Has it ever seemed to you that some market leaders must have a crystal ball?
They just seem to know how the market will react to a new product or service, how to effectively communicate with people to persuade them to purchase their products, or what to do next in order to remain the leaders in their industry. They don’t have one, of course. What they do have is something that is just as powerful.
They have a culture of curiosity about their customer that provides them with a continual stream of feedback, combined with an intense focus on a defined market or market segment, and an executive team that is deeply committed to addressing the market’s needs. This combination provides them with what I call the Crystal Ball Effect, the vague impression that somehow they have more information than their competitors do. (See box 2-1 for more explanation.)
And they do.
They have more information because they are constantly gathering it, listening carefully to what they hear and tweaking their model to make it even more effectively aligned. It affects every aspect of their business, especially the function of marketing. Every decision, from what products and services to offer, to what the company’s technology priorities are, to whom the company hires, is affected by this deep understanding of who they serve and what they need.
This intense focus on the discipline of marketing, listening to the market and aligning everything ...