Customer Perspective

Table of Contents

Customer perspective goes beyond just understanding needs and expectations; it also involves grasping the communication they receive from your business. Effective marketing is fundamentally about communication. To truly understand customer perspective, it’s crucial to comprehend the messages your customers are receiving, how they interpret these messages, and the context in which they encounter them. This means not only creating compelling offers and promotions but also ensuring that these communications resonate with your target audience and reach them in the way that you intend.

Business owners often fall into the “assumption trap.” Internally, marketing discussions, product launches, and service improvements are hot topics. These conversations can create a false sense of external awareness. Just because the team knows every detail doesn’t mean the message has reached the customers. The truth is, customers are bombarded with information from countless sources daily. Your product or service might be groundbreaking, but if the awareness isn’t there, it doesn’t matter. Visibility is key, and assuming that customers know about your offerings without a robust communication strategy is detrimental.

The Communication Gap

The communication gap in marketing refers to the disconnect between what a business knows about its products or services and what its customers know. This gap can significantly hinder a company’s ability to effectively reach and engage its target audience. Often, businesses become so engrossed in their internal dialogues and planning that they forget to actively communicate these insights and developments to their customers. This internal focus can create an echo chamber where everyone within the company is fully aware of the offerings, leading to a false sense of external awareness. As a result, customers might remain uninformed or unaware of new products, services, or updates, which can diminish sales and customer engagement.

To bridge this gap, businesses need to adopt a multi-faceted approach that prioritizes external communication just as much as internal discussions. One effective strategy is to ensure consistent messaging across all marketing channels. This means regularly updating social media profiles, sending out email newsletters, maintaining a dynamic website, and utilizing in-store promotions. Consistent messaging helps reinforce the presence of your offerings in the minds of customers, making it harder for them to overlook or forget about your products.

Direct engagement with customers is another crucial step in closing the communication gap. This can be achieved through various means such as surveys, feedback forms, and interactive content on social media platforms. By actively seeking customer feedback, businesses can gauge the level of awareness and adjust their strategies accordingly. This not only helps in understanding what the customers know but also fosters a sense of involvement and loyalty among them, as they feel their opinions are valued.

Rory Sutherland on perspective

Rory Sutherland, a prominent figure in advertising and behavioral economics, refers to “perceived value” as the subjective assessment consumers make about the worth of a product or service. It’s distinct from the actual monetary value or objective utility of an item. Perceived value is influenced by psychological factors such as emotions, desires, and social influences, rather than solely by factual attributes like price or features. Marketers can enhance perceived value by framing products in ways that emphasize benefits, uniqueness, or emotional appeal, thereby influencing consumer perceptions and decision-making. Sutherland’s concept underscores the importance of understanding how consumers interpret and assign value to products based on their perceptions and psychological biases.

In essence Sutherland argues that people’s perceptions are shaped by context and framing rather than objective reality. In the context of marketing, this means that how a message is framed and presented can significantly influence how it is received and understood by customers. To bridge the communication gap, businesses must first seek to understand their customers’ perspectives. This involves recognizing the customers’ existing knowledge, beliefs, and biases about the products or services being offered.

One of Sutherland’s key points is that the way a message is framed can change its impact dramatically. To combat the communication gap, businesses should frame their messages in a way that resonates with their target audience’s existing mindset. For example, instead of simply stating product features, businesses could frame the benefits in terms of the problems they solve or the improvements they bring to the customer’s life. “Sell the hole not the drill” is how Theodore Levitt put it. This approach helps customers see the value from their own perspective, making the message more relevant and compelling.

Another aspect of Sutherland’s perspective is the importance of experimentation and iteration which we discussed in our last post Fail Faster. Businesses should continuously test different messaging strategies and analyze their impact on customer perception and behavior. This iterative process allows for constant refinement and improvement of communication tactics, ensuring that they remain effective and relevant.

Make your offer known

Effectively communicating an offer to your target audience requires more than just spreading the word through multiple channels; it necessitates crafting a message that people genuinely care about. Seth Godin, a renowned marketing expert, emphasizes the importance of standing out in his book “Purple Cow.” Godin’s central thesis is that in a world saturated with ordinary products and services, only those that are remarkable will capture attention and engage customers. A “Purple Cow” is something so unique and compelling that it provokes interest and conversation.

To create such an offer, businesses must first understand their audience deeply, identifying what truly resonates with them and what problems they need solving. This involves leveraging multiple communication channels such as email marketing, social media, content marketing, and paid advertising, but with a consistent, compelling message that highlights the unique value proposition of the offer.

Creating a remarkable offer also involves utilizing social proof. Showcasing customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies can build trust and credibility, demonstrating that others have found significant value in what you provide. Furthermore, by creating a sense of urgency with limited-time offers or exclusive deals, you can prompt customers to act quickly.

Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that your offer is discoverable by those searching for relevant solutions. Hosting events or webinars provides a platform to discuss your offer in depth, fostering direct engagement. Retargeting campaigns can reach potential customers who have shown interest but have not yet converted, while personalized experiences tailored to individual preferences can significantly boost engagement.

Ultimately, crafting a remarkable message that stands out and resonates with your audience is crucial. It’s not enough to be good; you must be exceptional. By leveraging Seth Godin’s concept of the Purple Cow and focusing on creating something that people want to engage with, you can ensure that your offer not only reaches your target audience but also compels them to act and share, amplifying your message through the powerful network of sneezers.

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