Leadership Author Henry Cloud tells a story about the CEO of a dog-food company who had launched a new branding push for a dog food that wasn’t selling like he wanted. After this new advertising campaign didn’t change the sales numbers, the CEO was very frustrated. So he called a meeting to find the source of the problem – and the sales and marketing team members he could hold to account.
As the group gathered in the conference room, one person asked if he could say something. Impatient, the CEO asked, “What is it?”
“Sir,” the team member said, “the dogs don’t like the food.”
That feedback was the one thing they’d left out of their marketing strategies. And that missing piece was significant to their missed targets.
The point is, whether your market is the family pet or the corporate CEO, there’s a lot your customers can tell you about your products and services that will be critical to the success of your business.
The tools for getting customer input range from online surveys, polls and social platforms, to focus groups and one-on-one interaction, to comment forms, direct mail and phone surveys. Regardless of which tools you use – once you get a sense of public opinion about your products, services and issues, you’re better able to create an effective marketing plan for reaching your target market.
Remember, it’s not whether the input is positive or negative, but whether it’s “actionable.” Meaning, you’ll have information that will help you make adjustments to serve your market better.
We’re 24 Communications, an advertising agency in Montgomery, Alabama, and we recognize the high importance of market research to the success of branding campaigns. If you’d like our help finding out what your customers are thinking, please let us know.