In a recent tweet, Tobias van Schneider is reminding us about how market research can be tricky. Especially because we deal with human beings. Let’s be honest, we are never 100% sure or right about our feelings, we won’t say anything to be embarrassed and, above all, we rarely do what we say. So why should we trust this type of feedback? From my experience there are three things to remember when doing market research. (1) The persons you interview don’t have the solution to what they want or need. (2) The persons you interview are telling you what you want to hear. (3) The persons you interview are thinking about themselves first. By knowing this, how would you approach, value and do market research? From my perspective, if you see market research as a way to collect data to convince some people with vanity insights then fair enough. However, if the final objective is to define a roadmap then I would suggest not investing too much energy in research. In fact, market research doesn’t provide you with answers but with more questions. If you’re not prepared, there are great chances you will feel powerless and take dangerous decisions. Market research is not about confirming or disconfirming hypothesis, that is the role of A/B testing a tangible thing. Instead, see research as a never ending process that imply observations, documentation, analysis and experimentation. Your time is better invested in testing a beta product than to worry about some random interpretations. Learn by delivering, the rest is only suppositions and guesses waiting to be put to the test.
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