorstin: “The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”

 

We’ve blamed everyone else – what about us research professionals?

A separate straw poll featured on GreenBook indicated the pressure felt from being expected to come up with something new when there wasn’t anything new to be found in the data!

I do think there is a challenge for researchers whose jobs is to find genuine insight who are then faced with the task of selling their work in any way they feel might detract from its purity or ‘truth’. This is as true of commercial researchers as academic researchers whose work might not be politically en vogue and struggle for funding.

 

What to do about it? EFFECTIVE VALUE COMMUNICATION!

 

THE BIG PROBLEM: People see research is a should and not a must.

As research practitioners we have a blind spot – we instinctively know or ‘feel’ the value of doing research. But that doesn’t mean others do.

So what can we do about it?

 
1. Put it in terms ANYONE can understand

Yes that means plain English, but I think we have to aim more at basic emotion by building empathy.

Again from Brian Solis:

“Other by products of good research include the ability to feel customer empathy and translate it into inspiration, a powerful emotion that strives for relevance. Just watch any episode of Undercover Boss and you’ll see the same realization about empathy during the ending of every show.”

Making your research results as visible as possible e.g. by including photos and videos really helps to build empathy.

 
2. Link to financial gain

For example, how researching a better customer experience contributes to the top line of the business by making it a customer experience leader

cx-leaders-vs-laggards

Financial gain can also be characterised as a cost-saving – remember the entrepreneur that would rather just rush off and build rather than work out what to build first? See “Doing discovery work means doing LESS delivery work.”

 
3. Link to financial loss

(or prompt the question: What will it cost me if I don’t do this research?)

If being a customer experience leader means you out-perform the market, being a customer experience laggard means you trail the market average – according to research by Forrester by 33%.

 
4. Sell it!

It’s got to sound interesting, game-changing, and simple. It might not be simple, but it must have a clear and understandable benefit linked to a specific business area. Go on, you can do it!

 

Let’s keep this conversation going. – share your tactics for selling research in the comments section.

Top 5 tips for a great participant experience

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“Most participants don’t like taking part in research.”

That is one of the conclusions of the recent GRIT CPR (Consumer Participation in Research) study which revealed that only a quarter of all respondents globally are satisfied with their experience participating in research.

Other main findings were:

• Over half of all respondents admitted that the design of a survey impacts their willingness to complete it.

• Over 50% of respondents said surveys should be less than 10 minutes in length.

• 1/3 of all respondents cite a desire to earn rewards or prizes as their primary reason for participating.

• Cash may be King, but Virtual Cards are Queen

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cpr-4

5 things that all researchers should do when designing an engaging participant experience.

As a result of their findings, the GRIT team recommend the following 5 things when designing research studies:

1.) Go “mobile first” in designing studies.

2.) Stay under 10 minutes.

3.) Think like game designers, marketers, or UI experts when designing research.

4.) Respondents want a fair value exchange: reward them the way they want to be rewarded and give them choices.

5.) Use research as a brand engagement and relationship building opportunity.

Full article here.

Get Real Insight

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

We all know that your own experiences or your mum’s opinion isn’t real insight. That stock photo personas are a bit creepy and that nobody knows any actual ‘consumers’.

We also know that some insight is worth its weight in gold, but time and money is limited.

So how can we organise ourselves to generate the kind of insight that makes a real difference to customers and to businesses?

We believe it’s about getting real in two ways:

Get real #1 – “ONLY genuine insight”get real in the sense of only collecting true/ useful insight that has genuine impact (which if we are honest with ourselves usually means ‘doing it properly’)

Get real #2 – “Realistic & repeatable approach”get real in the sense of having a practical approach to gathering insight (given that time and money are finite)

Are these things in opposition? We don’t think so. We’re making it our mission here at nativeye to seek out ways of uncovering genuine insight (mainly qualitative) WHICH ARE ALSO realistic in terms of approach. Ultimately this will help insight practitioners invest their time and money more wisely. It will also help us here at nativeye develop better products.

So look out for further posts, links to useful articles and resources and tweets with the #getrealinsight hashtag. We’ll also be launching a survey to uncover the #1 challenge researchers face today.

We’re looking to provoke a conversation – an honest assessment of the insight and market research industry. Whether you work in marketing, customer experience, health, government or any line of work where better understanding of humans makes things better for humans and for your business.

Ben