Customer Discovery: The Maiden Voyage

May 1st, 2010 by hoha Leave a reply »

The past couple of days I was at a Career Expo of sorts for students and decide to use the opportunity to do a little survey work to see if I could discover some customers and test my assumptions and hypothesis around

The problem is different for our two subsets of customers since it is a marketplace. For the purposes of this post I’ll approach it from a sellers’ point of view. The seller is also who I’ve decided is the primary customer for us-they supply the resource: influence.

The problem we are seeking to solve is the need for money. My hypothesis is that if we can give them the tools and system to be self sustaining then they will be able to meet that need. There I go; I’ve already skipped over my first assumption. I’m assuming people want to make money and are just missing the opportunity or skills.

I think I can provide the opportunity to use some untapped skills or resource. The opportunity is to become an influence marketer. Layman’s terms wear a t-shirt and use your own social media network to promote businesses. So there are several assumptions that need testing in that solution. I needed to answer the following questions:

  1. Are people willing to wear a t-shirt all day instead of what they want to wear for money?
  2. Are people willing to use their social media network to promote companies to their friends?
  3. Are people willing to approach businesses and propose that the business pay them to promote their company?

I was also curious about two other things that facilitate the spread or growth of this opportunity-sign up fees and agents. I wanted to know if people were willing to pay for this opportunity and if they would pay someone to set up business on their behalf.

So I created a simple survey basically asking those same questions to this age specific age group. I was encouraged by the answers but it also helped me to realize it isn’t quite the right population to continue to invest money in recruiting.

In fact we decided to eliminate the opportunity for those in the lower part of the age group because of the time investment required to educate and facilitate the process for them, speaking generally and not individually.

Now I’ve made another set of assumption about a different age group that I need to test. I’m looking for positive results that indicate almost all of a particular group will be interested in the solution we are offering. My first pivot is from a younger crowd to one just a little bit older that are venturing out on their when they first realize the actual need for money. It’s not a big pivot but a different focus than I originally thought.


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