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Creative Research Strategies for Start Ups and Entrepreneurs


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Website analytics, social media, online research tools, and secondary resources

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Creative Research Strategies for Start Ups and Entrepreneurs

  1. 1. Kelli S. Burns, Ph.D. September 23, 2014 USF CONNECT Slides available on (search under users: ksburns71)
  2. 2. © Showface| DreamstimeStock Photos
  3. 3. © Rob Bouwman| DreamstimeStock Photos
  4. 4. Define the Market Size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential Define your Target Market Geographic, customer attributes, or product-oriented Delineate your Feasible Market Look for product segmentation factors that produce gaps within the market. Project Market Share Consider industry growth and conversion of users from total feasible market Determine your Positioning 1. How are your competitors positioning themselves? 2. What’s your unique selling proposition? 3. What customer needs does your product fulfill? Determine your Pricing Select Method for Distribution Research Ways to Best Promote Estimate your Sales Potential Source:
  5. 5. Database Research Audience Research Product Research Packaging/Logo Research Brand Analysis Customer Satisfaction Studies Pricing Studies Messaging Research
  6. 6. Source: fail/ar/1
  7. 7. “Who will buy this and at what price?” hat price?”
  8. 8. “If consumers can’t quickly grasp how to use your product, it’s toast.””
  9. 9. “Test the product to make sure its differences will sway buyers.”
  10. 10. Secondary Resources Social Media Research Online Research Tools Web Analytics
  11. 11. Available through the USF Library
  12. 12. IBISWorld:the largest provider of industry information in the U.S. MarketLineAdvantage: Profiles all major companies, industries and geographies, one of the most prolific publishers of business information today. LexisNexis:search patents, company profiles Can also search patents on
  13. 13.  reports are $$$ Freedonia:Product and market analyses and forecasts, in- depth discussions of important industry trends, market share information and profiles of the leading industry players. Within ABI/Inform Complete, search FreedoniaGroup and keyword Business Insights: Essentials
  14. 14. ReferenceUSA U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles Database
  15. 15. ABI/Inform Complete Business Source Premier (EBSCO) Business Insights: Essentials (Gale)
  16. 16. For Listening and Seeking Feedback
  17. 17. Connect with potential customers through your social media profiles Monitor discussion about your product/service, industry, trends, etc. May spot opportunities for growth Crowdsourceto test product specifications or collect feedback on products Identify influencers who can help you with PR
  18. 18. Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Vine YouTube LinkedIn
  19. 19. Free Options Social Mention Addict-o-matic Google Alerts Wildfire App by Google Measures your own profiles and those of others
  20. 20. Sprout's Smart Inbox combines every message, alert and action from all your profiles into a single, filterable stream. Discover what people on social media are saying about you, your business, your products, or any topic in real-time. Search for brand mentions not directly linked to your accounts, find potential followers with similar interests, monitor competitors & stay up to date on industry news. Pricing: $59/$99 per month
  21. 21. Tap the power of your network Use “crowdsourcing” for ideas Ask questions and get feedback Doubletree asked on Twitter: “What are the little things that enhance your travel experience? #LittleThings” Sites like Quirky use “open innovation” to shape and launch a product Inventor loses IP rights and receives a “lion’s share of royalties.”
  22. 22. Indiegogoand Kickstarter are excellent forums for testing product concepts Use the product preview option before launching your campaign Source:
  23. 23. Post-launch user feedback revealed watch looked cheap and scratched easily. Fixed problems in new version.
  24. 24. Pulled UP smartbandwhen users said the band didn’t hold up to daily life. Jawbone recalled, refunded, and retooled.
  25. 25. Use your network to locate volunteers willing to test and review your product/service Facebook poll Free products for volunteers Advice/Suggestions Be open to change Engage through sneak peeks Manage expectations Not every idea will be incorporated Source:
  26. 26. Start with a seed list of 10-20 influencers using sites like Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex, LinkedinGroups or Facebook Pages to locate influencers. Use a tool like HootSuiteto organize the influencers into a single stream. Monitor and communicate with them. Continue to refine and build relationships with your influencers. Source: influencers/
  27. 27. Product Feedback Surveys: product-feedback-surveys/ New products Adjusting features Mid-production Manufacturing quality Usability testing New market for product Pricing
  28. 28. Minimize the use of open ended questions Use scales so you can get gradations of response Likert (agree-disagree) Consider using importance and performance measures How important is this feature to you? How well did the product perform on that feature? Look at the areas where importance exceeded performance Keep it short! 25 questions max
  29. 29. Online Focus Groups Need web conferencing software Online Panels Customer Panels
  30. 30. Use a cell phone or tablet to have people take online surveys Record video/audio or take photos with the mobile device Can easily capture data in real time on the scene
  31. 31. Search your product name as well as keywords that people would use to search for your product/service Consider the need the product/service fills Who else providing a similar product/service? Use Paid Search to have your result closer to the top Write SEO-friendly web content using these keywords
  32. 32. Finding a unicorn, Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster or keyword phrases your competition hasn’t already found? why-keyword-research-is-a- waste-of-time/
  33. 33. Do not base your keyword strategy around what Google thinks. Likely to have a high bounce rate because content not as relevant. Use “People Research,” not “Keyword Research.” What are their problems that need solving? How can you meet their expectations? What words are they searching? Three steps: 1.Make a list of ideal clients 2.Learn more about your ideal clients (demos, challenges, questions, what’s important) 3.Tell their story, then keywords will start to become more obvious Free download of Search Engine Humanization: engine-humanization/
  34. 34. Google Analytics: generates detailed statisticsabout a website's traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. Basic is free and premium is a fee Crazy Egg Pricing ranges from $9-$99/month
  35. 35. Inc. Market Research Guides Entrepreneur’s Articles on Market Research research
  36. 36. THANK YOU! Kelli S. Burns, Ph.D. @KelliSBurns