How Do You Know What Customers Want?


I argue about, harangue, debate and insist that in most Craft Product or service businesses you Should Never Give The Customers What They Want. But instead you should Give Them What You Do Best. I have even written an entreaty about how Customers Don’t Exist. So it should come as but a trifling surprise that I would ponder the as good as existential question: How Do You Know What Customers Want? I mean it literally. How do you know what customers want? When those poor, mistaken souls weakly blather that you simply must give customers what they want, how do they determine what it is precisely that customers want? Clearly they don’t ask them, at least not all of them. Here are some ways I could think of to find out what customers want in order to give it to them. (and presumably become a billionaire) Ask each and every one of them personally and studiously record the answers and then data crunch to your heart’s content Do a mass survey and ask them all at once (or smart marketing: in carefully sliced segments) Do scientific product/market trials and use data to analyze which products/services you sell appease to the most Continue reading How Do You Know What Customers Want?

The Marketing Pyramid of Radness

andy newbom marketing

Not every marketing job is created equally. Sometimes you get the glorious top of the pyramid in marketing land where you have a brilliant story just waiting to be told, backed by a fantastically great product that everyone wants. Other times you are on the bottom of the slag heap. You have no story or worse an actually negative story built upon the shifting sands of a horrible product. There are four levels in the marketing Pyramid of Radness.     As you move up the pyramid you encounter more and more radness. As you move down the pyramid you encounter more and more badness. Most marketers like radness. Most customers like badness. Not coincidently as you move down the marketing pyramid towards badness the market size correlatedly increases. There is a nearly unlimited market for poor quality crap matched to slick but baseless stories. Yes Wal-Mart and Coke I am talking to you. H L Mencken (b. 1880) said it best: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. There is a reason the best quality products are not the market leaders in most markets. Customers want what other customers want. That’s why I don’t Continue reading The Marketing Pyramid of Radness

Don’t Growth Hack Me Bro!

growth hacking strategy

Growth hacking is awesome. Long live growth hacking. But don’t growth hack me man! And don’t scrape, mine or harvest me either.  I admire so many of the great people who practice the tenets of growth hacking. People like those on and do it well and do it right. But as anything that becomes suddenly cool, profitable, black magicy and SEO worthy it has quickly grown a bit out of control and attracted a seedier crowd. Definition of growth hacking from Wikipedia: Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.[1][2] It can be seen as part of the online marketing ecosystem, as in many cases Growth Hackers are simply good at using techniques such as search engine optimization, website analytics, content marketing and A/B testing which are already mainstream. Growth hackers focus on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing, i.e., utilizing social media and viral marketing instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, andtelevision.[3] Growth hacking is particularly important for startups, as it allows for a “lean” launch that focuses on “growth first, budgets second. [4[5] Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, AirBnB and Dropbox are all companies that use growth hacking techniques.[6] At its core, growth hacking is marketing for companies with limited resources. Continue reading Don’t Growth Hack Me Bro!

Wonderfully Refreshing Use of an Infographic to Drive Engagement

infographic marketing

Brilliant, topical, timely and relevant! The team over at Atomic Reach hold a weekly twitter chat called #atomicchat held every week at 6PM (PST)-9PM (EST). Atomic Reach makes a suite of tools that can improve your blogging and content marketing with best practices and actionable advice. Highly recommend them and I use them on my blog. I was honored to have been asked by them to be the guest of honor at one of their Chats. it was called Content Marketing: Strategy or Tactic. it was an extremely lively discussion about content marketing strategies and tactics. They routinely have a large number of highly skilled, knowledgable marketing pros participating and adding insight and actionable advice and tactics. I highly recommend you join it. For a pretty good tool to participate in tweetchats I sue Tweetdeck and as well. So Atomic Reach hosts a strong twitter chat every week and does a bang up job of it (Summer Luu rocks it). However they came up with a truly brilliant little marketing growth hack to make a splash AFTER the tweetchat! They took the questions they asked and the best answers hand curated and created a sexy cool infographic to showcase Continue reading Wonderfully Refreshing Use of an Infographic to Drive Engagement

Laser or Discoball: Can You Sum Up What Your Company Does in 140 Characters?

social marketing focus

Focus is exceptionally powerful. Lasers are focused. Disco Balls are not. And although both can make the party a whole lot more fun, only one of the can accomplish real world objectives. Look at your company’s website and marketing materials. What do you see? What do they say you do? Can you sum up your benefits in 140 characters or less? If not you might have a case of disco ball fever: big on shiny lights and short on strategy. Leave the shiny disco ball at the club. If you want to burn through all the dross and reach your objectives you need to have a laser like focus on driving customer value.  A highly focused laser is a powerful tool when applied properly to the correct problem. Choose the right tool for the job. Stay focused and use disco balls to enliven the party and lasers to get stuff done.