3 questions I should have asked during market research. Please don’t be like me.

I’m dead serious. Please don’t be like me. Don’t be that guy who thinks he’s got it all figured out. I’m not trying to teach you how to do market research, I simply want you to learn from my mistakes.

Exactly six weeks ago, I was part of a team of three bright entrepreneurs who had one collective goal — build a solution to help businesses grow fast. A great challenge but we were determined to find an innovative solution to this problem.

To put things into context, this vision was partly the result of our most recent capstone project, our second so far as Entrepreneurs- in- Training at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). Here at MEST, participation in Capstone projects is part of our year-long program which we began in August last year.

Weeks went by and we eventually built an app that was designed to help people using on social media as an e-commerce tool to acquire new customers faster through referral marketing.

When it came to our market research, we did everything we were supposed to do — surveys, questionnaires, and interviews.

I won’t lie to you, however, we did it all wrong.

I learned during a class on primary market research last week that there were three questions I failed to ask during my capstone project.

Do you remember I told you that I am not here to teach you? Please learn from my mistakes and don’t be like me.

The three questions I should have asked during market research:

1. What are the real problems, desires, and needs of our customers?

2. What does our typical customer look like?

3. Who would really like to buy our product?

1. What does my customer really desire and fear?

The old me would have screamed that this question was “easy breezy.” Our target users want to grow their businesses by acquiring new customers on social media, and they would pay for this using the referral app we had built.

Really Aaron? Is that what they truly desire?

During the Interviews we had with our Prospects, we didn’t dig hard enough. We asked too many leading questions. They already knew it was an interview, so they told us what we needed to hear. Don’t be like me.

You need to experience the life of your potential customers to really understand their fears and unsaid desires. You need to carefully watch what they do and not only listen to what they say.

From experience, we already know that there is a very big difference between what people say and what they actually do.

I wish I knew this earlier.

2. What does my Ideal customer look like?

This was another easy one for my team. We quickly built a customer persona using Hubspot’s Customer Persona Builder and we felt good about ourselves.

Dumbhead!

Who is your Ideal customer?

This is a mistake I feel many entrepreneurs make when starting out. You need to have a very detailed Idea of who your Ideal customer is.

This question zooms in on individual customers. We need to learn to zero in on a handful of real customers in order to find out what is really important to them.- Quicksprout.com’s complete guide to copywriting

Example:

What is a typical customer like?

Customer #1: Marketing Agency Manager

Description: The Marketing agency manager works at a small to medium sized marketing or advertising agency. They are responsible for helping the agency’s clients to accomplish their digital marketing goals. To do this. they create surveys to learn about customers and to find out what is important to them.

What is important to them: It is important to have a survey tool that is easy to work with but also enables the agency to ask all of the questions they need to ask. It’s also important to be able to customize the surveys to match the branding for each of the companies they work with.

3. Who would really like to buy my product?

All businesses selling through social media in Nigeria are going to buy our solution… We have the numbers figured out and we’ve done the “research”.

Once again, I thought I knew it all. I was wrong, again.

We couldn’t even figure out who our Ideal customer was, how on earth would we know if they will ever buy what we were selling?

Don’t be like me and lie to yourself. If you can’t figure our their desires, understand their fears and get a better sense of who they are, no one will buy the shitty product you’re building.

You can laugh at me, I’m over the shame. Just learn from my mistakes and make sure you answer the three questions I mentioned above.

My new direction

This is why I started zealously studying how to become a copywriter. I found out that no one does market research better than copywriters.

I am learning from the best copywriters ever — both the new and the old. I have had to let go of what I thought I knew and be humble enough to learn from the masters.

An Important lesson I have learned so far: Your customer doesn’t care about your product, he only cares about himself and what your product will do for him.

My personal Wall Tracker to become a copywriter. I have over 15 books on copywriting and advertising to study carefully.

Make mistakes but don’t let the shame put you down. Learn from them and become better than you were yesterday.

Are you Interested in learning how to write Copy too? Hit me up so you can join our small copywriters-in-training club. We’re learning the art of selling through writing.

You can reach out to me here — aaronejeme@gmail.com

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Aaron Otene Ejeme

Aaron Otene Ejeme

Proud Nigerian | Co-Founder and CEO at Zurihq.com | B2B Copywriter | Growth Marketer in Training at @CXLdotcom | Alumni @Mestafrica |