In the world of corporate technology, it is painfully difficult to maintain third-party objectivity. It’s hard to adopt and maintain the attitude with which prospects approach your products and services. When working with a product or service or within an organization day-in and day-out, you develop a distinct language, sometimes downright indecipherable to outsiders. Your opinions coalesce on the way you conceive your offering and the way that you perceive others using it. Working hands on with your offering, you make assumptions about its value and develop an intimacy with its functionality to the point where it all seems self-explanatory. You live in a professional bubble of those completely immersed in your distinct point-of-view.
But your prospective customers don’t live in that bubble. They do not know your language, are unfamiliar with the assumptions on which you base your discussions, and lack your familiarity with product goals and functionality. When you try to speak to them from within your bubble, they might hear muffled mumbles that obscure the value you have to offer.
At Ideba, some of the most rewarding work we do helps organizations dig past internal preconceptions to identify messages and develop collateral that burst the bubble and speak directly to the prospects’ business needs. Often, empirical research lays the foundation for those messages and creative approaches. Voice of the Customer (VOC) research, in particular, has been invaluable in helping clients understand how their customers perceive and use their products—the good, bad, and in-between. It is always heartening to see clients’ surprise at the differences between what they thought their customers wanted, and what actual customers say they want—between the principal value the vendor believes they provide, and the value the customer perceives.
Always remember that challenging client assumptions is one of the most valuable services an agency can provide. If yours doesn’t, you’re not getting the value you’re paying for.
—Leonce Gaiter | Vice President, Content & Strategy