I have often mentioned it in blogs, that whatever you are planning from the marketing side, you should always start with the customer, understanding their needs and then shaping the marketing you do based on that. I have come across one of Forrester’s analysts, Anthony Mullen, who has a good blog that mentions this too. So I thought I would raise it again, as businesses so often get lost in activity, activity, doing and being busy when it comes to marketing. He talks more from a consumer perspective, that you need to anticipate their needs and build your offering around that.
My experience has been mainly, but not exclusively, in the B2B (Business to Business) technology world, where the customer is another business. And the same principle still remains. Often there is a lot of excitement about how cool and ‘sexy’ this new product is, without necessarily thinking about how it meets the customer’s need. Articulating the benefits to customers or prospects in a message that is not technically focused, has huge value. But although it looks easy, it is not always easy to do, which is where good marketers come in. Think less of ‘this is a cool gadget that you will love, with all of these features’, but instead focus on what the customer need is, how this product, service or solution fulfills that and how it adds value to their business and life.
If you don’t know what that need is and the value you provide – or even you think you do but ought to be sure? Speak to your customers. In my experience, customers are pleased to be asked and have their opinions listened to. They are the core to your business and provide the future growth, so spend time with them, understanding them and articulating clearly how you help them. It sounds simple and business basics, but sometimes, in this complicated, busy world we live in, we need to be reminded of the underlying fundamentals.