Conventional wisdom states that websites and other new products should be evaluated with non-tech savvy participants. With 63% of American adults accessing the Internet regularly, 83% of teens, and 20% of adults actively avoiding the online world we are a nation of tech-savvy or tech-avoidant. Conventional recruiting strategies not longer apply.
Rather than pursue an audience that is actively avoiding technology, we recommend iteratively evaluating new products with the expert customers – the professional amateurs. Professional Amateurs have done the competitve research, they know what works for them, and best of all – they’re passionate and articulate.
Benchmarking and evaluting with a novice customer-base provide a rear-view mirror description of where your competitors were. The key to surpassing the competition in the technically sophisticated landscape described above is listening to the needs of your professional amateurs – those customers engaging with your products on a daily basis. By paying close attention to their needs, opportunities will be obvious. As an added benefit, it will only strengthen your relationship with them.