The first in a series analyzing seven new economy trends
In homes and businesses across America, decisions are being made with a heavy emphasis on “need” rather than “want.” This dynamic is impacting the marketplace so significantly it should be the first consideration in any strategic business decision, be it product development, realignment or marketing. What does this really mean? Begin every conversation in your organization with this question:
What does our customer need from us?
The answer must come from your customer’s point of view, which is—quite honestly—180 degrees from a corporate point of view. And if you haven’t conducted consumer research since—say, January—you can’t know the answer because I promise you, it has changed in the last four months.
Spend the money to work with a good researcher. It’s one of the most important investments you can make in your marketing program. Today’s great researchers engage the right people, and they do it in an environment or a circumstance that results in truly meaningful (and potentially differentiating) intelligence. (The days of relying on focus groups and telephone surveys are over, thank heavens.) This rather tall order requires working close to the ground, using new methodologies that result in honest and open communication uninfluenced by preconceived ideas or peer group dynamics. And it needn’t take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Once you have hired the researcher, mined the insight(s) and put them in the proper context, begin every meeting with those realities in the forefront. Write them on the wall; make them a part of your organization’s vernacular. Then use the insights as your North Star as you develop new products/programs/promotions. You’ll wonder how you ever made a good business decision without them.
Up Next: The Power of Simplicity
The second in a series analyzing seven new economy trends