Identifying Your Idea
Episode #1 of the course How to conduct a market research survey by Nick Freiling
When are you ready to run a market research survey? What do you need before gathering consumer data? That’s what we’ll discuss today. This is step number one toward turning your IDEA into a viable business concept.
Hello! My name is Nick. I’m a market research professional. Before I started PeopleFish a few years ago, I worked at one of the biggest market research firms in the world. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs use surveys to test their business ideas—do it every day!
In this course, I’ll explain the most important things I’ve learned over the years about how to run a successful market research survey, one that empowers you to launch a successful and profitable business.
Imagine asking 300 random strangers what they think of your product idea. Not your friends, not your colleagues, not your mom. This is a truly random set of 300 people, all of whom are willing to listen to your product idea and tell you exactly what they think. That’s gold—otherwise known as a “survey.”
Yes, a boring, roll-your-eyes, get-too-many-of-these online survey.
But the fact is, there’s a reason surveys are everywhere. THEY WORK! The world’s best companies run survey after survey to uncover their customers’ feelings and launch better, more profitable products and services. So, while seeing survey emails in your inbox can get annoying, I can’t adequately express the immense value of a well-done survey.
I also know too many entrepreneurs who merely guess. They make important decisions with no data about their market. This doesn’t work.
The first giant step toward turning your product or service idea into a viable business concept and ultimately finding investors is basic market research. In the lessons that follow, I’ll explain how to design a basic, first-step market research survey to validate your product idea — the same kind my team designs for our clients each and every day.
Polish up Your Pitch
But first, your product or service idea. What is it? Is it fully formed or just a hunch? Have you drawn up a sketch? Ordered a prototype?
Regardless, what’s key here is to be specific. In fact, specificity is typically what separates a real business concept from a pie-in-the-sky idea. How heavy is your product? On what platform will your app be coded? How much will each unit cost you to build? What’s the turnaround, from order to delivery?
Once you’ve answered these questions, write your idea down on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror. Let it fester a few days, then rewrite it—this time, even better. Keep doing this until you’re confident it’s close to perfect. The goal here is to have an “elevator pitch,” a succinct way to describe your product to another person—something that explains not just features but also value. Not just color and size but also uses and benefits.
Here’s an example for an online service (this is my company): For entrepreneurs, consumer feedback at scale can be hard to find. PeopleFish solves this problem. We leverage technology and years of expertise to get our clients’ market research surveys in front of their target market consumers, empowering startups everywhere with real-world, investor-WOWing consumer feedback.
One more example, this time for a physical product: An iPod is a handheld, electronic device that stores your music collection. Take it anywhere, and plug in your headphones to listen anytime to any song you own!
Once you’ve polished up your pitch, you’re ready to launch your survey. A survey turns a product or service IDEA into a business CONCEPT. It’s what gets you in front of investors. It opens the doors to partners and funding that will bring the concept to market.
But don’t worry about designing your survey just yet—we’ll do that in the next lesson. For now, just be sure you have a specific idea that you can explain concisely. This is step number one toward running a successful market research survey. If you’re not sure what you’re trying to sell, your survey audience definitely won’t be. This leads to useless data.
Tomorrow, we’ll outline the basic structure of your market research survey—key elements you need in order to gather useful, actionable data from your target market.
Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn
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