Category Archives: LinkedIn

Understand the Role of Research in a Product Launch. Or Fail.

Companies today are hungry for cash. For the small business owner payroll is at risk. Medium to large sized organizations are closely watching new industry products. Remaining competitive is a must.

You, as a business owner want to find solutions.  Your creditability, livelihood and future depend on it. Here are 4 key ideas that will guarantee your new product launch will fail- and what you can do to make sure that it doesn’t.

1. Guaranteed Failure: Not having a process in place, written down and explained to the team members.

Process

Process


If you don’t have a fully tested and robust process in place, then you will not be successful. Your team will be confused and you’ll end up treading water. Expectations and the understanding of how part A works with part C are lost. In the end, you’ll lose money, credibility and clients. Oh, and your team will think you’ve lost your marbles.

Simple Solution: Put a flowsheet together and document the process.

2. Guaranteed Failure: Falling in love with the technology too quickly.

Sweet Technology

Sweet Technology

 

It’s the latest! It’s the greatest! It will solve this problem that we have- or one that we think we have!

Stop and carefully think about the software that’s sitting in front of you. Does it address an actual documented need or an imaginary one? Just because someone builds it does not mean you need to come visit.

Simple Solution: Perform a SWOT analysis on the product that this software is supposed to ‘fix’. While you’re at it perform a SWOT analysis on the software itself. If you decide to proceed look at what else is on the marketplace and compare the tools.

3. Guaranteed Failure: Deploying another company’s beta system and charging your clients for it.

Would you sell beta?

Would you sell beta?


As a researcher, I test information. Depending on the scope of the project, I will conduct a variety of tests. Different stages of research demand different types of attention. Now, I may want to play around with a tool to see how it works. But, I will not deploy (ever) someone else’s beta tool and charge my clients for it.

For starters, beta testing is to identify problems on an external level. You’re the guinea pig.  If your client’s information is lost then you have to fix it. When a company doesn’t deliver on a promise then you can bet that bad news will travel fast.

Sell beta and you’ll lose time, money, effort and your good reputation.

Simple Solution: Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the developer. Test internally if you must use a beta system. Establish strict parameters around doing. Limit your risk by not offering it as a billable service to the client.

4.Guaranteed Failure: Not communicating with your information technology team.

The Team. Your Company's Lifeline.

The Team. Your Company's Lifeline.


When you don’t communicate with your team you create blind spots. Blind spots are detrimental to a company as they impact morale, problem solving and creativity. When information is withheld the information technology team is left with a guessing game.

When you don’t talk to your technical team, you miss their expertise and their ability to solve complex problems. Their feedback early on could identify potential costly problems after deployment.

Simple Solution: Talk to your information technology team and ask them to provide feedback throughout the process.

Think about your Road to Success.

Do you have a map?

Do you have a map?


I’ve given you a few solutions. Now, here’s where you use solid planning throughout the project to meet your goals.

A. Approach the project launch with the end in mind. Doing this provides a roadmap on what you need to do to get to your goal- your X marks the spot.

B. Understand how the new tool fits into the company’s core products. If you’re a television company it makes little sense for you to add a financial tool kit as a stand-alone. Know the product and be aware of how it interacts with other products already in place.

C. Think how your client’s and your team will use this tool on a regular basis. Imagine your client is sitting at this desk. How does he move through the product? What happens when he gets an error message? Do the same internally. Approach the product from a multiple user perspective.

Johann Lohrmann
Director of Research
Bringing Research to Life for Businesses

johannlohrmann(at)gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannlohrmann
http://twitter.com/proresearch
http://www.atlantamediaresearch.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Balance, Career, creativity, Customers, imagination, industries, LinkedIn, Research, Strategy, technology

Just Seize the Day, Will Ya?

One of my friends frantically called me the other day. It was work related and she was under the gun. From the tone of her voice I knew it was important. She asked for my help and when a friend asks for help, you’re there. Foxhole and all.

Being the research wonderboy that I am, I listened and then told her the search terms to use. I then walked her through the process on how to find exactly what she wanted. If she doesn’t know what to research, then she probably does not know how to use the right tools.

