5+ Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Customer Research

Lots of marketers know that the better you know your customers, the more successful your marketing will be.

That’s not as easy as it sounds, however.

There are five mistakes that can get you useless info instead of precious data.

Let’s get into ‘em…

Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Customer Research

1. Asking people what they want

As Steve Jobs once said, “It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.”

Customers know their problem, not the solution.

So when you interview them, your job is to understand their problem and their emotional state before and after fixing the problem.

Once you know that, you can design the solution.

2. Asking people about their future behavior

We humans are terrible at predicting how we’ll behave in the future.

You get better information by asking people what they did in the past.

Here’s a fun experiment Sony tried:

  • They asked teenagers what they thought about Sony’s new yellow walkman – they loved it!
  • After the interview, they offered them a free walkman and let them choose between a black and a yellow one.
  • They all picked the black one.

3. Asking for opinions

While opinions can be insightful, they don’t always match people’s actions.

So take them with a grain of salt.

4. Not interviewing actual buyers

The highest-quality information will come from people who actually spent money on the product.

5. Bad timing

It’s not just who. It’s also when.

The best information comes from people who recently bought your product.


Because they just went through the decision process, the emotional and rational reasons for the purchase are still fresh in their minds.

How to Do Market Research! (5 Fast & Easy Strategies)

Don’t have customers yet?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Interview the customers of your direct competitors.
  • Interview the customer of your indirect competitors.
  • Interview prospects in your buying journey.

Aaaand there you go!

Five things that will help you know your buyers better and create profitable marketing strategies.

Software Blade

SoftwareBlade.com covers today's software and tomorrow's emerging technology.

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