Frank Gielen

Customer Discovery: step 1 towards a successful asset.

Blog Post created by Frank Gielen Partner on 13-Jun-2017

As we are preparing to become a commercial company and create asset portfolio's, we need to become customer oriented or customer obsessed. A lot of our education assets are digital products or services: digital courses and learning resources such a video's, online publications and games. To build a successful business with those assets, we need to align them with customer needs and expectations. 


This introduces new processes and new ways of working. One of the key processes is #customer discovery. Customer discovery is not about market research reports nor can it be done using desktop research. Customer discovery requires you to talk to potential customers and ask them about their specific needs in your domain. You have try to find out what solutions they have tried and which alternatives they are looking for. At the same time you will test you assumptions related to your potential offer and value proposition. Customer discovery is NOT selling: it is the validation and refinement of your value proposition. Only when your value proposition is crisp and validated for a particular customer segment, you can start going into selling mode.


Customer discovery can and should be done by each one of us: get out of the office and try to do as many customer discovery interviews as possible at every occasion. You need at least 20 to 30 customer discovery interviews before you make decisions about your product of service.  


Let's look at an example for discovering the needs in the domain of digital professional learning: 

A customer discovery interview typically takes 30 minutes and starts with a 1 or 2 minute stage setting welcome or introduction. In this part we need to tell the partner what we plan to do. This will be formulated as a generic value proposition (VP) that will be used to identify the problems that our target customer has or expects in the domain of digital lifelong learning. This is the structure of a customer discovery interview:



Let me know if it works for you.