By: Gina Boedeker
In our industry we have encountered many people who have this mentality: “I don’t have to ask. I already know what my market will say. I’ve been in this industry forever.”
🚫 If you’ll allow me to be very direct – that’s the wrong approach
▪️ You think people who sat in on the Blockbuster meetings determining if they should purchase Netflix or not didn’t think they knew their market?
▪️ You think the Kodak teams responsible for deciding not to invest in digital because they didn’t want to cannibalize their strongest product lines didn’t think they had their finger on the pulse of their market?
▪️ Shall I even ask what the Yahoo leaders thought about their user experience before Google hit the market with their clean, streamlined search functionality?
Listen, I enjoyed my Friday night movie searches at Blockbuster as much as the next person, and it pains me to use them as an example, but the reality is that the market changed and they weren’t ready. Neither were the others listed above or *so* many other companies because they had people who (very likely) had “tons” of industry experience and knew what the market wanted. But didn’t ask consistently.
Don’t be like Blockbuster.
▪️ If you think you know your market – validate your assumptions.
▪️ Ask yourself when was the last time you asked because markets move, sentiments change, and new products launch quickly.
When you listen to your market you:
▪️ Have confidence in the decisions you’re making
▪️ Are more likely to have a successful product or business
▪️ Come across as the expert because you *become* an expert when you really listen.
Gathering market insights doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Reach out if you need support, but most importantly – build listening to your customers into your plans ASAP.