It’s the classic rookie mistake even wily marketing veterans can make… assuming our customers think and like the things we personally think and like. I was reminded again of this important lesson when an “out of the box” marketing activity was proposed for an upcoming new product launch event. When the idea was pitched to me I thought it was crazy—I would NEVER be interested in attending that type of event. I was not alone in this skepticism; many of my esteemed colleagues also thought the idea was a bit harebrained. Learning how to listen to and trust your gut is a critical skill, but you also have to validate those instincts with hard facts.
Luckily, we have our own consumer communities that help us get smart on what our customers really think and want. We ran this “crazy” idea by our members and much to my/our surprise, they LOVED it. Several even asked if they could come to the events (if we decided to go forward with them). These positive community results were critical during the sell in to executives. The story isn’t over yet… our community members are currently piloting these activities to help us identify and work out any kinks before the worldwide roll out. It just goes to show… sometimes your gut isn’t always right, so ask your customers what they think.