Ask Your Customer

How do you know what your customer really thinks?

Customer understanding and market research should be key components of your strategic marketing planning.  This is often a significant expenditure, but you don’t always have to invest big bucks to understand your customer.  When possible, take advantage of low-cost, easy-to-implement options such as the following example from Amazon. 

When I received a shipment from this week, the packaging configuration seemed a bit different.  As I was reaching for my swiss army knife, I noticed a simple “pull here” instruction, and voila, the box was opened easily and in an instant.

Later, I noticed a request to “Rate this packaging” on the box, along with a short link to Amazon’s Web site, where I found this simple survey:

And, there was even a place to add a photo and comment:

My package was fine.  I had no issues.  Maybe Amazon is testing a new package format, maybe not.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that packaging is an important Amazon cost driver, which also impacts customer experience, and the company is smart to gauge what its customers think.

Headline For Marketers

Make customer understanding and market research key elements of your annual marketing plan process, and ideally, set a multi-year strategy and calendar for the type and frequency of your research.  Remember to clearly identify and state how you will use the output.  Doing so is an important input to research design and will help make sure you utilize your marketing budget wisely.

Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success.

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