If you work on a marketing team tasked with capturing buyer attention and improving lead quality, then the idea of listening to customers should not be an alien concept.

Taking a journalistic approach to demand gen and content creation, I've spent the better part of my career to find out why people do what they do, where they get stuck, and how buyers and sellers connect to solve problems.

That behavioral element of what triggers a purchase in a business, along with why and how people move toward the purchase decision—or don't—really fascinates me. Most fascinating of all is that companies rarely seek direct input, at high volumes, from the smartest people on the planet on the subject of purchasing behavior and customer experience: current, happy customers... and former, not-so-happy, customers.

And so, I'd like to share an approach to tapping into the voice of the customer.

I interview people who buy products—and those who've stopped buying them—as well as the people who make or sell them. I'm going to show you why I do it, how I do it, and how you can do it to be a better marketer.

Nobody knows more about the value or broken promises of products or services than the people who buy them. Those buyers, along with unconverted prospects, also have a keen sense of where the buying process bogged down or derailed a purchase. In addition, they know where and how they prefer to consume information and what information helps the most at any given point in their journey from curious to customer.

With the help of a few former colleagues, I have honed a process around gathering that information. My clients and I use that process to create buyer-centered campaigns.

Here's what we do and what you need to do it, too, as well as what outcomes you can expect.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Mark A. Evertz

Mark A. Evertz the marketing adviser and director of client demand generation services at Televerde, a global sales and marketing solutions provider. Reach him directly via email.

LinkedIn: Mark Evertz

Twitter: @MarkAEvertz