How can YOU position your product or service in the market for consistent growth - in both customers and revenue - month-after-month?
There is nothing worse than building a product, service, or experience that you want to sell, putting it out into the world, and...
Or having your business - the one you poured your heart and soul in developing - dramatically underperform...
Or having your customers churn without knowing WHY...
The fundamental question for anyone in business should be...
What can I do to better serve my current and future customers today?
What if you could...
- Predict and address customer churn before it happens...
- Know exactly who to target your marketing to so that every dollar you spend on marketing is making you money instead of costing you money...
- Know exactly which customer segments are worth the most money for your business...
- Know how to market your offer to your customers in a way that grabs their attention without extensive, costly, and lengthy A/B testing...
- Ship products that people can't wait to buy, with customers virtually begging you to sell them your product or service...
This is a reality for über successful companies, like...
and Twitter (I know because I work there)...
As a detective, I work in facts like...
FACT: Customer focused businesses are more successful...
Every single decision at Amazon originates from knowing their customers...
And if you value your time and want people to buy your stuff your decisions should be no different.
You must get to know your customers.
Then, and only then, can you sell them things that they will actually care about. Things that will meet their needs and solve their problems. Things they will geek out about.
In fact, this is the secret behind creating customers for life. Peter Drucker had it right when he said,
The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.
Figure out what they need, what they want, and what they're willing to buy — to pay for, to read, to use, to share, to recommend.
So how do you become more customer-centric?
Hint: The single best way is by understanding them (and the things that motivate or drive them).
Which begs the question; how does one go about understanding them? Again, I work in facts, like...
FACT: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line...
Trying to guess what your customers need or want without verifying or validating the information is setting yourself up for A LOT of additional work and needless stress. You will spend time, energy, and money testing, pivoting, and changing only to find that you have made no progress.
Why take the more complicated, long, hard route to success?
When you can take the EASY, effective, and efficient way by following a method of inquiry that gives you the facts?
The best part is that you don't need to spend a fortune on "Big Data" solutions, expensive software platforms, or research firms who simply don't have the expertise to get the job done right.
Learning to Think Like a Detective is the straight line - the SHORT and EASY way.
You might be saying, "this sounds great, but where do I start?" Let's go back the the facts.
FACT: Customer data is THE SINGLE BEST starting point for an investigation...
You come up with a great idea. You spend countless hours wireframing, whiteboarding, building, writing, developing, and creating, only to hear...
Then, you spend hours editing, modifying, testing, outreach, marketing, building an email list and...
Then you attempt every strategy you can find online, and...
Then, you think maybe this idea wasn't the right choice. But no worries! You can just pivot. You have another idea that you think will be even more awesome than the first, and...
The cycle begins again, and again, and again...
This scenario sucks, yet so many people needlessly go through it because it is completely avoidable.
The secret is, stop guessing and follow the facts. Think of your problem as an investigation and follow a tried-and-true process.
Your investigation should begin at the "point of origin," i.e. the place where the "rubber meets the road," i.e. your customers.
The easiest pathway (path of least resistance) to obtaining customer data is rapid, rigorous, and relevant interviews.
There is one final fact to consider.
FACT: Good data from a solid investigation can help you MAKE money...
Customer interviews are responsible for building a BILLION DOLLAR brand for consumer packaged goods giant Proctor & Gamble.
In the 1990's, there was a scientist working in a lab on a secret project to create a new product that could eradicate bad smells. Proctor & Gamble had spent millions of dollars developing this colorless, cheap-to-manufacture liquid that could be sprayed on nearly anything to “remove” an odor.
The success of this formula was so certain, that Proctor & Gamble had spent millions of dollars developing an ad campaign they were sure was going to hit it out of the park. So certain in fact, that the marketers sat back and began anticipating all the ways they would spend their bonuses.
They launched the product that you know as Febreze.
A week passed. Then two. A month. Two months. Sales were shrinking.
It looked like all hope was lost...
The marketing team decided to conduct some in-depth interviews to figure out what had gone wrong.
They needed to understand why Febreze was failing so miserably.
One of the interviews was with an avid cat lover; she owned nine cats.
As the researchers walked into the home, they were hit by an overwhelming odor that literally caused them to gag. This was nearly the exact time that the woman they had come to interview exclaimed that she was something of a neat freak.
As they sat down on the couch, the team began asking questions. This exchange stood out:
“What do you do about the cat smell?”
“It’s usually not a problem,” she said.
“Do you smell it now?”
“No,” she said. “Isn’t it wonderful? They hardly smell at all!”
This interview was mirrored by similar interviews in dozens of other smelly homes.
The insight hit the researchers almost as hard as the initial cat odor; the reason Febreze wasn’t selling was that people couldn’t detect odors in their homes that they had become accustomed to living with.
In essence; they had become desensitized to the scent! Even the strongest odors fade with constant exposure.
This investigation led Febreze to change their entire product and marketing strategy.
The original Febreze, conceived as a revolutionary way to destroy odors, became an air freshener used once things are already clean. Within two months, sales doubled. A year later, the product brought in $230 million.
Since then, the Febreze brand accounts for sales in excess of $1 billion a year. In fact, today it’s one of the top-selling products in the world.
This investigation was worth more than a billion dollars.
What could a solid investigation do for your business?
It should be apparent now that being a customer-centric (or obsessed) business matters.
It should also be apparent that conducting investigations can be valuable to your business.
The problem is, most people don't know where to begin to move the needle.
They might be EXPERTS in their domain, but an expert in one domain is not necessarily an expert in another.
For example, if you are an expert in marketing, does that make you an expert in finance?
My mechanic kicks ass at repairing cars, but would I let him give me surgery?
The path to expertise takes years of experience, training, practice, and education.
