Be Sure You Ask
the Right People
By Michael Goodman, senior
marketing and management consultant, MarketingProfs
When recruiting people for a
market research study, Michael Goodman says it's
critical that you select individuals who truly
represent your target audience. There’s no sense,
for instance, in asking people with limited
disposable incomes to critique your luxury product.
Likewise, affluent shoppers probably won’t have
useful input for a discount store.
There are four essential groups to consider as you
gather your research participants.
1. Current customers. If you need to
understand your existing base, make sure your target
group consists of individuals who mirror those
currently buying your product or service.
2. Potential customers. Talk to people who
aren’t currently buying your product but might be
motivated to do so in the future.
3. Former customers. Keep current customers
from walking out the door by learning why your past
4. Competitors' customers. It can be helpful
to include those who currently use your competitors’
products since they can provide insights about how
rivals solve problems and address needs.
Think carefully about the answers you want, and
recruit respondents who can best provide them. You
may want to use criteria such as:
• Current product usage
The Po!nt: Since small businesses are
close to their customers and have a better knowledge
of who fits into each group, you have the advantage
over larger companies in this aspect of market
Reprinted from MarketringProfs June 22, 2007 issue (www.marketingprofs.com).
Michael Goodman is a senior marketing and management