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KCDMA The Age of the Customer

We are in the Age of the Customer

Last week KCDMA hosted a symposium on The Age of the Customer. We already have one post covering one of the event’s breakout sessions. This will cover the event as a whole.

Obviously, based on the title, all of the presentations were focused on putting the customer first. The hot word was “empathy.” As marketers, it is important to remember to put the customer first. Discover Buying Insights Venn Diagram Sometimes we get so bogged down in what we think is important we lose sight of our purpose. We all want to increase sales or views, or conversions, or whatever metric by which we measure our success. We sit in meetings and come up with what the customer wants. Adele Revella told the room to stop “making stuff up.” Revella said that the only way to know what matters to your customer is to talk to them. She suggests conducting extensive interviews with not only your customers but from potential customers who chose not to buy from you. Just as much, if not more, can be learned from customers that went with someone else. From these interviews, you are able to build a buyer persona with information you can actually use instead of the same generic things you find in most personas.  Learn your buyers’ expectations. You can then line up your capabilities with their expectations.  Revella is right, we need to stop making up reasons why our customers want our products. If we simply asked them then we would know why they wanted our products.

Later, Brian Carrol built on this idea.

“Marketing isn’t something you do to your customers,” Carrol said. “It is something you do for your customers.”

Five Rings of Buying InsightHe says the best marketing should feel like helping. And that is because it is. We are all selling our products because they will solve a problem for a customer. Therefore our marketing to should help them see we are that solution. The only we can truly accomplish this is by know what their problems are. The image at the left shows how two different customers view the same product. More than likely what we think they need will alienate both. A simple conversation will help develop strategies for marketing to each.

That individualization speaks great to millennials as Jeff Fromm pointed out in his presentation. Fromm had a new spin on the classic Glengary Glen Ross line, “Always be collaborating.” The motto fits with the theme of the day. Fromm also talked about the need to simplify the customer journey.

“If your process isn’t as easy as Amazon’s,” Fromm said, “then you have room to improve.”

There were more great points offered by these presenters and more from the day. But my overall takeaway was to spend more time thinking about the customer. I need to do a better job talking to them to see what they really want. Stay tuned for more pieces about KCDMA’s event as the week goes on.

Sean is a web specialist. He runs the email marketing program, helps in website design, manages social media accounts, and uploads weekly ads. In 2017, Sean started Grocer Podcast, a month show that intends to be another way to get information to retailers. Prior to joining AWG, Sean spent three years as a high school teacher. Sean is an avid cook, sports fan and Kansas Citian.