Recall our “Note to Innovators: Market Thyself” post over the weekend triggered by Andy’s VoIP Watch post on Why Some Innovate and Die, discussing the importance of marketing considerations in building a business. Alec Saunders has responded with several low cost suggestions for doing market research that don’t involve hiring a Forrester or Gartner:
Bottom line, there are many ways you can do effective market research without having to spend a bundle of money. Effective research will help you find the need and be customer focused.
Read the entire post for Alec’s comments on customer focus, distribution models and the role of retail.
Garrett (Smith on VoIP) contributes insight, from his perspective as a largely web-based distributor of VoIP and related hardware, built around three themes:
- Marketers Create Products, Engineers Build Them
- Use Your Money to Build a Great Product; Then Sell It Online
- For Retail VoIP the Numbers Don’t Add-Up
The last one comes from his experience with Vonage retail kiosks: As an example:
“…. The vast majority of consumers you will encounter in a mall kiosk setting (or even at radio shack) just are not able to comprehend the technology. Not that it is that hard to comprehend, but from my own “market research” during the kiosk trial you wouldn’t believe how many people think AOL “is the Internet.”
Garrett goes on to talk about the difficulties of hiring experienced staff at the retail level and the role of subscriber commissions and ARPU in generating sales. Interesting perspective….
In case you missed its referrals on other (VoIP) blogs, check out VoIP News’ “25 Tips to Improve Your Skype Experience”. Some tips are simply pointing out features of Skype (Call Forwarding) while others are innovative applications for Skype (A DIY Home Security System). The “Silliness” section includes mention of a Voice Analysis Love Detector and a NotMyNumber Directory.
And you can read about the DemoCamp 12 event I attended Monday evening in posts from Alec Saunders, Matthew Ingram and Jon Arnold (who has video’s of Alec’s presentation). Two key rules for participation: 10 Minutes and No PowerPoints! Now if they WiFi link had been more robust…And if you’re looking for a photo site that is for non-geeks, check out BubbleShare (whose Albert Lai presented an update on his Bubbleshare’s recent sale to Kaboose). It is a prime example of the need for simplicity in consumer products. I speak from experience; several non-geek friends have been using BubbleShare to share family pictures via the ‘Net.