A basic prerequisite for business success is to know — really know — your customers. There's a variety of traditional research methods aimed at better understanding customers: usage analysis, conjoint analysis, cluster analysis, roundtables, panels.
But there are a few reasons why traditional research sometimes fails to deliver:
1) Customers don't always say what is really on their mind;
2) Customers often don't know what they don't know; and
3) Those conducting the research may bias results with the types of questions they are asking (wrong questions mean wrong answers).