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Primary market research: Alternatives and workarounds in the buying journey

Your prospects are using all kinds of tools and methods to deliver their Jobs to be Done. Understand these and reframe your position and messaging to compete with your ‘real’ competitors. Discover how to conduct primary market research and what are the alternatives and workarounds in the buyer journey process.
Alternatives and workarounds in the buying journey process

Discover how to conduct primary market research and what are the alternatives and workarounds in the buyer journey process.

There’s an assumption with the marketing phrase ‘buying journey’ that the prospect is seeking to ‘buy’ a solution. This is not always the case but prospects will be going on a journey towards the delivery of the Job they want done. Primary market research is necessary to understand this.

So, in the journey (buying or otherwise) of getting a Job done, every prospect will be seeing alternatives and workarounds to buying a software or service product. They will be hacking their way to success. At some point the pain becomes significant enough to justify looking at the market for solutions. 

Start-up teacher and founder Steve Blank observed that early adopter buyers all share common characteristics:

  1. They have a problem.
  2. They understand they have a problem.
  3. They are actively searching for a solution and have a timetable for finding it.
  4. The problem is painful enough that they have cobbled together an interim solution.
  5. They have, or can quickly acquire, dollars to purchase the product to solve their problem.

This model is designed to help new products focus on the right ‘Earlyvangelists’ (Early Adopter + Internal Evangelist), in order to recruit the right early customer partners to develop a product with. 

However, we use this checklist for Series B+ venture funded or Small Cap private equity backed businesses because it focuses on the journey (or process) buyers go through to get their Jobs done. 

Alternatives and workarounds are deployed at every stage of this process.

For example, one of our clients is an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data platform. The Jobs their buyers want done relate to compliance: do the products they create adhere to manufacturing laws around the world. Their buyers’ alternatives and workarounds involved Excel, email and tons of communication between departments. So it became obvious that rather than only focus on ESG data, we should also reference how the platform simplifies workflows and how that creates competitive advantage. This is an example of being aware of alternatives, not slavishly following the lexicon of the category.

Alternatives and workarounds help define the ‘real’ space your product or service sits within. Plotting journeys to getting Jobs done, and listening out for where the budget is currently being spent, allows you to understand your true competition. 

So the steps to creating a space in the ‘journey’ where you can help your prospects save time, money and stress boils down to:

  1. Know where your true value lies in the process of getting Jobs done.
    Where in the process do you add the most value for customers and why?
    Insight needed: Why do your best buyers buy, what do they benefit from & why do they keep buying?
  1. Make competitor strengths weaknesses
    Which alternatives do you outperform, and at which stage of the process of getting Jobs done do you shine?
    Insight needed: Where do pains still exist, even when prospects are using competitors?
  1. Reframe the market around the process you solve best
    Prospects will be thinking they have to continue with the current processes they’ve adopted to get their Jobs done. Your opportunity is to show there’s a new way to get to where they want to get to, without the hassle of the process they’re following or the alternatives they’re using.

This stage of the process is satisfying. 

Usually, it elicits significant new insights and helps with reframes of the market that trigger new ways to develop the product as well as communicate its benefits.

I’ll elaborate more in future training sessions, but until then please get in touch. I’ll take you through how we can discover fresh insights for your marketing and sales teams that will simplify your messaging and pour fuel on the marketing efforts.

Watch the video and give us a call and I’ll take you through the methodology.

Contact us here

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