After twenty-two years in marketing with some extraordinary clients I am certain the old maxim is true… customers do not simply want your products or services, they want the solution to the problem that they offer. Solve that and then you have a relationship.

The psychology of customers is fascinating, far more important to success than brand guidelines or social strategy. Getting into the mind of the customer, their raw motivation, aspirations, likes and dislikes is what I think makes for positive marketing.

Part of understanding customer psychology is appreciating that people do not necessarily know what they want. Henry Ford may have talked about how if he had given people what they wanted he would have sold a faster horse, and this highlights the tricky nature of fulfilling customer needs – real, imagined, or soon-to-be-discovered. If sales is persuading customers to give you their money then marketing is persuading them that you have the ideal solution to their problem, even if that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy through educating customers about their needs. A successful outcome relies on understanding and empathy.

Now add your well-analysed data and you’re onto a winner. Too often companies love to talk creative, visuals, the fun ‘crayons and pencils’ part of what we do, but this should be the least important part of any long-term, evolved marketing.

ROI, KPI, hit rates, segmentation, NPS, we’ve plenty of smart data analysis and it all contributes to what our boss wants – the true end goal – Revenue.