At InterQ, we’re headquartered in San Francisco – which, according to most maps, is smack in Silicon Valley. We’re surrounded by tech companies, tech chatter on the street, and – this part isn’t so great – tech-industry rents. However, we deliberately headquartered InterQ in Silicon Valley because we saw a huge opportunity to do some fantastic tech-industry market research with some of the world’s most innovative brands and ideas.
While most people think of huge successes in Silicon Valley (Apple, Google, Facebook, HP, just to name a few), we see a different side – we see risk-takers who often love their idea so much, they’re unable to see beyond it. They get stuck, to put it simply. We all fall prey to this. It’s called myopia – we’ve coined it “corporate myopia,” and it’s this simple human cognitive tendency to become so mired in our everyday experience of what we’re doing and creating, that we forget that others outside of our work bubble don’t experience our products or ideas or services the same way. It’s simple, basic psychology, and every company on earth is prone to it.
The brightest ideas don’t always translate well
In practice, the tech companies around us here in Silicon Valley are busy creating products, generating ideas, and developing hardware, software, apps, and devising networks to deliver their ideas. However, what may make sense internally isn’t always what makes sense to a consumer. Take UX design, for example: We partner with a lot of companies who have extremely talented designers crafting beautiful online and mobile experiences. However, what they envision as the path to get from A to B may not be how others who try out the product see that path. If the design isn’t tested – thoroughly tested – by a neutral party (ahem, us) who can come in and see it from a different perspective to ask questions from, this beautiful design may fall flat or not be optimized by consumers. Our job, therefore, is to recruit a pool of people to test the product, in various scenarios, and from this experience, give us feedback, which we then package up into insights for the company that created it.
UX is just one area where we use market research for tech companies. Many of our projects are with software and hardware manufacturers who are designing new systems or needing to understand the key opportunities so they can message and sell their product. Our job is to recruit those really-hard-to-find end-users, explore the landscape, and from that, help the company arrive at the best method to package and sell their idea.
Tech-industry market research is not the same as regular market research
Market research for the tech industry is quite specialized – and working with a firm who doesn’t have a lot of experience in tech – or who doesn’t specialize in tech – is a risky proposition. Tech market research is distinct in that it requires a specialized skillset that can master project designs that incorporate:
- Highly-specialized recruiting: Most of the tech companies we work with sell to very specific audiences. For example, cybersecurity analysts who work at companies with 1000-5000 employees. Data scientists who only work in SQL. Healthcare benefit advisors who advise technology solutions to enterprise companies with 50,000 or more employees.
To test and vet ideas, create roadmaps, and help launch messaging and sales plans, our tech clients need to hear from a very specific, esoteric pool of respondents. Market research companies who don’t have the capacity to accurately find and speak to these respondents are simply not going to be able to deliver. At InterQ, we have a dedicated recruiting team, with a background in tech, who find the most obscure and specialized job roles imaginable. We excel in tech recruiting.
- Speaking the language of tech: Tech market research is, well, technical. Tech companies in Silicon Valley range from those we know well – Facebook for example, with an interface designed to be easy for everyone – to complex data processing companies with products designed to be used by Ph.Ds. Oftentimes, to develop a roadmap or understand how a product will be perceived, the audience that the company needs to hear from falls into the “highly specialized and technical range.” Here’s where a lot of market research companies falter: They simply don’t have the wherewithal to get up-to-speed quickly and to learn the languages and nuances so they can discuss highly-technical subject matter with subject matter experts.
InterQ’s team is different. We immerse ourselves fully in our company’s industries, and we interview and do extensive background research on their product, the landscape, and the language used in that field. This allows us to speak competently and ask the intelligent probing questions that provide the deepest insights. We have a small team of in-house moderators who excel at this craft.
- Tech industry market research experience: Finally, a generalist market research company may do amazing work in consumer packaged goods, or healthcare, but crossing over to tech – without years of experience and depth in diverse tech subjects – is simply too much of a leap. At InterQ, we are the go-to-agency for some of the world’s leading tech firms, including Google, Samsung, LG, and Tesla, as well as a plethora of up-and-coming startups who are crafting the next generation of ideas.
Trust your tech market research to InterQ’s specialized experts
Before you take the leap and launch that campaign or product, keep this stat in mind: 75% of tech startups fail in the first 5 years. Yes, you read that right. The failure rate is one of the highest out there. A contributing reason to so many tech companies’ failures can be directly attributed to their negligence of market research – and specifically – not testing their product qualitatively with consumers. Internal testing, surveys, and stats are only one side of the coin, and it’s certainly not enough data to help mitigate against failure. Investing in market research, with a company that specializes in the tech industry, is one of the best ways to confirm how your product will be perceived, used, and talked about.