Research involves strategy and the ability to communicate one’s thoughts. Maybe that communication comes in the form of a video, an article, a giant spreadsheet complete with graphs and charts. The goal is to put research into action. (Industry folks know this as actionable research and actionable intelligence).

Even though it was an easy find for me it was a difficult find for my friend. Then again, I’m not an nurse and there is zero chance that I would ever find nursing as a reasonable career move. My friend did the right thing. She knew she had to find something and she called me. What she didn‘t do was quit.

A good researcher will not quit and will not give up. If he doesn’t find the information then he will continue to dig. He also knows how to find someone who can help him.

Of course, this applies to every day life. Sure all of us have had an economically rocky couple of years. But, you don’t quit. You keep plugging away and following that precious strategy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Atlanta, Balance, business, curiosity, job search, LinkedIn, Research, Resources, Strategy

Three Questions to ask for Better (and more humane) Networking

Today has been a rather fascinating day. Imagine attending a Business Broker lecture. What would you expect to see? Who would you expect to meet? Well, I met an interesting fellow who shares my passion for technology. It came about by asking personal questions that are beyond the standard questions.

Standard Questions: (Begin Yawn)

  1. What company are you with?
  2. What do you do?
  3. How long have you been in business?

The problem with this Q/A system is that these questions do not take into account the person. The questions are business centered and frankly, I want to do business with people I know. Yes, you may have a fascinating industry, but I want to move beyond the industry.

So, what are some better questions to ask?

Personal Questions: (Cue Enthusiasm)

  1. What led you into getting the real-estate industry.
  2. What do you enjoy about your current profession. Specifically, what do you enjoy about the real-estate industry?
  3. What is your biggest challenge?

Think about how you engage others. Is it personal or are you simply interested in your next lead?

Johann Lohrmann

www.johannlohrmann.com
Digital Product Manager

Leave a comment

Filed under Atlanta, Balance, business, Career, creativity, curiosity, Customers, imagination, LinkedIn, networking, story, Strategy, technology

A Guide for the Job Searcher: from the General to the Specific Approach, Part Two

There is a reason why it’s easier to dig a hole during the day: the sunlight is there and you can see what you’re digging. Okay, so I have a penchant for stating the obvious but if you understand that then you understand how important goals are for the job search. Part of that goal should include connecting with someone where there is mutual benefit. The goal for the post today is to shed some light on how to find such a person.

As a researcher, film, television and online producer I know how easy it is to fall into the ‘paralysis by analysis trap’. That, my friends is the danger zone. Let’s be honest here. It’s easier to type data into a spreadsheet than it is to reach out to a stranger.

So how do you find the people you need to connect to? The first thing you need to do is to think where the heavy hitters live online. Meaning, what do your heavy hitters read? Where will their names be printed? There are trade journals (both on and offline) that are the mainstays of the industry. Follow the trade journals and pay attention to the newcomers, those going out of business and those who are getting promotions. Pay attention to the titles of those who are coming and going. Hint: if a company has a record of hiring and firing a lot of executives then that may signal a decline or trouble with that company.

Why should you pay attention to the trade journals? The trade journals will give you an insight as to the trends and the people involved in the trends. Look at the cities where growth is occurring. Most cities do not grow only in one area such as film or television. If you’re interested in career growth (yes your skills are portable) then look for a city that can offer growth and even help develop your career path.

The second place you need to look is how the heavy hitters are recognized. I don’t really want to conduct business with someone who does not have a track record of success. I want to work with an agency that has proven itself. Don’t just look at the awards that are bought, sold or traded. Look for the awards that are industry standards.

By now, most of you have heard of LinkedIn and I trust you are taking advantage of it. Heavy hitters come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t dismiss someone because they are a small agency. I’ve had professional success with small, medium and large companies. I’ve also paid attention to their growth both as a company and within their industry.

If you have a question or if this has helped you then drop a line and let me know.

Thanks,

Johann Lohrmann
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannlohrmann

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards, LinkedIn, trade journals