The 3 Things You Must Understand Before Any Marketing Campaign

Updated: January 10, 2010

Your Customers: Who are they? What are their core needs, objectives, pain points? What gest them fired up in the morning, and what keeps them up at night? What (and who) influences and motivates them?

The more you understand your customer, the better your marketing will be. And frankly, if you don't know your customer well, I'm not sure how you can put a successful product into play in the first place.

Don't feel like you know enough about your customers? Just ask! Take a list of customers and call them. Don't pitch them, but ask them about their business, their needs, their pain. You'll learn a ton.

Your front-line employees are hearing from customers every day. Your customer service reps, sales team, account managers - they all are a wealth of knowledge about your customers if you're willing to ask and listen.

Your Products: What you're selling needs to closely align with the needs of your customers. It needs to clearly fill a need, solve a problem, or provide a benefit that can be easily communicated.

Too many companies describe their products to customers by explaining features. That's a mistake, especially at the front of the conversation and sales cycle. To gain the customer's attention, you have to speak in terms of benefits. Don't talk about the how and what. Address the why.

And when building and updating products, ensure that the customer's voice is closeby throughout. Product plans and specs are often build directly from customer feedback, but that customer closeness can get lost as decisions are made to get the product launched. Don't that happen on your watch.

Your Objectives: Even if you understand your customers well, and have a product that directly aligns with the customer's needs, there are a million ways to take that message to market. There are countless customer segments, marketing channels, and likely several different product and/or service lines on which you can focus.

Which are most important? What combination will most directly lead to success for your organization this year? If you've defined goals for the organization, and broken that down to a handful of focus areas or "bets" in the marketplace, that gives your marketing the direction it needs to focus on the right customers, the right channels, and the right products.

Featured Research
  • Contact Center Software on a Budget

    Although contact center software is necessary for a modern contact center, it can be outrageously expensive. Many companies find that their budget bloats during the implementation process. more

  • How UC Can Help Your Business Survive the Holidays

    The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more

  • [Infographic] Switching Phone Systems

    There are a lot of possible reasons you might want to switch to a new phone system. The old one might cost too much or be too troublesome to operate and maintain. It might not be flexible enough. It might not be reliable enough. Or it just might not have the kinds of features and capabilities that you need in today’s competitive business climate. more

  • Business Intelligence Software Cost Guide

    Your choice in a BI (Business Intelligence) provider can lead you to make better, data-driven decisions for your business, resulting in significant ROI. Or it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars with mixed results. more

  • The New 2016 ERP Comparison Guide

    Selecting an ERP solution is no easy undertaking. You have to select and configure a system that fits your exact business needs. The right system can make operations more streamlined, efficient, and agile. But choosing the right vendor can be difficult. more