Small business owner Katy Piotrowski has a problem: Her Career Solutions Group continues to grow and she needs to design new tools for her customers on an ongoing basis. Katy recently shared with me how she has incorporated market feedback using SurveyGold web survey forms to create next-generation solutions for her customers. She describes her problem space this way:
I am assessing the need for specific features and preferences in a service that I am developing. As in, "Which type of support would you prefer, this type or that type?"
We pick up her story at the onset of trying to design a new solution..
At first, prior to using SurveyGold, Katy tried a reasonable and well-intentioned approach to designing new tools. To be sure, Katy has a lot of experience to draw upon. She has penned a career advice column for 15+ years and was named one of five top career counselors in the United States by the National Career Development Association. She also holds a Master of Education degree from Colorado State University in Vocational Education, Career Development and Career Counseling.
Despite her best efforts, she reports that her efforts meet with frustration.
Prior to using SurveyGold, I was GUESSING at what should be included, and I wasted an entire year of time and opportunity by heading down the wrong path.
Katy shifts gears and decides to use a LEAN development methodology to gain new insights into the problems in the market. Surveys are a crucial part of the process. Yet, when it comes time to pick a survey tool, she has a very specific set of requirements and apprehensions.
I'm not a programmer type. New software tools intimidate me generally.
I didn't want to use a free survey tool that roped users into giving their email information and receiving a slew of spam.
I wanted a survey tool that would be professional, easy to figure out, get me the data I needed, would be reasonably priced, and had high ratings from reviewers and users.
SurveyGold proves to be her selection. Despite having no prior experience using survey tools, Katy designs and deploys surveys with nary a learning curve.
SurveyGold has met all of my criteria, beautifully!
SurveyGold does a stellar job of inching the survey designer forward toward creation of the desired result. I'd never used a tool like this before, but I was able to figure out what do to with relatively little effort.
Katy finds her key to success when she begins to engage people experiencing the problems she wants to solve. She uses SurveyGold web survey forms to quickly and affordably collect input from people. The results give her confidence and efficiency in her product design decisions.
Now I have quick access to first-hand input from my target audience about what they desire in the tool I'm creating, allowing me to put together a more successful product faster and less expensively.
In the final analysis, Katy learns a lesson that inside-out thinking pales in comparison to the outside-in insight gained from engaging people in the market who have real problems.
For the record, I'm a big fan of Pragmatic Marketing. Pragmatic teaches companies how to build and market products people want to buy. (Disclaimer: I'm professionally certified in the fundamentals of the Pragmatic Marketing Framework for market-driven product management. I haven't arrived yet. I'm a work-in-progress, learning every day.)
One of the key concepts that Pragmatic Marketing teaches product managers is to shift from thinking inside-out to thinking outside-in. An inside-out idea is one that you come up with yourself, in the shower, on the treadmill, or in a meeting room behind closed doors. In contrast, an outside-in idea is an insight that you gain by observing and engaging people with problems in their native habitat.
Katy now fully appreciates the value of gathering insight through the use of online surveys. SurveyGold survey tools provide her with an affordable and efficient means of collecting invaluable market insight. Her story is the essence of why SurveyGold exists.
I am delighted that SurveyGold is contributing to Katy Piotrowski's success and to the success of Career Solutions Group. My thanks to Katy for allowing me to retell her story. Using an outside-in approach increases the likelihood that the final product truly resonates with people in the market.