Why is customer research so important? Take the story of the Mustang.
In the sixties, Ford Motor Company noticed a drop in sales of their Ford Falcon, and had also observed that two other major American motor companies were losing sales with similar small car models. Ford could have concluded that small cars were no longer desired by North American consumers. However, by talking to customers or potential customers about their pains, Ford was able to discover the real issue.
Ford discovered that customers were looking for sporty options and features such as manual transmissions and bucket seats. In order to respond to this need in the marketplace, Ford launched the Mustang, and was able to achieve record-breaking sales.
In the example above, Ford used customer research to solve a marketing problem: why are Ford Falcon sales falling? Entrepreneurs use market research to figure out the following:
- The number of potential customers for their product or service (the size of their target market)
- What price a customer would be willing to pay for their product or service
- Customer pains that need to be solved
- Motivations of their customers
- How satisfied customers are with what they’re selling and how they’re selling it
For more about understanding your customers, try an Empathy Map.