“People don’t think how they feel. They don’t say what they think, and they don’t do what they say.”
– David Ogilvy
I don’t know about other people, but that pretty much sums me up.
Which leaves the question – how do you tell what kind of technology solution people want from you?
I don’t know of any formulaic answer, and I don’t think anyone does, ever has, or ever will.
But I know that talking to people about it doesn’t hurt.
Academics have a term for this – for talking to people with the goal of determining what they want: qualitative research. That’s as opposed to “quantitative research,” which refers to research such as large-scale surveys.
I’m sure both have their place, but for sophisticated products based on expertise, I’d bet on qualitative. Cue the next Ogilvy quote:
“I notice an increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.”
That’s a banger of a quote, but there’s more to it than judgment. In fact, the ability to converse well, which, of course, means talking well and listening well, is like Jack’s magic bean – lots of potential upside.
Active listening has been memed to death, rightfully maybe so, but is talking an overlooked skill? How do you articulate what your business does to literally any person? How do you frame it so it makes sense and is interesting, especially if they’re an ideal customer?
Here’s the thing – if you learn to talk well about your product, you have the foundation for great brand messaging.
(This was originally published on Art of Message – subscribe here)