I've been battling lately with a marketing plan. The people on my team want to advertise in certain places and target certain venues in grassroots efforts that they think are most effective. Their views on what will be most effective coincide strongly with what they read and where they go. We have to advertise on a morning news show because a couple people insist that everyone watches them. What they really mean is that they watch them. We have to develop relationshiops with and support a certain organization because that is where our customers are. Which is, coincidentally, an organization they participate in. I've been seeing more and more of this – marketing myopia. People believe that other people watch, read, and listen to the same programs, shows, periodicals etc. that they themselves do. Thus, we should advertise there. People believe that the customers who matter most are those that live in the same area of town, frequent the same venues, work in the same industries as they do. So here is a message.
Other people aren't necessarily like you. Don't assume they are.
This is my rule of business in general. I can't assume that just because customers don't complain they are totally happy. I can't assume that my marketing dollars are best spent on approaches that would satisfy me as a customer. So how do you figure out what to do? You have to … work. Do some research, do some analysis, talk to your existing customers. Do things in small test batches to see how people respond. But whatever you do, don't assume that everyone is like you when it comes to marketing.