Alternatively, you can do what they need.
But how could you dare propose to your clients what they need instead of what they want?
Simple: become their customer.
See, while the trick for winning a client on pitch day is obedience, the only true guarantee for you to maintain your client for decades is challenging the brief.
And the only way you can challenge the brief, is by becoming their customer. Living, breathing, eating (skip sleeping) .. with them. Truly understanding what “a day in a life of ….” means:
– What do they talk about when they mention your brand
– Where / When do they usually talk about you
– Who do they enjoy talking to / listening to about you
Anyone who can provide accurate answers to the above questions at any given point in time, will make it very difficult for their client to walk away.
Especially if these answers come with a: so what?
So, how do you “become” their customer? You Listen!
There are THOUSANDS of organic mentions of each and every consumer product / service in social media everyday, and the majority of these mentions carry either a positive, negative or a neutral sentiment.
By listening to some of that conversation you can draw a customer wish-list, namely:
– What they want you to start doing (opportunities)
– What they want you to stop doing (weaknesses)
– What they want you to continue doing (strengths)
So, whether you are an established brand or a new one trying to penetrate a new market, that kind of conversation analysis can not only outline your marketing strategy, but also inform you of the white space you’ll need to fill to win your customers’ hearts, minds AND share of pocket.
Customers who have become so empowered by today’s media democratization that we can no longer tell them what they need.
“As seen on TV” has become “As seen by me and my friends”. We just need tolisten to what they need and make it happen to stay relevant.
Advertising is no longer a broadcast from brand to consumer, its a relationship between two equal peers.
And the sooner you can convince your clients to respect this new challenging peer called the customer, and how it’s in everyone’s best interest that you be loyal the most to that empowered customer, the more likely you are to enjoy decades of long fruitful relationships with your clients.
Afterall, the same clients who love you today for being a Yes Man, will fire you some day for never say No.