Years of research by Booze & Co. have shown no correlation between how much you spend on R&D and how well you perform over the long term. A better strategy? Understand what customers want… so your R&D doesn’t develop great cures for no known diseases.
More in article, Better get used to mediocre growth
Modern “Jobs-to-be-Done” thinking began with the most popular HBR article ever written: Ted Levitt’s “Marketing Myopia.” It begins this way: “Every major industry was once a growth industry. But some that are not riding a wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others, which are thought of as seasoned growth ... Read More
In a whispered voice, a B2B business executive confided to me that his company seldom spent more than $10k on their product launches… even after spending hundreds of thousands developing the product. This isn’t launching a product. This is kicking it off the loading dock and hoping someone finds it.
More in article, Stop Squandering Your Product Launch Budget
Is your business descending the 9 steps of the commodity death spiral right now? Do you see yourself in a specialty vs. commodity tug-of-war? Five commodity-pulling forces are arrayed against you. Specialty-pulling forces must come from one place—you, the supplier—or they won’t come at all.
More in article, The Commodity Death Spiral
You can improve a process anywhere down the value chain, or you can improve the ultimate product. (Mid-stream products don’t count.) Equipment and service providers often have their biggest impact on processes. Component or material makers often have a larger impact on products. In either case, you need to pursue these improvements with passion.
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 26).
In Level 1, you start with your ideas and launch products you think customers will want. In Level 2, you still start with your ideas, but “validate” them with customers. In Level 3, you start with customer needs, using divergent and convergent interviews. You uncover a full range of outcomes and only work on those customers care about.
More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 7).
If you focus on unimportant outcomes, customers will greet your new product with a collective yawn. If you satisfy outcomes competitors already meet, customers will greet you with a phone call requesting lower prices. How long will this take them? Depends if they have you on speed dial.
More in article, Your Best Path to Profitable, Sustainable Organic Growth
You want to get the right B2B interviewees in the room, but setting up great interviews can be tough. Interviewees may think… “I’m too busy… I don’t want to discuss confidential information… I can’t be bothered by a boring survey… I’ll bet they just want to sell me something.” Knowing how to overcome objections is as important a competitive edge as the interviewing skills themselves.
More in article, 9 Best Practices for Recruiting Customers
In a complex system—like your business—every action leads to a second-order effect (SOE). Some are unknowable. Others are easily predicted but routinely ignored by business leaders. We’ll explore growth-stunting SOE’s you should avoid… and a 5th order plan for your ultimate business success. A college student studies hard, gets good grades (second-order effect), and begins ... Read More
When you launch a product, do customers instantly begin buying? Or do they need months of deliberation? Start them deliberating well before your launch with engaging interviews and follow-up. Customers will help you make course corrections for a better new product… and when you’re ready to sell, they’ll be ready to buy much faster.
More in article, The Missing Objective in B2B VOC