Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thinking Like Your Customer

Yesterday, I received a thought provoking Harvard Business Review blog from Scott Anthony, Managing Director of Innosight Ventures entitled, Think and Act Like Your Customers, where he discussed that many marketers surround themselves with what they produce as opposed to placing themselves in the position of a customer of their competition.

He pondered the fact that we may receive lots competitive intelligence from research decks and market studies, but we sometimes miss the simplest form of insight that can be derived by having our employees (or ourselves) use the products and services of the competition.

This got me thinking as to how often bank marketers actually open a new account at the competition as opposed to simply doing shopping studies with a third party research firm. How else can we really get a feel for the new account opening process, the insight collection and selling done on the front line, the subsequent onboarding communication process and the communication done later in the relationship?

As Scott Anthony pointed out, we should determine what the competition has that is better than our bank? How do they position or communicate their offerings that may be of interest to our customers? Most importantly, if you were not an employee of your bank, would the offering of the competitor encourage you to select the competition as being your bank of choice?

Sometimes, there is nothing better (or more frightening) than seeing the truth for yourself.

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