The best type of research stems from acting as if. Acting as if you are the person buying the thing that you are trying to sell. It requires some thinking frameworks on your part:
- Imagination - What is this world like? How can we imagine this place and situation that the customer is in? What are the consequences and what is at steak? What is the goal?
- Simulation - What are the likely situations that this customer is going through? How can we map out multiple possible situations to get to the one that is likely to be the most accurate?
- Empathy - How does this person feel when going through this journey that they are on? How can we apply emotional intelligence to this research? How can we take a moment to feel what they feel?
- Representation - Is this idea grounded in reality? Is this mock up clear and accurate of this persona in the real world? How can we use data and feedback to find out if its all true?
- First Principle - How can we filter between symptoms and causes? Complaints and objections?
This is some of the mental elements of "acting as if" initials. What if we used these mental tools on an ongoing basis so that we can understand the customer deeply, create actionable insights and be in the position where we can make products for our customers instead of trying to sell products to our customers.