Last week, I attended a winter beer festival at Cambridge University. A beer festival is a great place to find out about unfamiliar and new beers from the growing number of microbreweries around the UK. This, however, can bring a dilemma for the consumer. When I arrived, there were approximately 90 beers available to; so where to start? At first, I asked for a recommendation, but got the answer, “well what do you like”? I realised my simple error. I hadn’t asked the right question to the right people. I resorted to using the tasting notes on the Festival website, and it occurred to me that good, up to date information is vital in so many settings – whether helping in making a purchase as a consumer, knowing how to get from A to B without getting caught in heavy traffic, or guiding the commercial decision making process when determining which market to target for a new product.
One of the most difficult steps in market research is working out information is really needed and what questions should be asked to tease out the answers that address the big issues. Qi3 has recently launched “Ask the Experts” as a quick and easy method of getting to the right answer without the need for an extensive market survey. The concept is a simple one. For a modest fee, we offer to ask a single question to a handful of experts in a given field. That’s it. Short and to the point.
This approach of insisting on a single question focuses the mind to that information that is really needed to make a significant difference to a business’ market intelligence. Cutting everything down to that one question takes a surprisingly long time, but is in itself a useful process. The people we go on to talk to are carefully selected either from our large database of contacts, or sourced on a project by project basis, depending on the technology and the market. By limiting the scope and targeting the right people we can quickly get an insight into a defined marketing challenge. We believe that this methodology is going to be invaluable in helping companies guide product strategies in times of stringent budgets. The first projects using this methodology are underway. Watch out for case studies in the near future.
By the way, if you’re interested, the beer of the night for me was “San Jacinto”, an American IPA brewed by Bexar County Brewery near Peterborough, closely followed by Lord Conrad’s “Zulu”. That’s just my opinion; I guess it really depends on what you like.