If it feels like we are not in control of the market place anymore, it’s because we’re not. Thanks to the internet, the consumer is. And that has brought a change in their attitude. Buyers are no longer happy just being wide receivers. These days they want to play quarterback. They want to be in charge, and now they’re empowered to demand it.
The shift to buyer-controlled marketing isn’t a new lesson. The Japanese did it to the American auto industry back in the 1980’s. For decades, Detroit created cars and said “Come and get them!” They didn’t care what the consumer wanted. Henry Ford said “They can have any color (car) they want as long as it’s black.”
The Japanese had the audacity to go to the buyers and asked: “What type of car may I build for you?” We all know how that turned out. The Japanese automakers buried the American manufacturers and have never slowed down. They continue to master the process of asking what people want and then producing it for them, and at a lower price. Additionally, the Japanese raised the bar on quality. Japanese cars quickly gained a reputation for quality and reliability. American cars were slow to catch up.
Now, the Internet is doing the same thing to all other businesses and manufacturers. It has provided a world-wide buyer’s forum wherein, if you don’t
listen to them and deliver want they want at a competitive price, somebody else will. If you don’t deliver high value and quality, everybody’s going to know about it, and your market share will decline.
Steven Jobs said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology—not the other way around.” He understood the danger of blindly deciding what the public wants or needs. He grew one of the most successful Brands in the world by staying ahead of the curve, always, always asking for the consumer’s input.
Change is the new norm. Consumer opinions and purchasing options are changing at break-neck speed, compared to just a few years back. It’s important to understand that this will continue. There will be no place to settle-in and get comfortable down the road. To play the game, you’ve got to stay in the game.
At Red Crow Marketing, we can help you devise a sound marketing plan that utilizes this important knowledge to bring you closer to your customers. Contact us here or give us a call at 417-889-1658.