As marketers, we preach on getting inside the mind of our consumer. We praise demographics and psychographics, and find value in knowing that our consumers are of a certain marital status, household income, or age range. We love knowing if they are brand loyalists or brand skeptics. But knowing our consumers – really knowing them – seems to be undervalued in today’s market place.
With more choices than ever, marketers are struggling to find that unique offering for their brands or products. What will make that consumer buy? What feature can we showcase? Maybe, just maybe, those features that we as marketers see as valuable aren’t features that make the consumer tick. It is our job to find those small nuggets of information to give us the edge.
Don’t just know that your customer shops at the grocery store only 2 miles from their house. Know that they always go straight to aisle 2 to pick up milk, order the same cut of meat every Tuesday from Joe the butcher, and use paper instead of plastic bags. Who is to say that a tiny piece of knowledge like this won’t help your product strike a chord or get noticed faster.
Go one step further than just taking the factory tour. Take it to a level higher than gathering a focus group or sending out a survey. Get real. Get in the face of the consumer. Become one of them. Talk to them on a personal level. Wouldn’t it be something if all companies required their marketing department heads to spend a few days with their target consumer? It is easy to say that we know what someone wants, but another thing to actually see it in action.
There is invaluable knowledge in knowing the small things, the details. It is there that you’ll find a connection to the heart inside your consumer. Maybe its changing the color of your packaging from green to blue, or changing the sound of the rain in the background of a commercial.
So I challenge you: know your consumer. Move in for a day, take ’em to dinner, go shopping with them. If you don’t, your competition just might. And where does that leave you?