Let's say you've got an idea for a new or better product or service. Who do you listen to for guidance? Would you listen to "industry insiders" or would you spend the time and money seeking the input of consumers?
It's Important Because...
It can make or break your chances in the marketplace. Our experience tells us to spend the resources and connect with consumers rather than "industry insiders". Why? Folks who are already connected within your industry have a bias to what they know; not what the consumer needs/wants. Industry people often talk "industry speak" that some might perceive as...consumer knowledge. It's not. So why do it? Listening to insiders is easier...and that's why so many young marketers make the error.
There are dozens of ways to use technology to engage consumers from Twitter Questions to Facebook Surveys. However, one of the best ways to connect with consumers is to get out there and...ask them. Framing your questions in such a way that they better understand the what you are asking. Listen to their story. Their needs, wants and desires. Sure this takes more time but, in the end you won't roll out an Edsel or New Coke. Remember, that's what the industry insiders said consumers...wanted.