How to Deal with Market Pain and Find New Opportunities Through Research – In Just 7 Minutes with Sean Campbell

Check out episode
  • Understand how market research is crucial to your business and your sales
  • Increase your awareness on why gathering real data from outside is important and beneficial rather than just inside your business
  • Find out how research opens new opportunities for you and releases you from the market pain

Resources/Links:

  • Wanting to Learn More on How to Properly Do Market Research Without Wasting Time and Money and Getting the Most Out of It? Find out why Market Research is Crucial for Your Business and Buyers: cascadeinsights.com

Summary

Have you been getting data and opinions within and inside your business only?

Do you want to know why marketing research is important for your business and sales?

Are you ready to do market research the right way that will bring you promising sales and happy customers?

Sean Campbell brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to surviving and thriving as a service firm owner or the leader of a practice area inside a larger services firm.

In this episode, Sean shares his insights on why market research is crucial for your business, especially in solving a market problem or finding new opportunities. He also talks about why data and opinions need to be gathered outside the four walls of your business.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:13 – Sean’s ideal client: “In our case, it’s a B2B technology company, and we define that pretty narrowly. So, software and hardware.”
  • 02:09 – Problem Sean helps solve: “Well, we used to summarize it a few different ways, but we ended up boiling it down over the years. You know, this is your 16 of owning the firm. We either help people figure out how to identify and solve for market pain, or identify and find new opportunities.”
  • 03:17 – Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Sean: “Nobody has any real data behind their opinions. I mean, that’s probably the biggest one. I mean, in a lot of companies, they build decisions on consensus making and kind of conjecture.”
  • 04:35 – Common mistakes that people make before they find Sean’s solution: “Well, for market research, I think the biggest one is a really huge emphasis on quantitative research over qualitative.”
  • 05:52 – Sean’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): “I would say the next time you’re in a meeting, and you’re all discussing something, just simply look around at all those opinions that are shared, and see if anyone has any data or any input that is from any source outside the building.”
  • 06:24 – Sean’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): Check out Sean’s Website: cascadeinsights.com
  • 07:04 – Q: When shouldn’t you do market research? A: Sometimes instinct is the best guide. If you’re a small company, you don’t always have to go necessarily blow the money out to go do research.

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“Insights in the building should have an expiration date on them. And if it's been too long, you need to update that and get yourself a new gallon of milk, or new pints, depending on where you're at in the world.” -Sean Campbell Click To Tweet

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland 00:10
Welcome, everyone, to another edition of Marketing the Invisible. I’m Tom Poland beaming out to you, as always, from little Castaways Beach, on this white sand here next to the blue ocean, in Queensland, Australia joined today by Sean Campbell. Sean, good day, sir. A very warm welcome! Where are you hanging out?

Sean Campbell 00:25
Portland, Oregon.

Tom Poland 00:25
Portland, Oregon! Hands across the water. So, you’re at the top end of that big ditch we call the Pacific Ocean on at the bottom end. For those of you who don’t know Sean, so Sean’s thing is bringing a wealth of knowledge when it comes to surviving and thriving. If you’re a service firm owner or leader of practice inside a larger services firm, his website is cascadeinsights.com. We’re going to circle back to that in a little bit. And the title today is relevant and apt and appropriate to that website- is, “How to Deal with Market Pain and Find New Opportunities for Growth Through Research”. And Sean’s going to give us a bit of a heads up on how to do that in just seven minutes! Sean, our seven minutes starts now. Sir, question number one is who is your ideal client?

Sean Campbell 01:13
In our case, it’s a B2B technology company, and we define that pretty narrowly. So, software and hardware. So, if you think of HVAC for 100 story buildings as technology, I wouldn’t disagree with you. It’s technology. It’s just not the kind of technology we service. Although I joke all the time if SpaceX came calling, we’d find a way to work with Rocky.

Tom Poland 01:32
So, give us- just to flesh that out a bit, just two or three industry types that you definitely do work with?

Sean Campbell 01:38
Well, for us, the industry is going to be basically- you’re a B2B software firm, right? So, you have that, and then you may be in a variety of verticals. So, you may work in life sciences. You may work in healthcare. You may work on gas. You may be a traditional player, like Google or AWS, or Microsoft. All those guys are accounts. So, it’s more about what they offer to the market than, necessarily, their vertical alignment.

Tom Poland 02:02
Thank you very much. And so, question number two, we’ve got six minutes left, what’s the problem you solve for those ideal clients?

Sean Campbell 02:09
Well, we used to summarize it a few different ways, but we ended up boiling it down over the years. You know, this is your 16 of owning the firm. We either help people figure out how to identify and solve for market pain, or identify and find new opportunities. And to be honest, I would say 80% of the people that call us are in pain, partly because it’s easier to spend to solve for pain than it is to just, you know, spend for research to solve for opportunity. But those are the two things-

Tom Poland 02:37
Right.

Sean Campbell 02:38
And the pain is either a competitive threat. You’ve kind of done it to yourself. You have a poor product, a poor solution. The opportunity is the traditional thing. You’ve got a new product, new solution, new space you want to move into. You do business in the US. You want to grow across that big ditch and go do business in Australia. You know, you need to research that market before you get there.

