I was listening to a podcast this past week on Duct Tape Marketing where Charlene Li, a senior analyst with Forrester, stated what should be obvious but for some reason most companies just don’t see it. She said that Marketers are taught to develop a message and just pound it out to their customers and hope that it sinks in. Charlene articulated how this method doesn’t work and the only way to really get your marketing message out is to build a relationship with your customers and listen to what they have to say.
There are many companies that are already listening to what their customers have to say and are reaping the benefits. Google for example started Google Labs. Google is an incredible company with thousands of brilliant employees who have great ideas all the time for new programs and features but it takes too long to build them and perfect them. Google Labs was set up to let the world test out their ideas and give them feedback to let them know which ideas should be improved and which ones should be chucked. By listening to their users, they are saving tons of time by only developing what people like and want more of.
Another great example is Starbucks. They set up mystarbucksidea.com where their fans can post their ideas on how to improve their company and service and then everyone else can vote on the ideas. Starbucks doesn’t have to think of ideas anymore because their fans are giving them all the ideas they need with an accurate picture of how many people would go for them. Now, not only do they have all the ideas but by putting together this site, they are building a relationship with their community, and creating raving fans who feel like they are part of the company. If an idea that they came up with or voted on is put into practice, you can bet that they will want to be a part of it.
For a company to get lucky, all they have to do is listen to their customers. It is so much easier that trying to read their customer’s minds or hoping that they think like their marketing team.
This doesn’t just work in business. Have you ever gotten a present from someone that you really didn’t want even after giving a million hint of what you did want?
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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