Do you really know what your customers want?

14 September 2023 Martin Cheetham

Basing business decisions on outdated personas based on your own assumptions can only lead to bad decisions…

Deciding on where or how to market to your ideal customer. Deciding on features that will keep them engaging with your website or app. Deciding on pricing models. Deciding on how to increase customer loyalty (lifetime value). Deciding on how to create meaningful experiences for them.

These decisions are only as good as the data fed into them. We, as a society of consumers, are always changing and adapting. As an example, what was true of our expectations and decision-making was different pre- to post Covid. AI in all its forms is, and will be, a huge influencer on change and adaptability.

Without understanding the true motivations and needs of people, it will always be a guessing game. They might be relatively informed guesses, but guesses all the same.

And it’s different for different types of consumers. Segmentation is vitally important. And a crucial component in segmenting comes down to unpacking our customers’ jobs to be done (JTBD).

“People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” – Theodore Levitt

While most companies innovate by trying to improve their existing products or services (creating a better quarter-inch drill), the innovation process is dramatically improved by instead trying to find better ways to create a quarter-inch hole (to get the job done).

To take it a step further, people don’t even want a hole. They want to hang a picture – this is illustrated so well here:

People are looking to change an outcome or something in their lives for the better. If we understand what that is, we’re in a better position to help them achieve it.

In short, if you’re not doing the work to know what your customers are needing to achieve with your product or service (and all products ARE providing a service), then you’re aiming in the dark. And some you’ll hit, a lot you’ll miss but you’ll never hit the mark.