Back to Basics

The constant presence of orange and blue proudly displayed by the University of Florida’s (UF) devoted fans around the world, provides clear evidence of the Swamp’s strong reach. A marketing heavyweight, UF is an organization that taps into its audience to create a strong international presence.

Yet many entrepreneurs are not as lucky. Thrown for a loop, a lot of entrepreneurs are at a loss and struggle with marketing campaign ideas. With the wide variety of marketing resources available, many stall out from “analysis paralysis” as they simply can’t fathom where to begin.

Customer experience

But Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy and author of the award winning marketing book, Personality Not Included, posted on the Influential Marketing Blog, his idea: Just slow down and re-learn the basics.

You know the selling side of your business. But what of the buying side? What do your customers experience when purchasing your product?

Bhargava used General Motors for his example. Although a GM exec could own and drive a Cadillac, he or she didn’t have to purchase or even make regular repairs to the car. The dealership would cover the costs. In other words, the exec didn’t have the day-to-day experience of getting approved for a loan or forking out hundreds of dollars for a monthly fuel bill and maintenance.

Get back in touch

No, this isn’t an attempt to make car dealers the bad guys, but it is a study in how business owners can become out of touch with the customer buying experience. Bhargava suggests

  • Research your product as a customer would. Go online and see how you measure against the competition. How do your customers purchase your product? Online? By phone?
  • Go to a store that sells your product and speak with the sales people and discuss the good and bad issues of your product. Has the store experienced any returns?
  • Measure your customer service by purchasing your product. Take note of the delivery time. Is the packaging sturdy? Did anyone follow up with you?

This is the time to get back to basics. Discover what your customers experience and want when ordering and using your product. To have this first-hand knowledge is a must. Once gained, the intimidating prospect of developing a marketing campaign will become a non-issue as your research and customers will guide you in the proper direction.

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