The next component of the three C’s model is customers. For the companies I’ve worked with, this step provided a tremendous amount of value. It’s amazing that assessing customers and their needs could be a novel concept. But for many companies it is.
The clients that Mezzanine serves are often thrilled that we will be interviewing their customers and prospects to systematically identify why and how they buy, what emerging needs they have, and what perceptions they have of the company and the competition. The purpose of the customer assessment is to intimately understand buying behaviour.
There are two ways to gather this knowledge—secondary and primary research. Secondary research relies on published information (such as industry reports) and capturing the customer knowledge that already exists in your company (sales, customer service, and management). Primary research involves conducting interviews and creating surveys directed at current or prospective customers.
Secondary Research Secondary research is good if you need some high-level data, like the size and structure of particular industries you’re considering to enter. It can help you make decisions about which industries to pursue or potential untapped markets or customer bases. The challenge with secondary research is that there’s either too much or too little.