I enjoyed reading Gordon Hochhalter’s, informative and entertaining, “Shift This” (http://www.mobium.com/shiftthis). Gordon is the managing partner of Mobium Creative Group a leading B2B agency in Chicago. While “Shift This” is written from a B2B perspective it relates to B2C just as well. Consumers aren’t that different.
The premise of the book is one that we’re all aware of — marketing, branding and communications are in the midst of a significant paradigm shift. Consumers can now find out more about the products or services they are buying than we’ve told them, or we want them to know. Consumers trust the evaluations of strangers much more than the marketing message of the manufacturer or provider. Customers now dictate the message and the medium.
Gordon points out, as several of the consumer insight case studies in this blog have, that the channel and employees know more about the customer because they are closer to them, they’re speaking with them directly, able to ask clarifying or follow-up questions, seeing how they’re using the product or service.
If you rely on analytics without customer insights, you miss all of this important qualitative input. You miss the all important dialogue with the customer, the opportunity to find out what they want next, the opportunity to find the emotional link they’re making with your brand, the opportunity to make them a “customer for life.”
Talk to your customers and prospects. Find out what they want, how they want it, how they want to learn about it, whether or not they want a relationship with you and if so, what kind. Done right you may end up with a “customer for life” and a “raving fan” generating referrals and reducing cost per lead and the cost of acquiring a new customer.