Marketing is an art of nuance and needs quite a scientific understanding of the market to be successfully accomplished. It is different and also as per the needs of each business that adopts it.
Whatever companies do towards their marketing efforts, all of them have one thing in common- they want to sell their products to as many customers in the market, as possible. However, no matter what platform of marketing you prefer to adopt for your business, industry pros recommend paying attention to the customer is the first and foremost step of marketing.
Ann Handley says,
“Make your customer the hero of your stories.”
Because marketing is not just about selling your product anymore, a careful market research of your customer base is one of the business-critical tasks to be accomplished in order to survive in today’s market scenario.
The concept of customer research is fundamental to your company’s marketing plans. In other words, every business must focus on their customers as real beings instead of just demographics.
Though, facts and figures in demographics give a detailed insight of the expected customer trend, simply swearing them by heart won’t solve any of your marketing problems. It is analogous to the fact that marketing can’t just be left alone to only a group of people in the company to be thought upon.
David Packard illustrates, “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”
It is the entire company’s responsibility to understand the customer the way they are including their desires, habits, needs, preferences along with other aspects and work towards establishing a long-term impact for them.
After understanding a lot of businesses and where they were going wrong with their marketing efforts, in spite of investing a credible chunk of money into marketing, I have found most of them not acting real with their customers.
If you understand your customers in terms of a certain number lying in the age group 20 -35 or 50 percent women shopping from a particular brand, you will never be able to understand the depth of their expectations from your product, or more importantly what they actually need that can make their lives better.
And trust me, marketing revolves around how well you understand the needs of your customers, even more than they actually do.
According to Seth Godin,
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”
Most of the successful companies have been able to reach the benchmark because they are very well able to anticipate the requirements of their customers. Once you get to know what you actually want from your business, you can also understand how well will that product be able to make an impact in the customer’s life.
Remember one thing in simple and clear terms- customers don’t care about how many sales are you able to make or how well are you selling your products in the market, they only want to know how will your product affect their lives.
For example, if you are selling laptops to a customer and marketing about your best model’s super processor and extravagant graphics card, only luck can save you. Most marketers make this mistake of making assumptions about their customer and treating everyone in a similar manner.
In a situation like this, you are assuming that the customer wants your top model of laptops with high ratings and best quality speed. No doubt many customers would want that, but wouldn’t you consider asking their purpose behind buying a laptop?
While some customers would want a laptop for gaming, others just want simpler requirements for tasks such as typing journals.
So, it is always advised to go ahead and ask questions to your customer. Asking about what will they be doing with your product is important so that you present the suitable option to your customer.
Peter F. Drucker correctly writes,
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
No matter how much of your valuable time you spend on planning strategies, none of it will work if you keep on making assumptions regarding your customer’s choices. Asking questions, on the other hand, will also make the customer feel that you are genuinely interested in knowing them. Needless to say, it is a key factor in establishing a long-lasting and healthy customer relationship. Focus on imparting quality to the customer.
This is the reason why marketing must not be limited to a particular department of your organization. A dedicated team is required, but it must also be the entire company’s responsibility to understand their responsibility towards establishing a good brand reputation with the customer.
Always listen to what your customers have to say, even if you are the head of your business organization because each and every customer is important for the growth of your business. After all, it takes one negative feedback to affect your brand reputation which is why you must understand the customer’s stakes involved in buying your product and always be ready to address them.
Entrepreneur Jake Sorofman writes, "When you start with what’s at stake for the buyer, you earn the right to their attention." And this is where your marketing works most efficiently.
Larry Weber said in a recent interview,
"As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about."
Understanding this point is equally essential for your marketing to work and all your hard work to pay well. Know who is answering the calls of your customers and make sure that they are representing an excellent class of customer satisfaction.
Remember that if customers are calling you, a significant amount of your marketing efforts have already paid off, since many businesses struggle to establish their existence in the market.
So, if you are putting a lot of efforts in your marketing strategies and they aren’t still working, it is probably because you are talking about your customer in terms of numbers and figures.
Try stepping into your customer’s shoes and market what you would want from a brand. As Malorie Lucich correctly says, "People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust."
Talk to your customer and treat them with such an excellence of class that they market your products for you because nothing works better than customer contentment in marketing.