Understanding the Customer

Understand The Customer

The Most Important Thing In Any Business

Hey. I Have A Great Idea…..

Roughly 15 years ago I was involved in a project that was supposed to be a phenomenal hit.  We had it all figured out:

12 Week Promotion

Offer Customers A Brand New Offer Every Week Featuring A Highly Desirable Item At An Insanely Low Price

Integrated Web based advertising strategy

“Paint” The Stores With Compelling Signs And Communication To Drive Customers To The Company Web Site To Take Advantage Of The Offer

It was the biggest investment in a promotion the company had ever made.  This was something we would tell our grand kids about-how we changed retailing with this incredible event.

Sometimes You Just Suck

Result? It Bombed. 

And when I say bombed, it just didn’t fail to achieve the anticipated results, it failed magnificently. 

It was so bad that the program was cancelled after only five weeks.  The marketing manager was fired and the rest of us hid under our desks for a month until it was safe to come out.

What Went Wrong?

As we dug through the promotional carnage the major error became embarrassingly clear: We simply failed to understand what our core customer wanted.

A Common Error

As bad as our error was, it was not uncommon.  Statistics show that 8 out of 10 new business will fail within the first 18 months.  Cash flow is usually cited as the main culprit; but another less talked about factor is the failure to understand one’s customer.

If more new businesses better understood their customer, they would often realize profits faster and running out of cash wouldn’t be as much of a worry. 

Check Out The Next Post In This Series To Learn How You Can Avoid Being A Statistic