I Don’t Care What You Would Do: 6 Ways You’re Not the Customer
Your ad agency graphic designer might have a monster screen with amazing resolution and he’s blown up the ad 1,000% for you to see it. But if that ad runs in a black-and-white print publication with poor offset printing, you aren’t seeing it the way the customer will and might have far too much text and not enough white space.
I experienced this recently myself. Our video editor was upset about the audio quality in a video he was working on because there was some rubbing of a lavalier microphone against the speaker’s suit jacket. He was listening to it through some studio monitor-quality headphones in our studio. But when I listened through my laptop’s tinny speakers — the way most of our audience would hear it — we couldn’t hear any problem at all. It wasn’t worth taking the time to fix such a minor detail.
Disconnect #5: Different Web Browser
This is in-line with #4 but I’m calling it out separately because it is so important in digital marketing.
When we were redesigning our website, the development team had to decide which web browsers to support. Specifically, how old of website browsers should be natively supported by the website.
They smartly looked in our analytics, and for that reason they didn’t include some old versions of Internet Explorer. We didn’t get much traffic from these old browsers. Makes sense.
But a lot of banks and other financial institutions have been Research Partners with us and banks tend to use older versions of Internet Explorer internally. So even though it was a small amount of traffic, it could come from important decision makers who might decide to work with us based on how the website rendered.
It’s an odd feeling for a group of developers and digital marketers to support old versions of IE — we tend to use the newest versions of Chrome, Firefox, or Brave — but we always have to remember that we are not the customer.
Disconnect #6: Different View of the Company
This is a biggie. We spend a large amount of our waking hours working on our company’s brand. We know the website inside and out. We’ve worked on the campaign for months before it launches. We know how much work goes into the product. Perhaps we know the founder personally. This company occupies a huge amount of our headspace. Not to mention, its ability to sell products is intimately tied to our livelihood.
Our customers, on the other hand, will give the company’s email a few seconds of thought before quickly deleting it with a coffee in one hand while chatting with a friend walking down the street. Or walk right by that amazing booth with the LED lights and the oomcha music and the sweet swag giveaway we invested five figures in for the tradeshow.
You are not the customer. I am not the customer. Even if you don’t have the above five disconnects from the customer – you’re the same demographic, use the same devices, etc. – you will inherently look at your company differently as an insider.
Know it. Be conscious of it in your daily decision making. And find ways to overcome your skewed view.
To help you see your marketing and brand through your customer’s eyes, we’ve created the free Introductory Guide to Developing Your Customer Theory [an interactive worksheet]. I made it, so I think it’s amaaaaaazing. And I hope you will, too.
Daniel Burstein is the Senior Director, Content and Marketing at MECLABS Institute. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS — digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience.