Essay Five Key Ways to Get to Know Your Customer
Professor Julie Hennessy
What’s the challenge of Marketing Strategy? It’s not really, at its core, about advertising, though successful communications require a good marketing strategy.
Likewise, Marketing Strategy isn’t just about how to price, what features to build into your product, or how to get it to the consumer, though these are important too.
Marketing Strategy is about identifying a positioning, a clear plan for creating value for a specific and well-defined customer group. It’s about delineating a way that you will create more value for the customer you’ve chosen to serve than your competition does, because that’s how you win. Finally and importantly, it’s …show more content…
Step 1: Spend Time Talking to the End User
Most businesses don’t sell to the end users of their product. By definition, the vast majority of enterprises classify themselves as “business to business” operations.
This isn’t surprising, since every business that sells directly to an end consumer is backed up by a chain of suppliers itself. Your local drycleaners buys hangers and cleaning solvents, cash registers and direct mail flyers. Each of those suppliers to the dry cleaners might benefit from taking a jaunt into the dry cleaners customer’s home.
Let’s take a couple of examples. Nokia is an interesting one. Back in the mid1990’s, Motorola and Nokia competed head to head in the cell phone market. Motorola focused on the needs and desires of its direct customers, distributors like Cellular One.
Nokia gained different insights by focusing on the experience of cell phone users themselves. From this effort came market innovations that gave Nokia a nearly ten year run at market dominance. Instead of focusing on signal reception and decreasing price points to distributors at the request of their direct customers, they innovated by giving consumers superior aesthetics and the opportunity for personalization. Out