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Jennifer Kuvlesky
Director of Product Marketing at Snow Software November 13

This one is tough because it is a lot easier to speak to people you have a relationship with than total strangers! We speak to our customers a lot but they are biased with how we solve their problems. We can also rely on speaking with 'friendly' customers and avoid speaking to customers who are not so happy with us. 

Without speaking to people we don't know, we won't get to learn about perspectives of solving a particular problem, and we may fail to learn about other problems that need to be solved. 

My advice is to speak to customers and non-customers to obtain a more comprehensive view of your target audience.

Sherrie Nguyen (she/her)
Director of Product Marketing at Indeed July 25

As a leader for Indeed's Parents and Caregivers Inclusion Resource Group, I have to talk about this topic! There are a couple ways to approach this. 

1. Add self-identifying optional fields so you get a better picture of your audience's demographics. This can be useful for a survey and can be anonymized through graphs and charts that slice data by race, gender, veteran status, etc.

2. For more personal qualitative research such as focus groups, 1:1 interviews, etc. you may have to create specific screeners to look for XYZ attribute. Generally, most screeners look for base requirements and then screen out users by attribute. In this case, be clear on who you want to hear from.

3. Make sure your values of inclusion are clarified up front, internally and/or with partners. This way you can design research intentionally to be inclusive and to serve communities who may otherwise be left out of the conversation.

Think about past products that failed because they didn't account for accessibility needs, left vs. right-handed users, or alienated a group of people. Let's keep learning and hold ourselves accountable to doing better.

Rachel Cheyfitz
Head of Product Marketing and Documentation at Coro | Formerly Lytx, Cisco, Snyk, Lightrun, ComeetDecember 11
  1. Start by defining your target audience and ensuring that your research methods and sample size are appropriate for the population you are studying. This may involve working with a market research firm or consultant to help you design and execute your research.
  2. Use a variety of research methods, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, or online panels, to gather data from a diverse range of participants. This can help ensure that you are capturing a broad range of perspectives and experiences, and that your research is not biased toward a particular segment of the population.
  3. Use sampling techniques, such as stratified sampling or random sampling, to ensure that your sample is representative of the population you are studying. This can help minimize bias and ensure that your results are accurate and reliable.
  4. Include questions in your research that are designed to elicit feedback from participants of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This can help ensure that your research is inclusive and representative of the audience you serve.
  5. Regularly review and assess your research methods and sample size to ensure that they are appropriate and effective, and make any necessary adjustments to improve the representativeness and inclusiveness of your research.