Know your customer Hit the pavement Know the difference between what people say and do Master Quant and Qual Live your brand
Historically ~ 80% of Food Products launched fail Cost of launching a Grocery product nationally: $2M to $15M Source: Marketing, Witchcraft or Science, Linton Matysiak & Wilkes1997
Before WWII most “Package Goods” and food products where locally developed with tight relationships between customers and manufacturers. After the war communication and distribution infrastructure maturation led to an explosion in nationally marketed and distributed products. Without the same level of customer knowledge the quality of product decisions plummeted.
Market Research as the Answer For the First time: But…In reality: Understanding of customer needs improved dramatically. Reliable customer profiles could be built at a scalable national level. Prototype testing became a viable, scalable option. Product organizations could make product decisions on facts, not opinions. It takes 4 to 12 weeks to get results to one iteration. A simple study can run in the $10s of thousands of dollars Can be easily manipulated to tell you what you want to hear Discipline is a victim to the rigidity of statistical significance only large organizations with extensive resources consistently and effectively use it.
Does it work? Works Great if you can afford it.
Enter the Web But…In reality: It takes 4 to 12 weeks to get results to one iteration. A simple study can run in the $10s of thousands of dollars Can be easily manipulated to tell you what you want to hear Discipline is a victim to the rigidity of statistical significance Days A few $ go along way Difficult to ignore behavior on a live product
Customer Development is P&G style product development evolved to the cost structure and iteration cycles of a startup
Customer Discovery at FOTT No defined hypothesis WE LET IT EMMERGE Over 150 direct customer conversations 20 Kitchen Table discussion groups
Customer Validation What we did Pulled one prospective user from Discovery Interviewed her to learn how she solved the problem Offered solutions to pain points – never talked about technology Started defining product by adding one customer at a time Only coded task that when they became too time consuming to do by hand. What we learned Maximum Viable Product Full concierge service Extensive customer interactions Beyond anything technology can do NOT COST EFFECTIVE If you can’t get them to buy into the hand holding version, go back and iterate Code should only remove bottlenecks (cost)
Two Big Lessons from Driving Acquisition Invest in traffic to drive learning If it takes you a month to get to a statistically significant sample, you need more traffic “Best Practices” don’t apply to all customer segments Our target customer needs information before moving forward with registration
We know we are on the right track From Mary: “I logged on tonight assuming I could pull up the recipe for sea bass that I had shopped for on Monday. I can't find a way to get that recipe. Instead, you are asking me to rate the recipes I've cooked and then you leave me at a dead end.I'll be logging on to Epicurious to find a recipe that works with the ingredients I've bought. But this is frustrating.”