You don’t buy gifts with yourself in mind, do you?

When you choose a present for a friend, I hope you don’t choose it because you really like it?

When you choose the colour, you don’t choose your favourite and not your friend’s?

When you choose the size, you don’t see if it fits yourself, do you?

Think about these facts and compare them to how you treat your customers.

Long ago, when I was creating my totally unsuccessful wedding stationery, I was making stuff that I liked – what I would have chosen for my wedding stationery. Unfortunately I did not think whether it was anything that anybody else would have preferred. OK, I thought about the kind of card it was on, the matching envelopes, the accompanying reception stationery like place cards and favour-boxes, I even tried to consider what colours where fashionable and how much brides were prepared to pay (grossly undervalued as I was not creating them in bulk [thankfully] so I made a BIG loss), but I didn’t understand the way brides thought, where they got their ideas from, what really was in fashion, what their friends were using, what was already in the shops and catalogues.

The moral of this blog is: you must truely understand your customer. Get inside their heads, find out what makes them tick, look at the world through their eyes – and the way to do this is by asking questions. Only your customers know what they want. You must get outside of this naturally selfish trait we humans have, and start being Mother Theresas in the marketing world – consider others before yourself. Strip away any preconceptions you have, and reform your marketing strategy totally from your customers’ point of view.

Then do something about it. Action the reactions – change and adapt your business, products or services according to your market research. I met a market researcher who told me she had saved one particular company tens of thousands of pounds because she had found out what their customers were really thinking, and it was totally the opposite of their new advertising campaign. A big shock, but also a big wake-up call – and now their new adverts are spot on, with the inevitable results.

Ask questions > analyse the results > action the reaction = success in business!

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