It’s week 3 now of my blog so I hope you are enjoying it. There has been some commentary but I want more...come on, you know you want to speak your mind!! Please take the time to share your thoughts.
This weeks’ blog topic covers one of the most important elements of marketing – and one of my personal faves as its the focus of my freelance outfit AppleCrisp Marketing Solutions – Understanding the customer!!
I’m currently living in Israel – a vibrant and dynamic place – so a playground for marketing minds and insight. I had an experience as a customer the other day that really synthesises my thought on the subject. It is a good way to discuss the point I’m trying to communicate here.
To take in some local culture, I went to the “shuk” (market). I was after some flip flops – nothing special just fit for purpose. I went to 2 stalls – the first one had a vendor selling women\s dress shoes and the guy at the shop was mystically waving them in front of my face – not sure why, but he was. They were fairly nice and really cheap but he wasn’t looking at me to understand that I wasn’t interested in them and he didn’t ask me what I was looking for. His agenda was to sell me these dress shoes whether I wanted them or not. Needless to say, I left and he didn’t get the sale. Plus, I was a bit flustered.
The second stall I went to had a man just as persistent but did something the other didn't - he took notice of my body language. He could see me hovering over the flip flops and sensed I was in need of them. After I took interest, he asked me how many I needed as they had a special if I bought 2 pairs. I told them they were just for me but he asked me a couple other things – where I was going, how long I was planning on wearing them, etc. He told me that since they were “shuk” shoes it would make sense to buy 2 and offered to sell the second pair to me for a marginal amount. He got that I wasn’t looking for quality but I was also practical. He understood and I gave in and bought both pairs.
Do you see where I am going with this one? A simple interaction tells a lot for the marketer – well, at least I think so.
In a “shuk”, neither vendor had much time to do research on me but the second one still took time to understand me and my needs. Not only did he get a sale, unload his inventory (which is the prime objective of these vendors) but he also demonstrated to me that he was interested in understanding me. If I visit the “shuk” again and am in need of something he sells, I’ll most likely go back to him again.
So here’s the lesson from this tale -
1) Do the research and reap the rewards – in the moment (getting the sale through purchasing your product / adopting your service) and for the future (building loyalty through customer satisfaction)
2) It doesn’t take much to get to know a customer – take notice of the small things and ask a couple of simple questions
3) Actions can often speak louder than words – observe your customers body language, analyse their behaviours (whether physically or through tracking mechanisms)
And most importantly...
4) Understanding a small set of customers can help you fine tune the way you approach your market and help you successfully grow your business to reach its full potential.
Market research doesn’t have to be complicated but it has to happen – if you get one message out of this blog that’s the one I want to leave you with.
Now...I’m placing a challenge out there for all you marketers: tell me your thoughts on this subject and have your say on how understanding your customer can impact marketing and business generally. Here are some thoughts to get you started.
In your experience as a marketer, have companies truly valued the voice of the customer or is it just lip service???
Have the marketing tactics you’ve designed and implemented reflected what customers have said or the actions they’ve taken???
Have a great week and happy commenting,