It’s the Customer, Stupid!
If you have experience working in marketing or sales, you will know what I meant. Not many organizations know what they can and cannot do when it comes to looking for specialty to serve their customer. We all want to be everything to everybody but at the end we are nothing to everybody. So we are nobody. Business wise, we are just a product, not an experience or utility.
I remember a visit to an organization that wants to launch a new product. I was hired as the consultant to facilitate the brainstorming and discussion about their new product. They are in software development and the CEO feels that they can do more with what they have now. So I was hired. Remember, this was my first time meeting so I don’t have any idea what is it about but I rather not investigate. I attended the brainstorming session with an open mind.
The moment of truth came. That meeting I attended was the 4th meeting (work in progress meeting) which is conducted bi-weekly. The CEO will be there and the head of departments will present their progress. I observed through the presentation, trying to grasp what really happen, watching their face to engage, writing some notes on my book but I still don’t get it. What I scribbled in my book was, “I don’t understand.”
Then going-roundtable if any question, I asked. “Who is the target group for this product?”. I got a super laugh from all of them except from the CEO. I concurred something was not in place. I continued asking all the marketing questions and no one could answer. Aha! Then I can see the CEO face smiled and he quickly excused himself to another meeting. The CEO sms’ed’ me and I took over from there.
When we design a product (new, extension or refresh), we need to focus it to the customer. While all of us know about this because we are customers too to some other service providers, many didn’t know how to exactly use the marketing tools and direct it to the customers. We usually jumped into the product features based on our own experience and lenses. At that experience and lenses are from a provider perspective instead of customer’s. Peter F. Drucker once said, “The customer sees a product (or service) as their utility. As long as their needs are satisfied by the utility delivered by the product the customer will continue to purchase until that product is no longer provide them the satisfaction they wanted.”
Take home point here is, focus all your marketing energy to the customer.
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