I recently posed the question, “How do you really know what your customers want?” I offered an answer by suggesting the key to truly understanding what they want is continual engagement. I’m going to take that a step further today by offering another suggestion – the formation of a customer advisory council. A customer advisory council is a group of customers (and non-customers, too) who would meet on a regular basis with representatives of your brand. Each of them would be paid a nominal sum for their participation and their purpose would be to serve as an external sounding board…
Overcoming Marketing Myopia
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Very important post – thank you for adding this. The client’s “gut feel” or “what we know people want to see” can be an impediment to developing a strategy that is responsive to the customer. Dell has a partner advisory council, Starbucks has an idea site for customers, etc. This is also the concept behind the book “Brand Hijack” which is that you let the customer co-create your brand.
Within the government the most successful customer relationships are always those where the agency reaches out at the local level – meaning those who will be affected by any plans under consideration. Whether that happens formally or informally or on the computer or in person is irrelevant. The point is to let the light in rather than having a small group of isolated people (especially isolated in DC) determine the strategy absent meaningful feedback.
The marketing landscape is so complex today, including your customers, evangelists, and detractors out on the web as part of the big picture. Here is a good infographic: Marketing Landscape Today http://t.co/kpW9cICCtd #social #whatsnextdc