Memo to Facebook and Penney’s: Do Some Market Research

Facebook’s latest roll out of the newspaper design for pages might be a gee whiz technically, and was introduced to much fanfare in the business media, but it would be nice to know that they actually did some market research on this idea, and that it’s going to solve one of their customer problems, which is customer engagement on the site. Facebook is apparently losing the interest of its younger users, as being passe, in favor of new geewhizzers like Pinterest.

Google, for example, has an entire division, called New Projects, that derives from customer research and experience. And, we’re sure that this has had something to do with Google remaining at the top of the search engine heap, despite determined challenges from Bing, for example.

JC Penney’s President, Ron Johnson, recently disclosed that he didn’t order any market research before ordering the massive makeover of Penney’s image and stores. This is really astonishing. Had he ordered market research, he might have found out what we’ve heard, that Penney’s alienated its core older segment of customers. And, that the segment might not have needed another Target. After countless millions, he’s figured it out now. And he’s gone back to price promotion. Duh.

If you do focus group research on your core group of customers, invariably they will either tell you outright or give you clues as to whether your idea is a winner. And you’ll save a boatload of money.

If Johnson or Zuckerberg’s minnions call us, we’ll happily comp them our course A02, Viability of a New Business Venture. We’re not holding our breath

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