When we try to figure out what the jobs, pains and gains of our future customers are, it is tempting to do all the research from scratch.
But maybe you don’t have to. Maybe there are forums where you can get a pretty good feeling, before you spend a lot of time doing surveys, interviews and observe the behaviour of your customers.
One place to look is in competing products. Especially the ones that seem to do rather well.
Get your hands on them, try them out and reverse engineer the problem statements that lies behind the form and feature(s) of the product.
What is the core feature of the product? Does it cater to a specific target audience? Which? And why? And what is the core assumption behind how it’s done?
If you spend a bit of time reverse engineering the competition for jobs, pains and gains, you will probably get a pretty good idea about what the real jobs are that determines whether a customer buys and uses said product or not.
And then it becomes a question of your future product doing it better, cheaper or whatever. But preferably better since that will serve you well, when you start to focus on retention.
After all you shouldn’t make it as easy for another competitor to snatch away your customers from you, as it (perhaps) was for you, should you?
Another place where you can look for insights into the jobs, pains and gains of your future customers is social media. I know for a fact it can be a pure gold mine for insights into what needs, your product could serve.
The great thing about social media – and especially more niche oriented groups – is that people are unfiltered. They will be looking for advice and guidance, and the more they look for it, the bigger a felt need it is for them.
That is not to say that you should do everything, a community tells you to do. Of course you shouldn’t, and often the conversation ventures in a lot of different directions.
But if you take the time to look for signals – tone of voice, mentions of a specific problem again and again etc. – there is actually a ton of things, you can take away with you.
That should set you off to a good start before you start doing a lot of classic user and market research too.