Product marketing should include market sampling as a core function. By requiring market sampling for any/all product development notions, tech businesses can avoid “solution without a problem” product development syndrome. Of course, useful market sampling results depend upon the collection of information from a set of respondents to a consistent, uniform series of questions. Therefore, it makes sense that conversations with market respondents be scripted. Finally, whoever undertakes the responsibility for market sampling must be entirely comfortable with telephone conversations and reliable as regards strictly adhering to scripts.
Implementing a market sampling function brings product development closer to a customer or market “centric” position. We favor this type of position for product development as there is little danger (in our experience) for businesses that successfully design products that markets are after. Further, markets often ask for product reliability and task transparency rather than high end features. Therefore, a further benefit of maintaining and exercising a market sampling function is that product development can focus more on building a “minimal acceptable model,” which promises more profits. Why design in features that a market is not after?
But what is a tech innovator to do if a contact list is not at hand to provide the basis of sampling a market? We think the best remedy for this condition is to look to introductory (cold) calls in the aftermath of a press release, or other publicity event. Naturally, if a business lacks telephone contacts, it may very well lack an opt-in email list; therefore, we suggest some sort of public announcement (can be as unobtrusive as an article in a trade publication) as a means of “softening” recipients in advances of an unsolicited telephone call.
The subject of this unsolicited telephone call needs to be technology, rather than brand, specific. Recipients of market sampling calls will prove to be much more receptive to calls about trends than they will be about specific companies. Call scripts should adhere to this same industry focus. Member lists liked LinkedIn can generally be looked to provide the contact names, at no charge, that must make up the contact lists for sampling.
If your business would benefit from taking the pulse of your market, you should certainly build a market sampling function. This function is perfect for outsourcing. We have considerable experience in this area, both in the areas of placing these unsolicited calls and producing useful scripts that deliver the information businesses require to make useful product development decisions. Please telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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