The Best Marketers are Humble

A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness

I’ve been thinking recently about what characteristics separate an average marketer from a great marketer. It seems like great marketers have superhuman tendencies; they somehow understand EXACTLY what the customer wants. What I’ve realized is that the best marketers are humble – they aren’t wrapped up in their knowledge, but instead focus on understanding the customer on a deeper level. They also don’t use past success as an indicator of future success. Every day, the slate is clean.

Get to Know your Customer

It’s easy to think that you understand the customer, but do you really know what motivates them? **What do they hate? What do they love, and how does your service/product make their life better? **

Think about it. As a marketer, you spend countless hours immersed in marketing your business – do you really think you are the ideal person to understand what your customer wants?

The only way you can find out this information is by asking – don’t be afraid to dig deeper. A great way to do this is simply by asking “Why?” Toyota manufacturing coined the process of the “5 Whys” – use this technique to pinpoint the underlying reasons to seemingly basic questions.

**Practical Tools & Application: **

  • Ask your customers questions on Facebook or Twitter
  • Email and call customers – ask for 10-15 minutes of their time.
  • Send out a survey (email subscribers are great candidates)
  • Use Qualaroo or Snap Engage (for website visitors)

Your hunch is a Hypothesis, Not a Fact

As a marketer, it’s easy to think you understand what the consumer wants, when in reality, you are CLUELESS. Treat your opinions as a hypothesis that needs to be tested. Remember science class? It’s time to use similar tactics:

  1. Determine what you are testing
  2. Develop a hypothesis
  3. Conduct research and establish control groups
  4. Make sense of your findings

Stay Humble

It’s great when your assumption turns into a goldmine, yet don’t base past success on future efforts. The great part about marketing is that it’s a process that continually builds on itself, the more you understand your customer, the more likely your tactics will succeed. Yet don’t get cocky, and stay eager to learn.