September 01, 2008

Concentrate on understanding usage & usability not just your customers profile

Gone are the days.

I have read and heard so much about how businesses should be consumer focused. Put the consumer in the middle of your business model, and try to service him properly, service his needs... In my area of marketing - Fast moving Consumer goods and Consumer electronics, I believe the thinking needs to shift.

Businesses need to focus now on how consumers are using the products. Usability is key. We all know consumers barely use 1/3 of what their phone can do. How many consumers are using video messaging ? Video Calling ? how many watch TV on their handsets ? How many are actually using mobile banking ?
I believe we will see more and more businesses focus on how consumers use the technology, how they use the products. The winning ones being the ones who will bring to consumers the real perceived added value to their everyday life rather fancy gimmicks which nobody wants.

Ergonomics, Cognitive sciences all have contributions to make to marketing in helping us understand the relationship between products and consumers.

If you are marketing a particular innovation or technology product out there. Ask yourself how people are using your product and what they really care about. Don't put them at the centre of your thinking. Put the relationship between them and your product at the centre. And try to maximize that in a way that they can't live without your product anymore.

It is that relationship that really matters to you.