Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends had a great post last week with marketing experts sharing one of their marketing secrets. I have quoted some of my favorites with a reason why I think the point is important below. Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing – “Forget what your mama or your preacher taught you. The Golden Rule does NOT work for developing marketing strategy. Your customers do not want to be treated “as you would like to be treated.” In understanding your customers you might discover that their values, needs and expectations differ from yours. New Golden Rule For Marketers: Do Unto Your Customers As THEY Would Like To Be Treated.”
- I work with many startups and a common issue I find is as the product changes and molds in the first few years (as it does in all startups), many lose sight of their customer. Too many startups make changes because they believe they are not growing fast enough and it usually breeds a poor product and poor quality.
Scott Shane, Author of “Illusions of Entrepreneurship” – “The data show that most entrepreneurs compete on price, but doing this leads companies to perform worse. New companies are better off competing on service, quality or some other dimension.”
- I have seen both sides of this quote. I have seen prices increased and decreased, and decreasing the price of a product wont solve your problem. The problem 99% of the time is a poor quality product due to unreasonable time lines. What is the point to rush a product to meet a deadline if the product is less than great? If you wait an extra month and the product works then guess what, you will sell more product in the long run.
David Powers, GotVMail Communications – “People don’t like to be sold. If they did, they would spend all their free time in car dealerships. Instead, people want to be informed, they want to be educated. You’ll find your best customers are those you educate about your product or service and who then decide to purchase it because it is a good fit for them.Prospects who buy your product/service but are not educated about your offering will be disappointed. They will not be return customers. Worse, they will tell others how they got ’sold’ by you. In the Internet age, this can quickly be very destructive to your business.”
- Properly educating you consumer about your product will save you a big headache. Trust me.
John Battelle, Searchblog – “The best kept secret in marketing is to invest your time in eliciting and responding to your customer’s feedback, even if it’s negative. It’s the secret to building a network of evangelists who keep on giving back to your business ….”
- A common response from an entrepreneur that does not want to deal with negative feedback is, "You will hear more from those that had a negative experience than from those that had a positive experience." My response is usually"...so your not going to deal with it? Good luck." Negative feedback is one of the best sources of information you can get. Can you imagine if your product didn't work and you didn't know why, you would probably just blame the marketing guy ;).