Fake door tests are becoming increasingly popular within the consumer insights and market research industry, yet there is still confusion on when and how to use them.
They are a new testing concept to add to or replace current consumer insights approaches.
In this blog, we are going to explore the current process, its downfalls and where fake door testing helps pick up the slack in the areas where consumer insights are lacking.
Current consumer insights process
The current process for consumer insights teams has been crafted over a long period of time; it’s been tested and refined to make it as smooth as possible. Until now, at least, that process has done these teams well but hasn’t taken into account everything you can do with current technology and how to capitalise on that.
This well-thought-out process looks like this:
You start off by gathering your initial insights. These help you to create an initial hypothesis for the tests that you will run later and are typically based on data that has already been collected by your team from previous products or through industry reports and research.
Then you can run your testing through whatever variety of tests you decide, whether that’s surveys, focus groups and 1-to-1 interviews. Once you’ve collected all of this data you then present your insights and the product can go into development and release based on the findings.
That’s quite a simplification of the process, but it is the general outline of how consumer insights are gathered currently.
The problem with this process
Unfortunately, while this process essentially works, it doesn’t mean it is perfect. In fact, it is getting further away from perfect as technology progresses.
The reason for this is that the methods explained above result in biased, opinion-based data - which isn’t the most reliable way to base any decisions upon. In the past, though, it has been the best option because technology wouldn’t allow us to get better results.
Even now, when we think we are using technology to its utmost, it is still a survey. We get more results than we could before and faster than before; it’s not a different way of working; it’s just a more streamlined one.
This means that bias is still there, and that bias is inherent to surveys and interviews, you can’t ween that out. This is because when you ask someone a question about a potential product, it is open to interpretation from that respondent.
Imagine I said to you:
‘There is a new research method that allows you to get reliable insights from thousands of people, bias-free, for fast and cheap - would you use this method?’
You would probably say ‘absolutely’. I know I would.
Yet when it comes down to it, this method exists, and many consumer insights teams aren’t taking advantage of it; it’s called fake door testing, Pretotyping, or landing page testing; it goes by many names.
This is the bias that comes with survey testing. Someone might imagine your product in a way that they think, yeh I would buy that, but when it comes down to actually purchasing it and putting their money on the line, they don’t. Fake door testing gets around this by making it seem like this product exists and getting each respondent or user to put information down, or skin in the game, to ‘purchase’ it, resulting in unbiased and reliable data.