Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What People THINK They Want

I find it funny - that most people perceive an office with tons of people bustling around to be a sign of stability, efficiency and hard work. 

Contrary to this belief, most of the time these offices are overstaffed, people are looking busy on Facebook and expensing their friend's dinner gathering on the company's tab :)

What's the problem with having a small staff base if things are functioning fine?  Do I really need a CTO, CFO, CMO, CXO, etc. to make it look like we are a credible company?  Sure, I can add an admin person and more salespeople to generate more sales...but then you want me to maintain a store front and incur additional fixed expenses when that isn't your real objection to not signing up - you actually want better prices, faster turnarounds, freebies, insurance, blah blah blah.  Yes. What you are telling us with words really don't match your actions.  If I gave you what you really wanted (if you were kind enough to let us know) then you would buy the service/product; but why throw false objections our way when it doesn't solve the problem? 

Which brings us to how good is traditional market research?  Where we ask people what they want?  Are they really telling us the truth or telling us some BS reason that they know isn't the real reason why they're not putting money where their mouth is. 

I did some work in traditional market research before and now after having run my own business for a 2 years I think these methods need to be modified to reveal the real truth.  Just take for example when we did our initial primary survey, all these students and travelers told us they would buy the service; when we launched we got small businesses and self employed individuals swarming us.  I would say almost zero correlation between the results we got through primary research and actual purchase behavior.


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