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What people want and what they need is different

September 18, 2008

This is the thing about people: they aren’t sure of what they want. In his Keynote speech at the Web 2.0 Expo, Gary Vaynerchuk (from here), talked about giving people what they need.

Web 2.0 Expo New York The Speaker Room - Gary ...

Image by b_d_solis via Flickr

Not necessarily what they want. He talked about Henry Ford, who famously said that if he asked his customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.

It’s critical to do something. And by that, I mean write down what it is you think your customers want out of the community, marketing plan, strategy you plan to adopt. But then, be prepared to innovate away from that.

Incidentally, another session yesterday with Avinash Kaushik, author of the blog Occam’s Razor, he talked about how analytics can help you to determine what it is that people want. But one has to look a little deeper into the analytics in order to determine the results.

I plan to talk about this a lot more, especially how this all applies to a community. But to start with, think of it as a product. (Don’t execute it as a product, just think about it like a product.)

1. How will you promote trial? How will you get people into the community?

2. How will the community promote retrial. Why will people come back?

3. What are they looking for from the community in order to come back? Define it, and offer it.

4. Be prepared to discover they want something entirely different than you’re willing to offer them.

5. Change your thinking to offer what they want.

Who will do all of this from inside of an ad agency? Your friendly neighborhood Social Media Strategist? Your Community Manager? Your Account Planner? There’s been talk at Web 2.0 Expo that one of these are equipped to do it.

But really, it doesn’t matter which one. It only matters that most of the agency titles that are already there might not be right to do it.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 25, 2008 3:35 pm

    this is very stupid a 8 year old could have done better

  2. December 25, 2008 10:19 pm

    What if I told you I’m 7?

  3. Anonymous permalink
    April 23, 2010 3:54 am


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