During Lockdown I’ve seen many businesses pivot and start to develop new products and services, some of which are leading them to setting up another business.

Getting your customer research done is so important. As a business owner, you may think you’ve got this shiny new idea spot on, but you still need to validate this idea with some research.

What you can learn from your customers (or prospects) you can also apply to your communications strategy and we do this with lots of our clients.

Here’s a few tips on undertaking research:

  1. Use this time (during the COVID-19 lockdown) to research the changed or changing marketing trends. But remember to ask the respondents what they will do post-Lockdown. For example if you are launching a new food takeway which relies heavily on people having food delivered to their door, people might prefer to pick up or might prefer a meal in their local restaurant.
  2. Doing surveys online are not only easy to set up but you can get a quick response by sharing them on your social media channels. If you don’t want competitors to get wind of what you’re up to, you might ask trusted associates (your marketing consultant or accountant perhaps?) to share the links for you. You could even ask close family.
  3. Rather than surveys you could host some small focus groups with your key target audiences. You can do these online via Zoom or other video software, but you need to ensure that you get the panelists to fill in a focus group consent form.
  4. If you go down the focus group route, you can facilitate the group yourself, but you may be too emotionally involved with the product or service to be objective. Again your marketing or research consultant could do this for you.
  5. In my old ad agency days, when we had huge budgets we would sometimes get a research company to conduct our focus groups. The poor creative teams would hate it as their expertise could be crushed by one negative person in the group. So it is really important that the group is moderated well and everyone on the panel gets to have their say. Easier said than done online. So make sure mics are muted and un-muted when it is someone’s time to speak. You should also have a strict list of questions which the facilitator sticks to, as best as they can.
  6. When the results are ready, listen to them. Take whatever you can from the results to apply to your marketing and creative strategy. You’ve now tapped into the voice of your new potential customers so you’re ready to market and sell to them.

Good luck to you if you are starting something new during these very strange times.

If you need a marketing consultant to help you, please get in touch. We are already working with a couple of pre-startups on a ‘Pay As You Go’ service and for the larger projects, there is still match funding for marketing and design with NBSL.