Founders Programme Session 1 - How to ace your customer discovery.

Gain invaluable information about your potential target market - from framing and conducting your customer research to practically extracting the key nuggets of insights from this process.

Session one of our most recent Founders Programme focused on how to gain invaluable information about your potential target market - from framing and conducting your customer research to practically extracting the key nuggets of insights from this process.

This session was hosted by former Forward Founding Partner and CPO, Dharmesh Raithatha, who now dedicates his time to product coaching for entrepreneurs and startups. 

Get our round-up on the Customer Discovery framework below.

Key takeaways.

🥡  1. Focus on building your domain expertise as quickly as possible. 

As a founder, the first thing you need to do is develop real empathy with your potential customers via customer research. The three key ways to explore this are:

  1. Try to solve the problem yourself. 
  2. Watch people who are trying to solve the problem. 
  3. Listen to real stories from your potential customers.

🥡  2. Use interviews to uncover proposition-shaping insights

Whilst securing customer interviews for free is preferable for cash-strapped startups, you should be prepared to compensate your participants. Our advice is that the insights gained from these sessions far outweigh the small cost in the long-term.

When trying to secure research participants think about where your target audience spends their time, either physically or virtually. Where you find your participants will differ for B2C and B2B but it’s important for you to think about this before you start your customer discovery process. 

🥡  3. Structure your insights to draw more valuable conclusions.
Once you have successfully conducted your research with a broad number of participants across a few segments, you then must organise the research in a way that you and your team can draw meaningful insights from it. 

We'd recommend using one of the following three frameworks:

Four Forces Framework: Frustration, Attraction, Anxiety or Habit. Which you can then use to understand the things that pull your customers towards a new solution or potentially push them away. 

Key Themes: Using key topics or themes to organise your research can be extremely helpful when moulding your product strategy and defining your key audiences

Timeline Framework: Structuring the research in terms of a customer journey can be a very effective way to ensure your team has a solid understanding of the target customer. It also allows you to identify new opportunities at different stages of the process. 

Recommended reading.

Ann-Marie has almost a decade's worth of experience building and scaling startups in the UK tech industry. From luxury travel and corporate events to robotic process automation, she loves challenger brands with a killer idea. Passionate about ESG initiatives, Ann-Marie has implemented many programmes in her previous roles to support charities tackling homelessness and helping young people and women into careers within the tech sector.

At Forward, Ann-Marie is responsible for our brand and building experiences that founders love, whilst supporting the growing businesses in our portfolio via the Studio.

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