So what do you do when you aren't an expert, but you want expert results?
You either work with someone who specializes in the space, or you get specialized training to get up to speed.
Either way, I can help.
The Think Like a Detective™ Workshop
Bringing detective-grade investigation techniques, the latest in consumer psychology, and high-speed, low-drag consumer and market research tools and methods together...
In a proprietary, evidence-based method specifically designed to surface data and solve problems...
To help you, or your teams, ask better questions, rigorously investigate problems, skeptically evaluate data, and ACTIVATE on the results of your investigations.
FACT: The Think Like a Detective™ Workshop will help you get the information you need to position your product or service in the market for consistent growth - in both customers and revenue - month-after-month...
This program is the fastest (and most direct) path to finding product-market fit if you want to build a PROFITABLE business, product, service or experience without spending tens-of-thousands of dollars on “test and pivot” product development and marketing strategies…
Or the overwhelming expense of Big Data solutions that just take you farther away from understanding your customers.
In this intensive program, your teams will leave with the ability to engineer product-market fit using small datasets and leveraging rapid, relevant, and rigorous research methods…
Which will make them better equipped to market and position your products and services for consistent growth - in both customers and revenue - month-after-month.
But most importantly, you (or your teams) will learn a repeatable process that they can use...
Over and over and over again...
Give a person a fish, you feed them for dinner. Teach a person to fish, you feed them for a lifetime. - Chinese Proverb
This is your unique opportunity to partner with a global research expert, consumer psychologist, and retired police detective to learn how to engineer product-market fit using small datasets by using rapid, relevant, and rigorous research methods... on your own.
The Think Like a Detective™ Workshop is for you if...
- You're stuck in your business, customer, or product development journey, i.e. finding your business idea, figuring out why your customers aren't buying, or deciding what product to build next;
- You want to be a truly customer-centric business — one that truly helps its audience;
- Your marketing feels "flat" or is not generating the type attention or "buzz" you are hoping for and you want to be as recognizable as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and other global brands.
The Think Like a Detective™ Workshop is a hypothesis-driven approach to understanding:
- Who your customers are;
- What problems and needs they have;
- How they are currently behaving;
- Which solutions customers will give you money for (even if the product is not built or completed yet);
- How to provide solutions in a way that works with how your customers decide, procure, buy, and use.
The Think Like a Detective™ Workshop is broken down into six sprints:
- Leverage the evidence-based Think Like a Detective™ Model to uncover pivotal clues for your business
- Learn how to use Bayesian Agility, Mental Models, and Naturalistic Decision-Making to conduct investigations
- Develop your Commander’s Intent, i.e. a primary objective, to keep things in scope, on budget, and on schedule
- Choose your "investigation" approach
- Magellan or Pasteur - Explore or Experiment?
- Define your hypotheses (if applicable)
- Identify the happenings on your “beat,” i.e. map a cultural worldview
- Define assumptions and gaining alignment on constructs
The Think Like a Detective™ Workshop
We work together to build a research strategy (a roadmap) that fits your specific needs. This isn't a "cookie cutter" program. All strategies are tailored to your specific situation and are actionable.
You will be exposed to new actionable content, not stuff out of an outdated textbook. You will see what is being used and is working right now. In addition, the content is designed for you to use; not just consume. In the end, you will have mental models and frameworks that will help you better understand your customers.
We will work together to develop ACTUAL documentation that you will use; not awkward worksheets that sit on your hard drive collecting proverbial dust. The things you create and leave with - you will ACTUALLY USE.
COMPLETE positioning toolbox — get ALL of the EXACT scripts, surveys, checklists, tools, and questionnaires you need to position your business idea and product. You will leave this program with a Customer Development Commander's Intent document that contains YOUR objective, an action plan that walks you step-by-step through YOUR plan of attack, a recruitment plan that walks you through YOUR recruitment process, a Screener, a Discussion Protocol, and Analysis and Synthesis outputs.
Conducting research is only half the battle. The other half is generating insights. To do this, you need a tool that can help you categorize what you have learned into useful "buckets." This is simplified by using a powerful and versatile qualitative analysis tool built for mobile and web.
You will learn the most cutting edge lean product experiments regularly used by product builders at companies like Spotify, Booking.com, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google and recommended by top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. These experiments are designed to help you validate your riskiest positioning assumptions.
You will learn advanced strategies including leveraging surveys to validate pricing. This information alone is worth more than the cost of the program.
I offer ongoing support options. You will never go through a week feeling like you are stuck. The collaborative calls help us "workshop" and remove blockers while providing you momentum to move your project forward. This allows you the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback before you get stuck.
Every week, you have unlimited text, phone, email (or Slack) access to me, with a guaranteed 12-hour turnaround during the week (next business day on weekends).
You have questions? Feeling stuck? Roadblock? No worries. I provide personalized answers and feedback through video micro lessons. I GUARANTEE you will never stay stuck.
I will personally review the documents you create so that you can be sure the tools you are using are accurate and will get you closer to your objective.
You and your team will work with an interview and innovation coach to help you understand your customers, develop hypotheses, test and walk you through the Think Like a Detective process, step-by-step.
Are you ready to position your product or service in the market for consistent growth - in both customers and revenue - month-after-month? Let's jump on a call.
Described as a modern-day, consumer-focused Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Ari Zelmanow is consumer psychologist (and retired police detective) who empowers product developers and engineering teams (creators and makers) to conduct rapid, rigorous, and relevant interviews to solve the right problems for their customers. He has taught advanced investigation and interviewing techniques to the public and private sectors. He currently leads a research team at Twitter, holds the prestigious Professional Researcher Certification, and is a full member of the American Psychological Association. He has worked with some of the most iconic brands across the globe to create breakthrough products, brands, and retail experiences.