Focus on Your Customers, You are not the Customer

This can be known as being “Market Driven” in our marketing activities or “Market Orientation”, but when we are thinking about marketing success, it is all about customer focus, the act of focussing on our customers, and remembering that we are not our customers.

A mistake too often made in marketing by both experienced marketers, business owners trying to expand, and wannabees or unqualified admin or sales staff trying their hand at marketing in a business, is that they think about what they want to see in a product, a promotion, or how they themselves might answer market research questions. It is a mistake because we are not the customer. We, as marketers, either an individual (1) or a small team of up to 10 people are not representative of the wider audience, our customer base, that we want to market to. Just because we think an ad we have spent time developing looks good, doesn’t mean the market will respond to it. Just because we think a new product we’ve developed is useful and a game changer for us personally, doesn’t mean anyone else in the world wants it. Remember, as a marketer, be it a marketing manager, a business owner, brand manager, you are not the customer.

Remember, you are not the customer

When we want to take a product to market, our love of the product, our enthusiasm behind wanting to see it thrive in the market, means we are unable to look at that product like a consumer would. With this in mind, what do you know about the consumer? Nothing, at this stage. Gut feel means nothing. Ego from having designed a product is hazardous. We are biased, and we need to detach ourselves from this dangerous connection so we can have the humility to ask the audience is a product is good, if it is priced correctly, or if an advertising campaign works.

Ego has no part in marketing

Marketing agencies are full of egos. They want to create a flashy artwork or design that wows the client and get them to sign off on the payment.

Too often, marketers see, in their mind, the superior product or service they are marketing and without thinking too much about their strategy, they jump ahead into picking a few tactics that seem right, such as updating the website, buying some Facebook ads, some Google ads, branding some keyrings and putting some decals on the company vehicles and call that their strategy.

The Problems with This

Do they have any knowledge on if their product or service is right for their audience? No.

Do they have any knowledge on if their artwork in the campaign is right and resonates with their audience? No.

Do they have any knowledge as to where their customers are looking for their products or services? No.

Do they have any means other than gut feel as to measuring if their marketing has been successful or not? No.

What thought do I want you to take away from this first part?

In your business you would have a marketing budget. A budget for promotions, advertising, website development, videos the list goes on. Take a small portion, say 10% of your budget and use it for research. Surveys. Focus groups. Buy some reports. Get some knowledge to rely on. Then keep the 90% for your promotions. That 10% could be money well spent because it can give you knowledge that could prevent you from wasting the other 90%.

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