The first place any marketer should start is with the customer. Any good marketing strategy will start and end from the customer's perspective. It means understanding what the customer wants is key before any marketing gets created or any tactics are discussed.
It follows that if a company and all its functions are obsessed with meeting the needs of its customers, and does so successfully, sales and profit will come.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. The aim of marketing is to make selling unnecessary.” Peter Drucker, Business and marketing consultant
Often there are competing perspectives within an organisation. Some are focussed on driving sales, without first identifying who they are selling to and why. Others begin at the product, and others at their advertising.
It’s a marketer's job to convince the other functions that starting at the customer will deliver the best outcomes.
The problem is that it can be difficult for a marketer to put their own biases to one side and truly see things from the view of the customer. This is something Professor Mark Ritson describes as the “paradox of market orientation”.
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org