Give your primary stakeholder a place at the table–
as guest of honor.
The Elusive Other
Customers are not consumers–nameless, faceless purchasers of goods and services. And, they're not all like your wife. Whether B2C or B2B, they're still real people. They exist in different situations, life roles, cultural identities, personal orientations and so on. There are things many of us have in common and things we don't.
What so often gets passed over and lost in the marketing and planning process is the point of view of the customer. How does she feel about her situation? How does what you're offering benefit her? Is it enough? Does what you're communicating resonate with her in a way that changes behavior?
Because so much of our strategic planning methods include active listening, insight, research and even ethnography, we are tuned into the customer mindset–no matter who he or she is. What's more, because we're an outside partner with clients, we bring objectivity and perspective to the table.