When marketing your business, you should anticipate and acknowledge your customer’s needs even before they know what they really need. If done correctly, this impacts positively on your business progress and profits.

Customers are usually deficient in determining what they want. Their inability to express their desires makes it hard for you as a marketer to really know what they need. You can get around this problem by asking the customers what they don’t want.

An old notion has been going around for years that the best way to know what the customer wants is by asking them what they want. The only flaw with this method is that the customers really have no idea what they want.

While communication is the best solution when you are trying to identify your customer’s needs, it is essential to have the right approach in gathering information from your customers.

Let’s take a more in-depth look in some of the ways you can discover what your customers want:

Figure out the problem your business solves in the society

An excellent example of a company that has solved a problem in its operations in a unique way is Netflix.

Netflix changed its business model a few years ago. The company was named a market-leader in home entertainment with its previous model of charging a subscription to prospects and delivering DVDs through the mail.

The team at Netflix saw the long term flaw in this; there were a lot of barriers and intellectual property in ordering bulk orders of DVDs from movie studios and delivering them by mail. They predicted that their model would only last until another capable competitor ventured into the home entertainment business.

If Netflix had consulted the opinion of their customers seven years ago, they would choose lower subscription rates or a wider variety of movies to rent, or for Netflix to use a faster mail delivery system than their present one. Not many would have suggested streaming video content on the internet.

Netflix saw beyond their customer’s ability to articulate what their real goal was: a fast, convenient, cost-effective way to transmit entertainment to the customers. Years later, we are enjoying the fruits of this decision.

It is therefore essential to know what problem you are looking to solve with a business model that fits you and your prospect’s needs.

Learn what your prospects want

As a business-to-business products marketer, this is a critical strategy in ensuring success in innovation. You not only learn what they want but also what their customers want.

Knowing what motivates both your customers and their customers puts you in a position where you can increase the ability to make highly successful products before your customers ask you, or even worse, go to your competitors.

Avoid focusing or listening to customers’ opinions

What this really means is not necessarily ignoring your customer’s feedback, since feedback goes a long way in telling if your current products are working or if there are issues.

However, you should keep in mind that their opinions are biased since they are based on the products they have seen and used which can be misleading when you want to get a broader view of your market.

Final thoughts

The knowledge you gather about your target market and understanding the problem you want to solve will determine the success of your business in terms of growth and expanding. It is vital that you research and seek opinions from different sources to prevent your decision from being biased. Remember, the customers have no idea what they want; it is your duty to learn and translate their desires for them.

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