Squeezing Every Last Drop of Blood From Your Customer Research

Britt Stromberg of StatesOfMatter introduced me to Laura Troyani of PlanBeyond earlier this year.  Laura was able to carve our some time to present at StatBid Summit this year and she delivered a practical presentation on how to weave the voice of the customer into strategies to grow your business.


Laura:              Hi, guys. Today we're gonna talk a little bit about market research, and specifically how you can use, in research today, to be improving all the tactics you likely have going on. You might have noticed I have the most kick-ass slot of the day, second to last, so to make sure you actually listen to me, there's going to be a prize for someone in here, but you got to actually listen. Okay? 
                    So hi, I'm Laura, I'm with Plan Beyond, and what we do is help customers with market research, marketing strategy, and back in infrastructure to make sure that whatever your growth goals are, you actually have the right foundations in place to actually hit whatever those numbers are, be it reasonable or not. Sometimes they're not but we try.
                    We're going to cover three things today. One, all the ways that market research could probably be helping out a lot of the tactics many of you likely have in place. Two, why your current testing probably isn't quite enough. Three, how you could do a little bit of research today with next to no budget at all.
                    Before we get started, a little experiment. Take your pencils, take your pens, your computers, every time the thought AB testing pops into your head, give me a little tick mark. You with me? Yeah, you got it? You sure. Okay. Great. I always like to work with tangible things. I have my tangible client today, my fake client, bulldogs.com the premier e-commerce site for bulldogs and the people who love them, and yes, this is inspired by my very own bulldog at home, Lucille. Everyone, enjoy Lucille, say hi, Lucille. Thank you very much. 
                    Every website probably has a homepage with an H1, H2, really important. Now, maybe bulldogs.com really wants to sell prescriptions, so we talk about prescriptions. But talk to me as a bull dog owner, I'll tell you my prescriptions probably have to do with joint health and fur health. Rope that into your headlines and likely they'll be even better. What about your email popups? Maybe you want my email and you say, "Hey, I'll tell you all about the great things I can get you for your bull dog." That's nice, but talk to me as a bull dog owner. I'll tell you I'm always trying to keep her weight in just the right place. Show me that you have the right food for me, that's way more compelling. 
                    What about your AdWords Copy? Want to sell me some chew toys? Well assortment and selection oftentimes look really nice, but talk to me as a bulldog owner and I'll tell you these dogs are power chewers. You show me durability and you've got things that will last, I'm way more likely to click and give you my money. 
                    What about your AdCopy on Facebook? Maybe you think, huh, I'm going to sell dog food to you and tell you all about the really healthy great food we have. That's nice, but as a bull dog owner I'll tell you this little not so secret fact. Bull dogs are the most flatulent breed of dogs you'll ever meet. So tell me that you can find me dog food that will help me get less stinky, even better.
                    And last but not least Package Inserts. You want to retain your customers, you go 10% off dog treats. That would be great. But show me you have dog treats that are going to help me keep my dog enjoying the treats and keep her healthy. Well that's just gravy on top, I might come back. 
                    So back to our experiment. Raise your hand. Who thought AB testing at least once? Twice? Four times? Six times? Ah, here's my whoopee cushion winner. Told you there was a prize, didn't say it was a good one. Here's the thing about AB testing, you don't know what you don't know. It presumes going in that you know everything that you should be testing and you can try it. And here's the thing. You can do A, B, C, D, E, F, G testing, but if you don't know that H and I are things you should have tested, you're losing money on the table and there go your Growth Bowls. I always recommend, do a little bit of research. And whether it's focus groups, interviews surveys, try to inject four golden questions into any of the research you're doing and you'll go a long way to informing all your tactics. 
                    1. What motivated to look for the product you bought? Seems obvious, dog food, I needed dog food, the dog needs to live. Needs food. But what's more insightful is understanding why. What were the motivations, the drivers, fears or concerns you might have and that will give you deeper insights into your customers. 
                    2. Why did you choose a retailer to buy your product? Let's be honest, we know that there are other competitors selling the same thing you do, or very similar things you do. So solve it about what you're doing and how you operate it was more compelling. Let's figure out what that thing was. 
                    3. What was positive about your experience shopping on our site? Now I know, you guys can all open, you can run analytics and tell me about time on site, time to conversion, page speed, all that. But like all that analytic stuff. But what this does is it gets you deeper, richer, qualitative feedback into what's really resonating bout your customers that numbers just can't quite get to. 
                    4. What could we have done better? And, there are two reasons to ask the questions. 1. It will tell you what holes you have in your business that you could be filling in, and 2. More strategically, it will help you say, huh, what opportunities that we as business could also be giving over to you. 
                    So that's tactically a lot of what you can do research for. But, there are a lot of opportunities. Help inform. What kind of products you want, the merchandising you do, the breadth of services you offer, or lack thereof, kind of messaging you want to use across your collaterale, and other things as well. 
                    But remember, one size does not fit all. If our customer had been dogs.com instead of bulldogs.com you'd have a lot of different customer segments to work with which means asking all of those questions to each of those segments so that you get the right tactics and the right messaging in place to the right audience. 
                    So thank you so much, if you enjoy market research, maximizing your tactics, as much as bluesealbulldog loves getting a package in the mail, we'll love to chat with you more. Thanks so much guys.