Unless Your Customers Are Like You, You Shouldn’t Treat Them Like They Are

Over the years I’ve noticed a dangerous tendency—among myself and others—to assume that we “know” our customers, or target customers. Because we think or believe something, we assume that—of course!—others think or believe as we do. They don’t.

This was driven home to me a while ago as my husband was watching the MLB All-Star Game.

“Great!” I said—”this must mean the baseball season is over!” No, he assured me — only halfway over; still about 80 games to go. “Good grief! Who in the world wants to watch that much baseball?!! How can the networks possibly afford to keep broadcasting these things?!?!?!”

And then it hit me.

I’m not like “them“—the people who watch these games. There are obviously a lot of games because, if there weren’t, the networks wouldn’t be broadcasting the games, because they wouldn’t have advertising revenue to support those broadcasts. Clearly, if I was a network executive and built my schedule based on my beliefs and preferences, I would have been at risk of making a very bad decision.

This type of “faulty thinking” happens all of the time—to me and to others. We are, after all, “ego-centric.” Our world revolves around our own experiences and beliefs. That’s dangerous.

The solution? Don’t make assumptions. Listen to your customers. Learn from your prospects. Recognize that you are likely *not* like them. And even if you do have shared interests with your customers (maybe you started a winery because you love wine), that doesn’t mean that your ideas and decisions are the best ones.

Ask. Check. Listen. Learn. Our failure to move beyond what we believe, to entertain the thought that we just might not be representative of our target audiences, is a key barrier to truly connecting with those we wish to serve.


About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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