“There is no such thing as a creative dreamer, sitting in an isolated office, who builds products that succeed every time.”
At Golden Spiral, we are big fans of the Pragmatic Marketing model and we believe data and research are vital to success. Among the greatest benefit we can provide our clients is helping them get out of their own way and discover meaningful insights within their market to form the basis of a winning approach.
Tuned In, by Pragmatic moguls Craig Stull, Phil Myers, and David Meerman Scott, outlines a philosophy and research model that will ensure the creation of winning products and services or, in their words, products that “resonate.” A “resonator” is defined as a “breakthrough product or service that buyers immediately understand has value to them even if they have never heard of your company or its products before.”
Without the right framework to guide and test your approach, you may have a tendency to make some of these common mistakes:
- Innovating for the sake of innovation
- Following gut ideas or assumptions about your buyers
- Focusing too heavily on revenue
- Letting current customer feedback influence the direction of your company
You may be asking, what’s wrong with listening to our customers? The reality is, your existing customers represent a small percentage of your opportunity.
Why does it so often take new companies to solve market problems? In the book, they relay the example of Zipcar, a company that came on the scene to provide a rental car solution to urban dwellers. Budget, Avis, Enterprise, and others were all in existence and had endless resources that could have been translated to provide a service similar to Zipcar, but none of them stepped up. This is an example of how companies that are solely focused on the needs of their current customers can miss big opportunities for how their technology, capabilities, and/or knowledge could translate to another market.
Bummer for Avis — but luckily for you, I read the book and can share how you can get tuned in to save yourself from missing out on the next big idea that will resonate with your customers!
Here are the six steps for getting 'Tuned In':
1. Find Unresolved Problems
Gain insight into the full scope of the problem. If you only solve part of the problem, your customers could feel you didn’t provide real value, but even worse, a competitor could pop up and build the complete product you didn’t.
Know the difference between stated needs and silent needs. Ask open ended questions and dig deep to pull out the information that might not surface immediately.
2. Understand Buyer Personas
Put a face and name to your buyer to eliminate the guesswork. Get on their level, meet your buyer in their home, and find out what your buyer cares about.
3. Quantify the Impact
Ask yourself, "Is this problem urgent? Is it pervasive? Are people willing to spend money to fix the problem?" Surveys should NOT be used to find unresolved problems but they CAN be used to quantify the impact. Use this step to bring a team member with a “great idea” back to whether the product or service has a realistic potential for success.
4. Create Breakthrough Experiences
How often do you assume the competition knows something you don’t and just copy them without exploring an alternative? Leverage your distinctive competence. This is not just what you do best but what you do best that is different than your competitors.
5. Articulate Powerful Ideas
Focus on the ideas that resonate with what your customers value most. Think about the iPod “1,000 Songs in Your Pocket” or FedEx “When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Overnight.” Products that are tuned in articulate their value in terms of how they solve a problem for their customer.
6. Establish Authentic Connections
Develop real and deep connections with customers based on experiences that resonate. If you can speak their language, they’ll listen. Not only will this sell your product but it will lead to better exposure. Traditional media rushes to talk to tuned in companies because readers want to consume their content.
Get out of the office, meet your buyer personas in their environment and start getting tuned in to where you can add real value in your market!