Design your Marketing by Listening to your Customers

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Design your Marketing by Listening to your Customers

If you have a new product that no one has ever used or seen before, you could be in for a rough patch when getting your marketing efforts off the ground. This is because you are designing your pitch and your sales efforts around what you “think” potential customers will respond to. It might very well be that you are designing and targeting your advertising for people who don’t exist in the real world, even if they do live in the marketer’s own head.

The arrogance of product owners and marketers is a very real problem in the world of selling. They sometimes believe they know what is best for the customer even when there is no evidence that this is the case.

You may be surprised how often this happens when someone creates a new product or service. As having been an Editor of DRTV and Brand Response commercial spots for a very long time, I’ve personally seen this attitude destroy potentially successful products and companies because the owners would not take the simple advice that is shared with them.  This is why companies, like Cesari Media, my employer, has strategic meetings with customers.  Although, strategic input is only as good as the experience of the person giving it!  If the strategic consultant says, “Go ask the potential customer,” this to me is the right advice.

The answer to marketing a completely new product or service is to get it into people’s hands and have them use it. The best way to do that is simply to give it to them, in exchange for their feedback. You want their reactions to it, both good and bad. They will give you their own idea of what the top features and benefits are. This information is invaluable and it’s where you can begin to shape and create the selling message.

There are numerous ways to gather this data. Perhaps your product can be demonstrated in front of a group of potential customers, like a booth at a conference or fair or some kind of pop-up inside an existing store. You could give it to people for free or at a large discount in exchange for their feedback. These potential customers could also sign a release to end up being an on-camera testimonial.

Without this step of allowing people to test your product or service, you will be dancing in the dark while crafting your product messaging and it will be almost be impossible to know for sure what your potential customers will respond to. Without this process it could get very expensive by taking longer to sell your inventory  from wasted money on testing and re-testing to get to a selling message that resonates.

On the other hand, let’s say you have an existing product or service and have the ability to listen to your customers and therefore already know what they believe are your best features and benefits. With existing customer data already in your pocket, you have a great opportunity to use this information to help create your direct response and brand response TV commercial. While you’re selling you can brand, and have not only great sales but a well known product.

You would probably agree with me that no one likes to waste their ad dollars on ineffective advertising. This is the era of being able to measure your ad spending against sales. Brand Response, in DRTV, and across platform is the answer for greatly expanding your reach and brand to potential new customers while  being efficient with your ad dollars at the same time.

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