ABC Corporation wanted to find out how they could improve their laundry detergent. So, they conducted a focus group with customers who used their product. The focus group moderator was selected from the company’s marketing department. This person had never conducted a focus group before. This facilitator asked each of the twelve people sitting around the conference table, “What do you need in terms of laundry detergent?” Blank stares filled the room. The participants were speechless. One participant asked, “I don’t know what I need”. Another said, “I need my clothes to be clean”. After going around in circles, the group was unable to articulate any concrete need. The leader got frustrated and terminated the group after twenty minutes, without any suggestions.
Another company, XYZ Corporation also sold laundry detergent and conducted a focus group with customers to find out how the corporation could improve its product. Same goal as ABC. This time the focus group facilitator asked the right question to group members.
“What problems are you having with your current laundry detergent?”
The answers came rolling off everyone’s tongues.
“I hate it when the liquid drips down the side of the bottle.”
“I can’t seem to figure out how to use the scoop.”
“The directions are written too small”.
“The bottle is too heavy.”
“The handle is too small.”
“I don’t know if I’m getting my money’s worth.”
The facilitator presented her report to XYZ’s Product Development team. The team was impressed with the useful information provided by just twelve people.
The more you know about your customers’ problems (needs!), the more effective, and successful your marketing strategies will be.
For an in-depth look at how to identify customer needs, go to www.criticalconnectionsbook.com