Tom Poland 02:58
Thank you, sir. Question number three, five minutes left. What are the typical symptoms of people experiencing “the pain” or “the pursuit of opportunity problems”? So, in other words, if someone’s listening to this, how would they know that they need to talk with you? What’s sort of- so what’s going on that they’re going “Oh, yeah. Heads up. I need to reach, out talk to Sean.”

Sean Campbell 03:17
Nobody has any real data behind their opinions.

Tom Poland 03:20
Haha!

Sean Campbell 03:20
I mean, that’s probably the biggest one. I mean, in a lot of companies, they build decisions on consensus making and kind of conjecture. And it’s fairly rare for them to go outside the building and say, “What do our customers think of us when we’re not in the room? What do our competitors really do well because we like to just disparage them, but obviously, they’re functioning businesses unto themselves? So, they must be servicing some type of customer efficiently.” And so, let’s go figure that out. So, I sometimes say that insights in the building should have an expiration date on them. And if it’s been too long, you need to update that and get yourself a new gallon of milk, or new pints, depending on where you’re at in the world.

Tom Poland 04:02
Or liter. Yeah.

Sean Campbell 04:03
Yeah. Oh, sorry. There you go. Yeah!

Tom Poland 04:04
That’s alright. That’s this- I understand the metric thing. Hey, that leads us quite nicely into question four. Four minutes left. Question four, because you’ve mentioned a big mistake that people make, which is thinking, “Well, we all agree, right? So, we must be going the right direction, as opposed to getting the data, getting the facts and, basically, decisions on that.” Question four is, what are the sort of common mistakes that people might be making, trying to solve the problem, “the pain problem” or “the pursue the opportunity problem”? What other things are they doing that actually turns out, in the end, they go,” Oh shit. That was a mistake”?

Sean Campbell 04:35
Well, for market research, I think the biggest one is a really huge emphasis on quantitative research over qualitative. You know- and some of that, I think, is just, if you threw a rock out to your average business professional, and you said, “Name what activity lines up with market research.” They would say, “Survey”, but the only reason they would say that is because that’s what they personally interact with. And so, what happens is companies will try to solve- for questions, it really should be done through qualitative research, in-depth interviews, focus groups, etc, by virtue of using kind of a more of a quantitative instrument. And the reason that’s important, this is the shortest reason for it, is you need to know what questions are meaningful to ask first, and you do that through discovery. And many companies rush to, “Let’s go build a survey instrument.”

Tom Poland 05:20
Right.

Sean Campbell 05:20
They ask a bunch of questions to just confirm their own biases. And now they’re- now they’re back in the boat of having spent money to confirm biases with, you know- that’s not a good place to be.

Tom Poland 05:30
So, does that mean that people need a process for coming up with the questions in the first place, as opposed to just, again, the fallback position of, “We all agree these are the right questions”?

Sean Campbell 5:39
Absolutely.

Tom Poland 05:40
Okay. Interesting. Thank you. Two minutes left. I better hustle. Question five is a valuable free action. So, this is a top tip- take folks a step in the right direction, probably won’t solve the whole problem. What do you got?

Sean Campbell 05:52
I would say the next time you’re in a meeting, and you’re all discussing something, just simply look around at all those opinions that are shared, and see if anyone has any data or any input that is from any source outside the building.

Tom Poland 06:07
Wonderful!

Sean Campbell 06:08
And if it’s not, maybe you need to go get some research. And again, just to be clear, maybe it’s even desk research or web research or finding an independent report. But if you feel like meeting after meeting, you’re just talking about data sources from inside the four walls, that should be a warning bell.

Tom Poland 06:24
Alright. Thank you, sir. 80 seconds left. Question six, one valuable free resource. Now, folks, the website is cascadeinsights.com. What can people get from that, Sean, that might actually further educate them about this?

Sean Campbell 06:39
Probably one singular resource is we have something called 101 Market Research questions that has a lot of different research questions that organizations should ask. There are also some interesting podcast episodes and blog posts we’ve done on the subject over the years.

Tom Poland 06:51
Okay, so go to cascadeinsights.com. Under “Resources”, you’ll find B2B studies in “Resources”. There’s a lot of information there. Thank you, sir. 45 seconds left. One more question. What’s the one question I should have asked you, but didn’t?

Sean Campbell 07:04
When shouldn’t you do market research?

Tom Poland 07:05
So when should you not do market research?

Sean Campbell 07:09
There’s a couple of answers to that-

Tom Poland 07:11
35 seconds!

Sean Campbell 07:11
-Really short. Yeah, no really short. Sometimes instinct is the best guide. If you’re a small company, you don’t always have to go necessarily blow the money out to go do research.

Tom Poland 07:21
Right.

Sean Campbell 07:21
The other time would be when really you do have access to really good data about the market. You don’t have to keep reconfirming it. Large companies fall into that trap because they’re risk-averse, so they keep paying for research long past the point they should have.

Tom Poland 07:36
Perfect. Sean Campbell, thank you so much for your time. Three seconds to spare. You’re a gem.

Sean Campbell 07:41
Thanks for having me on.

Tom Poland 07:43
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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