First Customer Research
First Customer Data and Interviews
  1. 1.
    Founders of companies speaking about obtaining their first customers:
Videos:
  • How To Get The First Customers For Your Startup
  • Getting Your First Customers
  • Reid Hoffman On How To Hack Your First 100 Users
  • Kathryn Minshew, Acquiring Your First Users
Articles:
  • How different companies set up their first customers:
  • How UBER, AIRBNB and ETSY obtained their first customers:
  • How companies like Tinder, Alibaba, Quora landed their first customers:
  • Zac Johnson, and other founders, discuss their ideas and experience while scoring their first customers:
The history of marketing in the world:
The first local business started back in Japan and was founded in A.D. 705 during the Keiun era.
Historians of marketing have undertaken a considerable investigation into the emergence of marketing practice, yet there is little agreement about when marketing first began.
A number of studies have found evidence of advertising, branding, packaging and labeling in antiquity.
Early Medieval networks of market towns and suggest that by the 12th century there was an upsurge in the number of market towns and the emergence of merchant circuits as traders bulked up surpluses from smaller regional, different day markets and resold them at the larger centralized market towns.
Marketing is as old as civilization itself. You may have seen films based in ancient Greece or Rome with images of active market stalls and traders keenly engaged in convincing communications
The ideas of marketing as it is understood in the modern era began during the time of the Industrial Revolution. This period spanned the late 18th century and lasted long into the 19th century.
Links:
  1. 1.
    The history of marketing in the United States
  • Small business development dates as far back as the 1600s, when Americans would trade crops, supplies, and services.
  • A perfume and soap company was started by Dr. William Hunter as an apothecary shop in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1752 is the oldest American business.
  • The evolution of marketing into the most important business function within many business firms was first recognized by Robert Keith, an executive at Pillsbury, in 1960.
  • During the marketing department era, many companies changed their thinking or purpose from that of manufacturing products to that of satisfying customers.
Links:
Podcast episodes about "Finding an Audience" or "Launching a Business:”
Here is the list of the Podcasts with Links:
Other books about the importance of your first customer:
Top 6 most relevant books, which aren’t very relevant after all:
  • Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss
  • The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture by Robert Spector and BreAnne O. Reeves
  • The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience by Shep Hyken
  • Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer
  • The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company by Joseph Michell
  • What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint by Nicholas Webb
Transcriptions
Think about the first time you made a transaction.
Think about what had to come together in order to make that happen.
You had a great idea. You had an opportunity for someone to gather value from what you created from that idea. And that someone, essentially, at some point, became your first customer. Now if you really think back to that moment, you would realize, in some ways, that was the validation you needed for your idea. That was the start of a journey into entrepreneurship into what could become a prosperous business. And some of you may have understood the impact that that first customer had on your business, but some of you. And I bet, maybe even most of you, overlooked that dynamic. I'm here to tell you how important that transaction actually was. And I'm not saying you don't think it's important. All I'm saying is that it was your business.
Now let's take a step back.
Let's think about the journey of finding customers, and even before that, let's think about the process of building a business. Anyone can say that they have a great idea, anyone can even say that they're starting a business, but not many can say they've generated revenue from that business.
And
Albeit there are different types of industries that have a lot of different revenue models. I would argue that having a customer is the only way to generate revenue. And it's also a good argument to say that a real business doesn't exist until it does generate revenue, especially these days.
-----
So there I was taking jobs from hungry musicians that wanted to build an audience.
At first it was, hey Logan, can you help me promote this concert?
And then it was Halo get, we need more downloads, or more listens on my space. And then it should also have a website.
And then I heard.
What about sponsorships? Do you work with any businesses?
And that's when the light bulb lit up.
You see for me, my first customers are twofold.
As I was consulting with musicians, I fondly remember those independent musicians that came in droves. That pleaded for my knowledge of the internet.
But I also remember.
Realizing the huge opportunity of working with small businesses. And when I say small businesses.
I don't mean mom and pop shops.
Locally, I don't know any better. I mean actual businesses, thriving functioning size agnostic, because a true small business isn't one that has a certain employee count. It's not one that is capped at a certain amount of annualized revenue. A small business is small, because it personalizes their experience.
So I say that my first customers were small businesses.
Because to me that's the only kind of business.
To me, that's the handshake. That's the phone call. That's the. Hey, how's your son doing? How's the family? That's relationships, and that's transactions. So specializing in marketing small business isn't limiting. For me, it's rewarding. It's knowing the business and it's knowing the business owner. It's finding their audience. And it's bringing them together to create a transaction. So you see I'm in an interesting field. I not only have my first consulting customers, those musicians and the official after incorporation small business clients that wanted to contract with me, but I also have the visibility to the first customers of those clients that I helped build.
It's the return on the time investment of helping them open their doors, helping them identify who their customers were, and helping them build their pricing structure. And then connecting them one by one, with a handshake, whether virtual or in person, so that they can understand the value of their first customers. And even if it wasn't a new business, my marketing methodology starts with the reset. It starts with, have we been as personable and as human as we can be as an organization. And after truly digging deep, to understand that there's room for improvement. They're always there, then we build the first customers and we welcome them to the family.
And we watch the business grow.
So I'm here to tell you that it's your turn to hit the reset button. It's your turn to understand your target audience to understand those individuals whose hands you will shake.
It's your turn to know what colleges their children are going to, to understand what's driving their purchasing behavior. And more than anything, to understand what's going to make your brand. Connect with every single one of them. The way that you will connect with the importance they have on your success.
So, with me together. Let's hit the reset button.
Let's go through the motions and start to find your first customer.
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Marketing isn't learned in the classroom.
Marketing chops or marketing degrees, don't represent market marketing knowledge.
Instead, a good marketer learns through conversation.
A great marketer learns from honest conversation. and outs, standing phenomenal marketer learns how to listen and be an empathetic human being.
Now I know that sounds like I'm simplifying, a job that typically spends billions of dollars annually to promote businesses.
But I'm here to explain that we're all in a relationship game.
We're all a creative idea, away from the next big thing.
And if you can connect with another human being. If you can be a little bit different and unique and exciting. And if you could be genuine and actually listen to what people want, need, or desire.
Then you, too, can be an outstanding marketer.
Let's start at the very beginning.
Back in the day, businesses were innately local. It may be hard to think about this, but there wasn't always an internet. There weren't always telephones. There even wasn't always mail for which one can send to another. Outside of any given location. So when you truly think about the start of business, which in turn is the start of the Best Types of marketing.
You think about the community - communities in any given part of any economy.
They fuel a local business's success. And if a business was providing a product or a service that the community wanted or needed. Then the business could thrive. But back in those days, we weren't scaling companies to be multi millions of dollars. Because of the geographical limitations, without the ability to expand beyond a physical presence and a community revenue, in a sense, was kept. You can only sell to your neighbors. You can only shake the hands of those you are familiar with.
And therefore, marketing was conversation.
And in a way, business was as genuine and authentic and transactional as it ever was.
How to Perform Customer Research
Leap of Faith Assumptions
Confirmation Bias skews all customer research
  • Everyone has an ego
    • I’m very smart
    • I can take over the world
Assume your idea is not good
Look to prove the hypothesis wrong
β€œIf I asked a customer what they wanted, they’d say a faster horse.” - Henry Ford
Focus on the No’s for validation
Last modified 6mo ago
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