POSTED BY: | January 14, 2016

As a market researcher, my service offer is often rebuked by a statement that says, “You don’t know my business!” While I often agree, that fact is not important. The question that should be asked is “Do you know what the marketplace thinks of your business?”

Customer feedback is frequently sought, but market feedback is frequently overlooked. Organizations with a customer database usually request customer satisfaction surveys. Yet, customers currently doing business with a company are not the best guides to growing a business. Their feedback does ensure that the organization is delivering the intended value proposition and often prevents performance failures.

But, to grow customer share, an alternative pathway to prosperity must be discovered. Many analytic tools are available to identify consumer frustration, desire and aspirations; nevertheless, the magic embedded within opportunity must integrate analytical understanding derived from by the pursuit to solve the consumer’s engagement need, want and wish.

SMARI has realized great success using a proprietary technique titled the 180! When facing slow to no growth within a product line or service category, opportunity can often be realized by completely reversing analytic directions. This can be accomplished by getting totally outside of all current realities and perspectives by adopting an alternative reality.

To do so, one must begin by looking into tangential distribution channels, opposite consumer segments, alternating communication tactics, polarizing product attributes, as well as the addition or the subtraction service features. Assuredly, emerging or unrecognized consumer pain, laddered with frustrations and fortified by latent desire will be recognized, often triggering creative pathways to profitable market growth.

Begin this journey with marketplace observations, followed by in-depth consumer discussions that often lead to group ideation and culminate in opportunity. This pathway is enjoyable, elucidating and frequently rewarding. Live long and prosper.

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