Can you do Market Research for your Life?
I recently joined a business coaching programme and, as part of our ‘homework’, we had to conduct 8-10 market research calls to get feedback on our new offer. And, as many of us in the group were getting to this stage in the course at the same time, we decided to exchange calls, to be both market researcher and market researchee.
It was really useful, and it was nice to ‘meet’ other programme members over Zoom, but during the calls, one thing in particular really struck me. I was talking to women from all over the world – South Africa, Bali, India, the Netherlands, Spain, America – so I received many different perspectives on my work from people of all different ages, races, backgrounds, cultures… you name it. They had different perspectives on what I should be offering, what I could include, what would be helpful to add into my offer, and what struggles they were facing in their business.
I also found it fascinating to learn all about their businesses and what services they’re offering to the world. If I’d just stuck to getting feedback from people like me, living in the same country as me, I wouldn’t have received so many different points of view. This is great for market research calls, but then I thought… couldn’t this work for other areas of our lives too?
Uncle Google May Not Be Enough
Whenever we have a problem or an issue we’re trying to solve, we can often turn to the same people for advice: friends, family members, colleagues, Uncle Google… and this is all well and good, but if you’ve been asking the same people for help for years, the type of advice you receive will likely be the same every time. If it works, no problem, but what if it doesn’t? What if you’re tired of looking at things through the same lens every time? And it doesn’t just have to be problems we have, either. Looking at anything from a different perspective can help our personal growth and self-development.
Expand Your Horizons
Just like travelling can expand our horizons, I believe talking to people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, who’ve had completely different upbringings to us, can help us look at our lives from a completely different perspective – one we might not have even realised existed. I had so many ‘aha!’ moments during my market research calls, and they really helped me define what I was offering.
In fact, just a few of those calls helped me shape the entire next phase of my business, giving me the key that I’d spent at least the last year trying to come up with (more on that in the weeks to come!). So, what if I were able to do this with the rest of my life? Who knows what insights I’d get, and what information I’d learn that could completely change the way I look at things?
Get on the Facebook
But how do you do this? Unless you already have lots of friends in different countries all over the world, it can be tough to know where to start. Personally, I made my connections through the Facebook group of the programme I’m enrolled in, and believe me when I say I’m in a LOT of Facebook groups. You might be too. Groups relating to a particular hobby you have are the best, because you know you’ll already have something in common with all the people in there.
So, why not spend a few minutes a day getting to know people from all over the world in whatever groups you’re in (or join some new ones if your current ones aren’t very global)? Make genuine connections with people completely different to you, and once you’ve built up your relationship a bit, ask them if they’d like to hop on a call or video chat.
You don't ask, you don't get
Or, if you’re in a FB group where this would be an appropriate thing to do, make a post stating outright that you’re looking to connect with people in different countries to expand your cultural horizons. Hey, you don’t ask, you don’t get, right? You never know, you might find your next internet bestie who can give you advice on your life from their own unique point of view and who can teach you all about their lives and their culture.
It’s like one of those cultural exchange programmes you get in high schools, but over Zoom and with less awkward teenage stuff going on at the same time.