Oh yes, my friends, again you find us on the Rockstar CMO penthouse balcony, peering down at the pool. This time after a very jolly conversation with Sydni Craig-Hart we have a whiteboard and several reams of printed PowerPoints that are about to get very wet. Why? Well it’s time for self-serving market research to meet its watery doom.

Last issue we hopped aboard the Tour Bus with the rather wonderful Sydni Craig-Hart and chatted about her journey leading an agency with a talent for helping small businesses run by women and minorities, and we talked how this experience has developed into working with an impressive array of big tech companies as they look to diversify their research for their marketing and product development.

In our conversation, it was clear that Sydni had no time for marketers that never leave their internal brainstorming sessions, that develop personas on a whiteboard and that had never met a customer.

This is a topic very appropriate for this month’s issue, where we are discussing marketing partnerships – this one is key, the partnership with customers.

Here is what Syndi shared, when I asked her what we should chuck into the Rockstar Swimming Pool:

“Self-serving “market research”. We see it ALL the time. Instead of conducting market research to inform their strategy, many companies conduct “research” to validate what they’ve already decided. Thus, their perception of the ideal customer is not always based on reality. What they should be doing is seeking to understand their customers.

“As a marketer, you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not trying to understand your market. I frequently ask marketers, “When was the last time you spoke to your customers?” Sometimes they ask, “You mean a real customer?” I say, “Yes” and they say, “We don’t have time to do that.”

“If it’s our job to create compelling, authentic, and engaging campaigns, how can we be too busy to do the ONE thing that helps us meet our goal? How are marketers creating messaging and content for their audience when they never talk to them?

“It’s the simplest thing, to meet and have a conversation with a paying customer. If you do so regularly, then your marketing will be exponentially more engaging than it is today.”

Oh yes! Very little I can add to that, aside from a chat we had that didn’t make it to the published interview, about marketers that don’t even talk to sales, you know – those folks that meet the customers.

So, there it goes. The whiteboard and reams of self-serving “market research” fluttering down from the balcony to soon be clogging up the Rockstar Swimming Pool filter, joining the rest of all that is wrong with this wonderful marketing discipline.

You can read the full interview with Sydni here.

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