Assessing Market Demand

Earlier this week I was talking to an entrepreneur about his new idea. He was selling me hard on how it was such a great idea and that it’d be super easy to sell. I then asked about competitors and who else was in the market doing it. So, I asked, “If you were a buyer, what search terms would you use on Google to find this service?” We tried a half dozen searches and had no luck finding anything related to this idea. Do I believe competitors exist? Absolutely. Could I find anything? No. Without being able to research the idea more by way of competitors, I recommended he assess market demand.

Here are a few ideas on assessing market demand:

  • Browse LinkedIn for 50 people with the pain and send them an InMail message asking to talk
  • Ask 20 friends for introductions to any of their friends or professional contacts that can help
  • Visit five relevant trade shows and talk to 100 people
  • Attend five local networking groups and share the idea with 20 people to get referrals to more people

As with any customer discovery, it’s hard to get in front of the right people and assess market demand. With the appropriate effort and time it’s readily accomplished, and invaluable.

What else? What are some other thoughts on assessing market demand?

6 thoughts on “Assessing Market Demand

  1. Great recommendations!

    Customer discovery is essential to getting any start up off the ground. Without demand it doesn’t matter how great the product is.

    Some additions to your power list to take a reading of the markets needs are;

    1. Create a Facebook page – its free and can help generate a following which can lead to a demand.

    2. Join LinkedIn groups – don’t spam the group with your product, slowly release the message about your product with out trying to sell it. try to become a valuable resource.

    If you love what you do, you can “tap dance to work in the morning” as the Oracle of Omaha always says.

    – Andrew.

  2. I like to do this by starting to work for free for early target customers and see what sticks. Then use these customers for testimonials and market insights. It is a great way to get not only references and testimonials but to also rapidly evolve/ adapt the business to customer need with no financial obligation. These can then become early paying customers too.

  3. Offer the product, not for free but for a very reduced price. Serious people tend to stay away from “free”. If the product gains traction than you’re onto something and… Those who use the product will talk if they like it. Caution should be used however, putting a product out too soon also causes people to talk.

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