No, that isn't a spelling mistake. It stands for Nothing Important Happens in the Office and is a part of the Pragmatic Marketing course. I'll spend this post talking about the principles of getting out of the office in more detail, as it is of fundamental importance when trying to launch your painkilling solution to the market. More importantly, it outlines an important principle of our product development cycle as we continue to mature our value proposition. What the principle of NOHITO means is very simple...absolutely nothing important is going to happen in the office, especially when you are trying to develop your next great solution for customers. Whether it is a first generation eureka concept or a follow on product to a previous generation, I cannot stress enough the importance of getting out into the wild and actually talking to customers. However, there are some fundamental things to consider as part of this data gathering effort for your product development. The ultimate goal is to make this a valuable use of your time.
First, you need to take what your customers tell you as data points not as gospel. You want to ensure that you are looking for trends and patterns to the feedback vs. simply taking what one customer says is their particular pain killing solution as the answer. You hear all the time, especially in the tech industry, that you are suppose to lead and tell the market what it wants vs. listening to customers and that is not what I'm saying at all. What you want to do is make sure you are asking the right questions, gathering patterns and developing a solution that fits the problem the customer is trying to solve. The best quote that epitomizes this idea comes from Henry Ford.
If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said "faster horses" - Henry Ford
Second, you need to organize your customers into the buckets that align with your value proposition. There is no point getting feedback from customers on your idea when, in reality, these people wouldn't be customers at all anyway. You can easily make changes to try and appeal to everyone under the sun instead of staying laser focused on your true target market. I am not saying that you should ignore feedback and if you have put the effort into the customer discovery work early in the value proposition development, than you have a very good understanding of what your customer looks like. There are many new opportunities to create products for other types of customers. Stay on task to ensure you have the right solution for your defined target market for this particular product. There is nothing stopping you from jotting the information down for the next product idea.
The last, but not final, point to make on this topic today is to ensure that you have respected your customer’s time through this process. This means coming into the interview prepared with questions, spending more time listening, so you are getting feedback instead of leading the witness, and ensuring you are following up on actions taken during the process. Remember, you do not need to take everything each customer says as gospel, however, you do need to show respect for other opinions as part of the process and be thankful for the time they are spending to share their perspectives.
There are a lot of different branches we will cover in the future in relation to getting out into the wild and enjoying a strong NOHITO. Feel free to share your best stories of getting out into the wild and talking with actual customers in the comments section or directly to me!