If you are planning any marketing changes, surveys, if done properly can help. If they are done incorrectly, you might get bad information that has no bearing on your market. When movie marketing people hold roundtables or screenings and watch the participants for their reactions, they are hoping that they will have a hit or if the movie is a bomb, where they might be able to salvage things by reshooting, editing, throwing in more special effects of things blowing up or changing a downer ending into a happy ending.
When it comes to making a profitable business decision, you want to get a reality check and not what you want to hear. Recently I was part of a book cover study group where I was presented with 16 cover choices for a potential book and I picked the one that I thought would sell the most covers. It was entertaining but more importantly, it was relevant to the topic that was being presented.
I generally don’t have any celebrity spokespeople who can help me sell my books and even if I did, I don’t know how much street cred it would carry in the business world. Having Paris Hilton marketing my books on Practical Money Making would be pretty funny and it might get a few novelty sales but I don’t think she is the person best associated with selling books. To know for sure, I would probably have to pay for a study group where my target audience could be culled and polled to see if they would actually buy a book if Paris pitched it.
When you plan your own study groups, make sure that you know your target audience. If it is too young for children, they may not get what it is you are trying to sell. If it is something that is trendy, you better have a lot of pizzazz in your commericals or ads or at least show how important your item is and that it must be used in order to be hip.
If you are coming up with a new edible item, like food or soft/energy drink, be willing to give out tons of samples to get people’s opinion on the product. You may find out that peanut butter tasting energy drinks might sell very well to the peanut butter body builder set.
If you can, it is also good to do a small test market after the survey to see if what was discovered rang true. Sometimes people do tell you that they liked your product just to make you happy and so they can get paid.
When done properly and reviewed and taken with a grain of salt (or a dash of peanut butter), surveys can save you a fortune in development, marketing and distribution costs.
Kim Isaac Greenblatt
You are reading the profitable blog, by Kim Isaac Greenblatt.