When considering an MLM Startup, you will be wise to also consider whether focus groups, market testing or pilot programs can help to save time and money in the long run.
We have found that two models for testing would include “propensity samplings” from both consumer as well as distributor panels that give important feedback on your company’s offerings and opportunity. When your budget permits, we recommend that you retain a qualified agency to assist you in the process.
An experienced agency will help to vet participants based on given parameters, and they will prepare and process the data they gather. They will also mediate the focus group and/or oversee the pilot programs to test a variety of assumptions and questions that your MLM startup may be struggling with.
In most cases, specific regions are chosen based on the desired consumer demographic and distributor profile. You should plan on 2 days of testing per site, including 4 to 6 groups per site. We recommend that the cycle be completed within 30 days, including the consumer testing firm’s summary report and observations.
Look for “behind-the-curtain” experience, a mediated approach with ability to tweak the delivery and content following each session, quantity of study by regions, and spend the energy on brand testing, name testing, price sensitivity, desired buying frequency, comfort in buying from a friend, conditions under which participants would consider becoming a distributor, etc. The outcomes may make the difference between ultimate success or failure, and will certainly shave months (and years) from the learning curves.
Here is a closer look at MLM startup research for both consumer groups (those who will use your products) and distributor groups (those who will recruit and sell for you):
- CONSUMER GROUP:
The assessment would be pre-designed for custom consumer groupings to help determine propensity levels in relation to the product mix, product pricing and access to that product through a direct to consumer model. Included as well would be a brief review of their exposure to network marketing, including a mediated review of their value system and buying habits.
- DISTRIBUTOR GROUP:
The assessment would be pre-designed for custom distributor groupings to help determine propensity levels in relation to the product mix, product pricing and the sale of that product through various compensation models. Scripted presentation models would be tested in this environment with a request refinements and suggestions. Included as well would be a brief review of their history working in the network marketing industry, including a mediated review of their value system and buying habits.
When your budget does not allow you to engage with professional market research firms, don’t be shy about giving your best effort to test locally and on a smaller scale. It’s a smart way for your MLM Startup to learn how to ask and listen, when it comes to what consumers and distributors will tell you.
Terrel Transtrum is Founder and CEO of ServiceQuest, a global consulting and training firm specializing in MLM and direct selling. firstname.lastname@example.org