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The Downside Of Competing For Customers

The boardroom was ready. We each had a bottle of French sparkling water, a notebook and pen next to our seat. Delicious herbal tea and snacks were served on our arrival. We were meeting to discuss how best to tell a story that resonated with the client’s customers before the launch of a new marketing campaign next season. The marketing team’s carefully prepared presentation was locked and loaded, and examples of their past promotions had been laid out down the middle of the long boardroom table, alongside those of their competitors.

The team presented data about the previous campaign’s performance relative the competition. They knew exactly what their competitors’ strategy had been and how much revenue each company had generated. They compared the different strategies in great detail. They outlined the targets they wanted to hit. But not once throughout the entire presentation did they question what their customer wanted. The customer barely got a mention. This company is not alone in neglecting to make room for customers at the table.

In our race to compete for a slice of the market, we have become fearfully reactive to the marketplace, instead of being bravely responsive to the people we intended to serve. We may have forgotten our customers, but it’s not too late to fix this. We can’t begin to be something to our customers without first understanding who we are and who we intend to become.

Image by freeimage4life

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