If you want to REALLY know what people want to buy, then this article will explain why you should never survey them about it.
Gary Halbert, the prince of print as they called him back in the day, used to lecture to marketing students. He wanted to show them that people don’t really put their money where their mouth is, which could be hazardous for a marketer who wants to know what they really want to buy, so he asked the students:
Who in here would prefer going to a play than going to a movie?
90% of the marketing students raised their hands.
“Liars!” he shouted, “And I’ll prove it!”
And then he asked:
“How many of you have been to a play in the last week?”
Almost no one raises their hand
“How many of you have been to a movie in the last week?”
80% of the students raise their hands.
“I rest my case!”
Another fact –
When asked about their favorite book to read, most people will instantly respond; it’s The Bible.
But if that’s true, then how come more copies of The National Enquirer are sold EVERY MONTH than bible copies sold in the last century?
Gary Halbert’s answer – “Must be all those damn Martians… “
That’s the reason you don’t want to ask people what they’re interested in because that’s when the pompous intellect in them kicks in and says what people (and their own ego) want to hear. Everybody wants to feel good about themselves and their priorities.
But one fact holds true –
Although people rarely put their money where their mouth is, people almost always put their money where their true desire is.
So how to find out what your market really wants?
Find out what worries or pisses them off – be a fly on the wall in your market’s forum, read the magazines they’re reading and simply ask people who bought from you what convinced them.
Find out what people in your niche are spending their money on – check out your niche best selling products and best-selling books. Read people’s reviews (especially the long ones) of these products to get a good understanding of what they were expecting to get from them and why they were disappointed or glad they bought it.
Just following the two above tips will give you an outstanding insight into what your market really wants and what your future products should be about.
When you get stuck – always go back to your market.
That’s where all the answers are.