Kelford Labs Daily: The other type of research

Not just them, but also you.

Kelford Labs Daily: The other type of research

“Customer research” is often thrown out as the end-all-be-all for marketing:

If you just interview enough potential customers, the idea goes, you’ll find out what you need to make to serve them best.

The problem is, though, that even if you know what the ideal customer wants, you don’t know if you’re the ideal business to provide it.

Meaning, just because you know what a potential customer wants to buy, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be the best business suited to provide that solution for that customer.

Because research needs to go both ways—you must look externally, yes, but you must also look internally.

It takes an honest wrestling with what you’re actually best at, what you actually love doing most, and what you’re actually positioned to provide at a profitable cost structure.

So, instead of solely focusing on finding out what the market wants, figure out what you can provide. Understand what you can be credibly the very best in the world at, and find the customers from your research who want that.

Look, some people can build businesses they don’t love to serve customers they don’t care about, as long as there’s money to be made.

But, in my experience, that’s a small group of people, and most people who think they fit that bill actually don’t.

Because sustainable, long-term businesses take more than opportunity, they take effort, patience, perseverance, and passion.

So, figure out what you do best. What you love most. And what your ideal customers value above everything else.

And do that.

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