Technology Innovation calls for continuous customer research

Innovation calls for continuous customer research


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Presented by GLG

Successful product development means knowing what’s important to your audience and why – and what they’re willing to spend on it. For insight into customer-oriented product development at every stage of the process, don’t miss this VB Spotlight.

Watch now for free on demand!

When budgets get tight, product development is one of the first things to go, but innovation should never take a hit.

“It is incredibly important to stay focused on innovation because when you look at past recessions, companies that succeed on the other side of these recessions and downturns are companies that are constantly investing in innovation,” said Manasvi Thawani, director of research insights at GLG. “It helps them come out on the other side and become successful.”

One of the main reasons is that companies that focus on innovation are preparing for the future. When the demand curve resurfaces, these companies have invested all the time and resources necessary to ensure they are there with the products and services their customers want and need. And even if demand falls in a recession, the demand for quality never declines. Staying competitive is about continuing to serve your customers with the highest quality products. Finally, it directly contributes to competitive differentiation.

“If your competitors don’t invest in innovation or product development, you stand out from them because as a company you prioritize your customers’ needs by constantly innovating and meeting their requirements, by constantly focusing on product development,” says Thawani. .

How do you achieve this? Customer research, the heart of customer-centric product development, says Hungyen Nguyen, senior engagement manager research insights at GLG.

“You always try to learn as much as you can about your product before it’s fully launched,” explains Nguyen. “And you try to minimize any surprises that come up once it hits the market.”

Preventing a Ticketmaster/Taylor Swift Meltdown

When Taylor Swift tickets went on sale last November, Ticketmaster’s rollout didn’t go as planned: the website crashed, was down for hours, and hundreds of thousands of fans were denied seats.

This may have been prevented by a technological solution under development from one of GLG’s recent customers. It is designed to help businesses reduce website downtime, or even charge their users extra for uninterrupted service, based on their usage needs.

The company wanted to know if their proposed new product was viable in the market: Would companies like Ticketmaster be interested in purchasing a solution that could prevent or reduce downtime? Which sectors offer the most opportunities? And how much would customers be willing to pay?

GLG recommended a two-pronged approach, starting with quantitative work to determine what value companies would place on the ability to shorten their recovery time after a disaster, and using qualitative work to validate the most promising sectors, what companies in those sectors expected for that new product and also fixed broad price ranges.

“This is an iterative process where you keep researching as you find more information,” Nguyen said. After following up on their findings, GLG recommended that the company go down the product development roadmap to further refine that price point with choice-based pricing control, refine the industries, and discover potential enthusiastic customers. They ran a Van Westendorp, a method that identifies critical price thresholds.

“That helped us understand what is cheap, but not too cheap? What is expensive, but not too expensive?” she says. “That helped the pricing strategy team come up with more marketing ideas and follow their product development roadmap.”

Critical product research at every stage

Companies should embed research into the overall product development roadmap strategy, adds Thawani, being very aware of the role customer sentiment plays in the process, and each innovative product idea through a research-led, market-driven, data-driven approach.

“Your customers are with you for a reason. Your competitors’ customers are with you for a reason,” she says. “Getting that unbiased market view when you do an unmet needs analysis is the best way to start your product development research journey.”

And throughout the lifecycle of strategies, it’s essential to embed market research into every single step, be it to market, price optimization, even early on in the market assessment, and to understand where those white spaces are.

“I think successful products always start with very thoughtful research,” she says. “Given Ticketmaster’s example, that’s just more validation for us to know that customer research is something that’s needed in the world we’re living in right now. It’s about incorporating research checkpoints into the product development roadmap before spending millions of dollars to go to market and experience catastrophe.

Don’t miss this VB On Demand event to learn more about data-driven market research, including a look at the four stages of product development, how to increase post-launch product success, and more!

Watch now for free on request!


  • Identifying unmet needs from early stages through product launch
  • Methodical approaches to arrive at critical insights
  • Identifying the main target groups
  • Uncovering customer needs and pain points
  • Validate the potential of your product
  • Optimize launch and product communication


  • Manasvi Thawanidirector of Research Insights, GLG
  • Hungyen NguyenSenior Engagement Manager, Research Insights, GLG
  • Art ColeModerator, VentureBeat

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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