5 Things Your Customers Aren't Telling You

I’m working on a 20-minute presentation to be delivered before a bunch of marketing dudes and dudettes and I’ve been tasked with delivering my attempt at insights about The Consumerist and marketing in general. I’ve come up with a general framework of “The 5 Things Your Customers Aren’t Telling You” and wanted to throw them out to see what you all think and see whether they’re a good representation of our overarching themes and beliefs. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

You don’t need marketing, you need better products.
Even if you give Kool-Aid man a boombox and oversized pants, it’s still sugar water inside his big glass head. You can only live up to your brand’s true identity. A homespun phrase sums up this philosophy: “You can’t polish a turd.”

Your customers aren’t listening to you.
They’re talking to each other, and your disgruntled employees, online. Communication channels are so broad and splintered that flooding the marketplace with repetitive messages is increasingly ineffective.

Privacy is more important than you might think.
What people mind most is not the giving out their personal information, it’s being surprised by that information being used to invade or degrade their privacy. Opt-in is king.

Ignore customer feedback and complaints at your peril.
Consumers are increasingly willing to use hardball tactics to get what they deserve out of your business relationship.

Have you ever tried telling the truth?
Not all products are meant for all people, so let’s stop pretending that they are. You deliver certain benefits at a certain price. And when you mess up, own up to it. Customers respect a business that truly acknowledge its shortcomings and makes honest efforts to fix them.

(Photo: Getty)