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April 15, 2015

Do you really know what clients want?

skilletI was flipping through a magazine this morning and came across a small article announcing a new product available to consumers.

It’s a Bluetooth-enabled frying pan that helps you find the right temp so you know when to flip your pancakes (or whatever you’re cooking). Are you serious?!

Yeah, I get that the ‘Internet of Everything’ is well on its way… but have we become so lazy and so stupid that we can’t figure out when to flip a flapjack?! Or worse, to spend over $200 to tell us when to do it.

But this silliness also got me to thinking about how we work with clients in our industry… and it reminded me of one of my favorite sayings in business… “Just because you can… doesn’t mean you should!”

Or stated another way… are you providing the products and services that clients want – or the products and services that you THINK your clients want? There’s a HUGE difference. So, here are a few things to think about…

  1. Do you really know what clients want & need? If so, how? (Hint: “I’ve been doing this a long time and I know what my clients want” is NOT a good answer!)
  2. What’s your process for developing new products & services? Are your clients a part of it?
  3. When was the last time you asked your clients what they think of your products and services… and how they could be better aligned with the clients’ needs?
  4. The Market Research industry is changing quickly – particularly in the use of technology. Are you keeping up? How?
  5. Do you have a process for systematic client feedback? It could include surveys, creating an advisory council or simply picking up the phone and talking with them on regular basis.

New, innovative and sexy is fine – it’s a great way to build some brand awareness and pick up a little press coverage. But in the end, if you’re not delivering what clients want to buy – because you don’t really know what they want in the first place – the ‘fancy stuff’ just doesn’t matter.

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