The Master Marketer BLOG

Marketing is about standing in another person's shoes

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 @ 5 PM

If you want to increase sales in your company then you need to start thinking like your customers. This is not the easiest thing to do, but it will upgrade your marketing like nothing else can. Thinking like your customer is a discipline. You need to get good at it. Here are a few tips:

Use stealth

Buried in one of my marketing books or journals somewhere is the story of a hotel manager who would go the the motor pool of the shuttle service that brought guests to and from his facility. Each month over doughnuts he would question the drivers about what people said about their stay. These days you can use stealth via the Internet by monitoring discussion boards, Blogs and the like. With Google Alerts you can automatically monitor the Web for news, Blogs, videos, discussions, books or all of the above. Or, you can go to and you can become educated on Internet aggregation sites which will allow you to get information that has been compiled from news, polling data, reviews (products, services and movies etc.), social networks, videos, Podcasts sites and more. 

Use your intuition

We know more about each other than we are prepared to admit. Malcomb Gladwell describes this in a very entertaining way in his book "Blink, the power of impulse and intuition". Start to track how you feel and what your gut tells you about how to approach potential customers. Be sure and record or remember what you did to try to make a sale. Of prime importance is the response your approach elicited.

Examine your results dispassionately

Are people warming up to your approach? Is your message understood or is it met with a blank stare? Do they like you but not what you are selling? Are you just trying to get them to buy and not trying to solve their problems? Are you taking to the wrong people? It requires self discipline to be able to examine verbal and nonverbal feedback you will receive without allowing your emotions to cloud your findings. Doing this honestly and accurately is the key to eventual marketing success. This is one of the most demanding tasks in business—listening and truly understanding the often unspoken communication from your customers. 

Marketing and standing in another's shoes











Get someone to ask your customers about you

Everybody says that they listen to their customers, and often times this is true, but what are your customers saying? Studies show that in about 98% of the cases people will shy away from giving negative feedback to a person because they do not want to deal with a confrontation. People are much more likely to speak openly when they are anonymous, and/or speaking with a third party. 


Business is a great teacher. The market will present you with the feedback you need to be successful. Will you use it even if your marketing research shoes give off a foul odor?


Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt

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