“The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” - Peter Drucker.
When planning your product/service You need multiple points of view. Multiple perspectives deepens your understanding of why you are doing something. For example as an inventor you would see your work in a specific way, this perspective might be very different from your customer's perspective or from a possible investor's perspective. You need to look at your design, solution, your invention, from at least three different perspectives.
- The person who is going to use your product
- The person who will sponsor you
- And finally, You, who is going to synthesize the perspectives into one solution
I cannot emphasize enough, how important it is to understand the perspective of your customer/user. You really need to understand the person you are trying to communicate with. The best way to get instant feedback and more recognition is to actually help a customer/user with their particular problem. The more personal your solution is the bigger chance it has to actually communicate directly to the user.
A big problem that exist today is creating your product and then giving it to some marketing/advertising person or department and think that they'll magically take care of the selling for you. This is basically the same as forcing your product onto people in a manipulative way. It won't work, people have choices today.
Most innovators, craftsmen and designers think that marketing comes after their work is done, but this assumption is totally false, your creation should actually help people with their problems in the present, what does your customer have difficulties with today, or better yet Right Now! What is their experience like right now?
So what you need to do is actually going through the process of understanding your customer, you need to understand the customer's experience. How does your customer perceive the problem, How does your customer think about it, What is your customer's emotional problem. To start with, You need to get out of your own perception, You need to stop your perception of what the problem is. What should be done is helping the customer, what should be done is really understanding your customer's motivation. We don't need to force people to buy our stuff, we just need to help them with daily problems.
When you think about the customer experience and how the customer perceives the world then you might start shifting your perspective from yourself, to the person you're trying to help. This leads us to thinking about value and what the customer actually values. What you think is value isn't what the customer thinks is valuable. One way of understanding the perceived value that your customers is experiencing is to actually try to role model or experience the perspective of the person you're trying to help.
Play a different Role
After you have talked to your user/customer and done some observations, you should write down your problem statement from your own perspective, how do you look at the problem? When you're finished describing the problem in your own words you can now try to understand the differences between your perspective and your customers.
To understand your customer/user you need to use your imagination, you need to experience what he/she is experiencing. You need to identify with the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of this particular person. Here's a list of things that you can think about:
Before actually performing this role transition, be in a place where you can relax, close your eyes and really dive into this persona, you will know when you have reached a result when you actually feel the feelings that the person/user is feeling. You will have some sort of recognition, a realization of what the other person's experience is like. The best description of this is: a sudden recognition of the problem faced. You really understand where the person is coming from, you now can see their perspective.
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