This content relates to : MARKETING INNOVATION

Jagdish Sheth

Emory University 

Most of the pitfalls are over-reliance on market research. What people say is not what people do. In public opinion polls, you can easily see that thing; people change their minds, people are very contextually driven. And therefore, we rely too much on market research. I’m talking about traditional market research. So, one of the pitfalls is to follow the traditional process of: getting an idea. You test the idea. You do a large-scale survey on the idea. You might even put them into an accelerator, you know, let’s say here is now the idea will be used, how the product will be used, etcetera. But it’s all people’s imagination in what they answer. And we rely on that and not from … in the real world, by the time you’ve introduced the product, the context has changed. People have changed. So, that’s clearly one pitfall I’ve seen again and again.   

Second pitfall is that we think that our product, if we create, which is great, is in isolation. We do not understand how that will be nested in people’s daily living or corporate daily living; it’s the same thing. And therefore, we do not understand, what … the new word we use for it is, the ecosystem. The ecosystem can undermine the product. Not realize its own potential. Not because you have not invented a very good product or discovered something; it’s just that the ecosystem is not compatible in many ways with what you’re creating. Understanding the ecosystem, after the product is commercialized how will it exist or product in use? What are the long-term consequences of that product in use I think is another … companies don’t think like that. They think once they’ve designed the product, developed the product, throw it over the wall to the sales and marketing guys and if they fail, it’s their problem. They didn’t do a good marketing job, you know. And marketing begins to say, well the product was not designed right.

But I think ultimately the main thing is to really understand how product will be nested in use in the lifestyle of the consumer or lifestyle of the corporation for that matter. And then how that can be … and then find out where there are internal hurdles from usage of the product. To me, those are the very key, key areas to understand.  


Jagdish Sheth 

Charles H. Kellstadt Chaired Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School, Emory University