What you don’t know about your prospects could put you out of business.

Recently I received an invitation from BtoB magazine to attend a Webcast entitled “Online Marketing Revolves Around Content: When Content IS Marketing.”

I am guessing that the presentation is to educate marketers on the value of using and leveraging content as the focus of their marketing.

I’m sure it will be a good presentation. But it is BtoB’s invitation that I’d like to comment on. It contained four bullet points about what skills and knowledge I would gain by attending. It included:

  • Understand who your customers are
  • Determine your customers’ needs as they relate to your product or service
  • Establish what you want your customers to do
  • Settle on the product and content mix

The fact is that the first two bullets are so critical to all marketing that not having an intimate knowledge of them is a sure path to failure.

Out of BusinessMy partner once accepted a position with a company (that shall remain nameless) that had secured $40 million in venture capital money based on projections of how quickly it could win a percentage of its target market. The market was huge, and all the company needed was a reasonably small percentage of that market to achieve its goal. This company is now out of business.

What didn’t the company know? It only used the size of the market and the perceived value of its product for that market to make projections. The company did not “understand” its target market at all. It didn’t understand how the market made decisions or what its priorities and prime motivators were.

So as BtoB magazine promises in its invitation, understanding your customers and knowing who they are and what their needs are as they relate to your product or service is ultimately the most important thing a business needs to know.

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