When was the last time you talked with the people who buy your products and pay your salary? And no, email, Facebook and Twitter don’t count. I mean a face-to-face or voice-to-voice conversation with those fine folks who keep you in business.
Customers are your expert witnesses — people who can provide you with marketing intelligence that results in marketing breakthroughs. I’ve used customer comments I’ve obtained through phone interviews as the foundation for writing control-beating headlines, subject lines, letter openers, Web page sidebars and lift letters like the one I wrote for the luxury vacation company Maupintour.
In my opinion, nothing replaces the credibility and natural cadence of a customer quote. And for those of you with a tight marketing budget, customer interviews are virtually free. There’s no huge research budget required.