Richard Washington

Recent Posts by Richard Washington:

Don't Make These 10 Product Management Mistakes

Successful product management is the perfect combination of aligning product capabilities with consumer demands.  As a manager, you are under a perpetual pressure cooker.  Skillfully managing each stage of the development lifecycle and avoiding product management mistakes are top priorities.  I reflect on my previous experience as a product manager for a non-profit's social media platform.  Long hours, beta testing, user groups, and stress balls filled my days.  Ultimately, the efforts were successful and the platform is an integral part of association's membership base.

Topics: Market Research Strategy

The Lean Startup: Why Market Research is Different for Startups

When Steve Blank spoke at FindTheBest last week, he made one thing very clear, “Startups are not smaller versions of big corporations.” Yet, many entrepreneurs still try to shape their ventures to imitate the practices of corporations. To Blank, this methodology was always quite frustrating. From his 21 years of experience with 8 high technology companies, he has learned how to develop successful startups and how to mitigate failure. His involvement in the startup realm has made Steve a thought leader on entrepreneurship.

Fortunately for future entrepreneurs, Steve has retired from building companies to share his startup wisdom with others. He's a professor at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Columbia, where he helps undergraduate and graduate students turn their ideas into feasible ventures. If you are not a student at one of those universities, you can learn from Steve’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany. This book explains why startups cannot pretend to be small corporations because they require entirely different strategies for success. This new style of developing a startup is referred to as the Lean Startup method and has three key points.

3 Key Points of the Lean Startup

Topics: Market Research Strategy

Why Small Businesses Need to Include SEO in Their Growth Strategy

Small businesses that operate in local markets often shy away from competing online, preferring to focus on the traditional methods of conducting business. In the United States, an astounding 15 million businesses do not have a website, that’s 58% of all US businesses (Weebly, 2013). This may seem counterintuitive considering how much of commerce is carried out online. However, it is actually a testament to how technically behind many of America’s small businesses truly are.

Moreover, Weebly reported that 56% of consumers do not trust a business without a website. Ironically, by sticking to traditional methods of commerce, businesses are actually losing credibility. Small businesses must get online immediately if they want to be able to compete. But simply having a website isn’t enough. Once a small business has a website, they have to make sure it is search engine optimized.

Topics: SEO Market Research Strategy

5 Market Research Mistakes You Must Avoid

Market research is an essential cog in every corporate strategy.  Knowing everything possible about your climate is the only way to enter the market and stay relevant. Much like baking a cake, a successful business wholly depends on the successful merging of all the ingredients. 

Topics: Market Research Strategy

How to Manage Your Product During The Post-Market Phase

Focus groups and surveys are core pieces of a strategic marketing plan and market research, particularly during the post-market phase of starting your business and taking your product to market.  Managing your product during the post-market phase is just as important as every other step in the process of starting a new business.

In our case study, a proposed launch of a consumer culinary device called the Dynamic Ingredients Dispenser (DID), we discussed the benefits of drawing upon Market Research reports and methods to help with taking a product to market.

Topics: Academic Market Research Strategy How To's

5 Reasons Why Objectivity is Critical When Performing Market Research

Obtaining quality market research is a very difficult task. It is even more complicated if your livelihood is completely attached to the business for which you are researching. Whether you are a small business owner or a founder of a growing start-up, there is always sentiment attached to your business. They are like a child to most owners. Regularly, this connection is why a business flourishes. Like a child, owners want the absolute best for their business.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Market Research Provider

5 Most Effective Ways to Use Twitter for Market Research

Social media is creating better opportunities to engage and share expertise, family photos, and self-aggrandizing quotes (ok, maybe I'm just talking about myself, but you get the point.)  Specifically, Twitter has empowered us to drop pint size knowledge in under 140 characters.  Its popularity is increasing with each tweet.  According to eBiz, Twitter is the 9th most visited website on the Internet. From teenagers to corporations, Twitters' penetration makes it an attractive option to conduct market research.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Social Media

How to Advertise Your New Product Using Market Research

You made the determination that a demand exists for your new product idea.  The financing to get your business off the ground is in the bag; and you are certain that you have a great product to take to the market. However, here's a question that you must ask yourself. Does the consumer know how great your product is?

Topics: Market Research Strategy Advertising Marketing

How to Use Market Research to Finance Your New Product

Congratulations! You have made it over the first few hurdles in the process of taking your new product idea to the market. Now comes a big and important challenge -- raising the financing for your business. 

As outlined in earlier posts, we're highlighting the important ways that market research can inform your strategic business planning and decision-making. Knowing how to skillfully use market intelligence will provide a solid foundation for your product's success.

Topics: Academic Market Research Strategy How To's

Avoid These Two Major Mistakes When Taking Your Product to Market

After you have determined whether your new product idea or service is viable for starting a new business, the next step is to figure out what consumer segment is most suitable for taking a product to market.  Your market research process is a major contributor to starting a new business.

In the instance of our case study product, the Dynamic Ingredients Dispenser (DID), we already have a clear sales strategy: the home consumer market. As a result, the next step is to get more granular and figure out whom the real target in the market is.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Demographics Marketing