When you are the founder and creator of a company or have worked at a company for a long time, you know everything about your product or service. But, the biggest mistake you can make is in not being open-minded to other people's feedback about your company. This is critical for product development and for marketing.
Taking the time to really listen to your customers is an invaluable tool that can help your company improve. We've seen a lot of this over the last 6 months in the pandemic. Corporate learning companies have shifted to highlighting their remote training capabilities and edtech companies are expanding to meet market demands. For example, game-learning company Kahoot just launched a community for educators looking to connect with other educators and to gain resources for their remote classrooms. These companies are listening to their customers and shifting their products and marketing to meet their requests.
I worked on a project recently to identify marketing messages for a 15 year old company. I started by requesting feedback from the company founder and employees about what makes the company different and I heard a lot about the excellent service they had. Then I went to the company's customers. The company employees were right, they did receive excellent feedback about their service. But we needed to dig deeper. Every competitor also talked about great service. By listening to the customers, I uncovered another sentiment that came up frequently - the quality of service the company delivered. So we dove into emphasizing quality over customer service for stronger marketing messages. It helped differentiate the company while being authentic to the brand in a way that the company would have overlooked if they didn't listen to their customers.
Listening to your customers takes effort, but it is worth it to attract the right customers. If you don't have time or resources to put into organizing focus groups or interviews with customers, start small by collecting reviews and testimonials - and provide them to your marketing team so they can pull out insights that will improve your marketing.