Customer Focused Marketing

Posted: August 5, 2010 by Thos003 in business, Marketing
Tags: , , , ,

In a recent online chat I heard the phrase “customer-focused marketing” and it were as if the sound of fingers nails went screeching through my entire head tearing through my throat and digging into the pit of my stomach.

I believe that term “customer-focused marketing” may put a company in the wrong mind set. It is very dangerous to assume that you can simply market to what a customer wants to hear. One of my competitors markets “hassle free pest control” because that is what the consumer wants. But just marketing it doesn’t make it a reality.

Are you selling me a turd?

I had a great lunch the other day with some very smart people. One of them actually found Bulwark Exterminating’s service through social media. (YAHOOO… ALL MY TWITTER TIME HAS PAID OFF!)… Probably not…. Fred even beat me to posting his blog post: Local Search, Social Search More importantly, Fred’s analogy still rings true… “A polished turd is still a turd.”

Taking a peek behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz left Dorthy with a whole new perspective.  Coming out from behind the curtain and allowing your customers to view you for who you really are can be a frightening proposition, and yes very awkward.  Letting your magical mirror tell you that your beautiful is entirely different than wiping away the muck on the glass and taking away the smoke to see what is really staring back at you.

I am all for businesses and individuals taking a serious look at where they currently stand and asking their audience or customers for feedback.  After collecting this data, looking for a real way to meet the demands of those that care about you and your service/product.  But stepping out there and asking them what they want and then trying to dress a donkey up to be an eagle, just isn’t going to fly.  You can’t just say, you are doing it, you’ve got to do it…

I am sorry, I can’t hear what you are saying over what your actions are yelling!

The business world is shifting. Buyers and consumers are shifting. There are more options and more ways to find those options.  There are more reviews and more people publishing their reviews. Mass media is ignored by the masses.  This trend has been happening ever since cable jumped onto the scene.  Less than 20% of TV viewing is done through the big 5 networks, which once owned over 80% (a 3 year-old stat). This loss in mainstream media is amplified now by the internet. The masses have splintered off.  <What?> Yes, really.  Your customers are individuals.

Don’t end up like GM. Don’t end up like other failed marketing campaigns and companies who excuse themselves with “The customers just didn’t get it.” … No… YOU DIDN’T GET IT!  Don’t focus your marketing on what customers want to hear.  Focus your service or product on what customers are asking for.

I believe that for the first time ever large businesses are having to face their customers… and you know what, when the Wizard of Oz stepped out, after the initial shock, it actually ended pretty well for both Dorthy and the Wizard. …..because he cared and helped solve her problem. Win-win.

  1. Gerry Weitz says:

    Great post, Thomas! It’s a subtle difference between customer-focused marketing and as you put it, “what the customer is asking for.” In one case your trying to focus on what will hook them, whereas in the second case you are tying into their true needs as they present them. I’m a little confused by the “no hassles pest control” example, because behind that statement is a customer that is asking, “Isn’t there a pest control company I can find that can do the job without hassles?” I’d love to hear some more clarification on this point.



    • thos003 says:

      You are correct in that customers are asking for “No Hassles.” The problem, in my opinion, is the company marketing “No Hassles.” isn’t delivering. So instead of just marketing to what the customer wants to hear, focus on delivering what the customer wants.

      So are you just adapting your message to what the customer wants, or are you adapting your service? That is why I cringe at “Customer Focused Marketing.” I would prefer to hear “Customer Focused Service.”

  2. thos003 says:

    Sorry testing the you like post button. … And now I can’t unlike it…

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