Market Research??? No Need!!!

Check this out. Based on the graphic above, you can probably guess what you are going to see and here in the latest of RFL’s great video reports. Yup, that’s Amazon’s Bezos, being quoted as saying that MR would not have contributed an iota to the Company’s wildly successful Echo product line.

You’ve heard this one before. Steve Jobs said the same thing about the Apple product line.  

Oh, and then there is the great Henry Ford line about MR. If you had asked people what their dream form of  transportation was decades ago, Ford snickered, they would have told you a faster horse!

We get it. The problem with marketing research is that it is not very good at predicting things that are discontinuous with the here and now. But. Amazon, Apple and Ford all invested a lot of money on such discontinuous offerings. How does risk get minimized? Or even managed?

Bottom Line. I am thinking that the three great marketing pundits listed above would all have the same two answers, as Bob Lederer notes in attribution to Bezos. First, make sure that you staff members  are genuinely creative visionaries, i.e., that they intuitively know what is going to work and what isn’t without asking consumers.  

Second, be prepared for some big losses. None of the three entrepreneurs were/are big on “test markets.” Each of them believe(d) that it is necessary to go “all in” if a product launch is going to be successful. That can get expensive if you are wrong. 

Is there a better way to conceptualize marketing research about futuristic products so that investing in them sounds less like a cross between faith and gambling? 

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