Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Treat Your Customers Like They're Stupid

It seems that most companies do. For sure a lot of professional services companies do. I'm not really into 'pitching' for business. Rolling up to the executive team and telling them how to run their business seems all a bit silly. How can I possibly know more about the business goals and brand strategy of a company than the people that do it all day long for a job? Do you seriously think brand managers don't know their target market, competitor positioning or customer media consumption? If they don't, they are either a) new or b) not very good at their job.

Sitting down with the executive team, hearing some of their current issues and working through business cases with them is far more effective and to be honest, I just enjoy it more. Often the company knows what they need to do, they just haven't had the focused resource to do it. Sometimes they just need some more buy-in from offshore budget holders or other parts of the business.

I'm not sure if it's just because I've done more time on client side then agency side and just got tired of the patronising glitter and unicorns presos.

When I see some of the presentations and conference agendas (especially around social media) it just makes me cringe. To me it shows that you clearly don't understand the industry and the people that work in it.

Most of the people I work alongside are smart, love what they do and take their profession seriously. They are often human Google databases on media stats, campaign budgets and market behaviour.

Listen, ask lots of questions and work through real-world business challenges rather then conceptual candyfloss. Your customers are probably quite smart and they'll respond a lot more positively to you if you listen, ask lots of questions and don't tell them how to suck eggs on their area of specialty. 

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

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