Your customers don’t care

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There is only one real question that most companies really need to answer:  How does their product or service make the customer’s life better? This is why they will spend their money. It is why they will seek out your brand. It is also something that is often forgotten.

Marketing communications are often used to achieve internal or industry political aims over communicating and connecting with the audience. Everything from the message in TVC’s, the media buy all the way through to a website’s Information Architecture (IA) are defined by internal considerations. Politics, internal bias and the company’s myopic worldview are all things that the customer just doesn’t care about.

It is seen as often online as in ‘old media’. One place in particular where it can be found is on a company’s website. A few examples include:

  • Internal and industry jargon determining navigational IA
  • Copy tone and style tied to a formal, PR style for use in social media
  • Display advertising constrained by existing static print material
  • Keyword selection & optimisation defined by intra-industry considerations first
  • Purchased display advertising determined by offline relationships
  • Social media interactions defined by adversarial customer service practices
  • Sales copy as company puffery that fails to address customer desires & needs

These examples fail the “Does the customer care?” test. The customer does not care what industry term is used to describe a product. They do not care about the words you think they should find you on, and they do not care to seek you out in places where you think they should go. They will search on the terms they want to, they will not learn how to navigate your site if it is obscure and they certainly won’t find it if you do not communicate with them where they are.

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