I Don’t Care What You Think

I don’t care what you think!

I had a lecturer a few years ago for a marketing subject who used to say that a lot. ‘I don’t care what you think’ he’d say.’ I care what your target market thinks.’

If anyone answered a question by saying ‘I think…’ he’d cut them off quickly by saying ‘I don’t care what you think.’

The point he was trying to make was that so often we talk about things that we really have no idea about.  We think we know what our market wants, but we’re too biased to realise we’ve got it wrong.

Over the past few years I’ve remembered this saying and applied it. When I’ve been designing websites or brochures, I have to consciously take a step back and think about what the end user will think about the design – not what I think.

When I’ve been writing articles, I take the time to stop writing what I want to write, and put myself in the shoes of my target market and write things that they want to read and learn about.

Do you have a target market?

Obvious question. Do you have a target market? Can you describe to me in a couple of sentences who your target market is and what their problems and concerns are?

If you can’t, it’s time to go away and brainstorm this until you can answer it.

And don’t guess about their problems – ask them. I’ve spent so long in the financial planning world that I have a very good idea of the issues clients face through the various stages in their lives. I can sit in appointments and suggest things to them that they have never even considered, but which are totally relevant to their situation. I can only do this because I’ve spent a long time getting to know my target market.

What do they care about?

What does your target market care about? Don’t guess – find out.

If you have a email list it’s so easy to set up an online survey with a series of questions and send out an email asking them to complete the survey. In a couple of days (or hours) you’ll have a pretty fair idea of the issues your target market are facing.

Another option is to visit forums that they frequent and look at the questions they ask. Develop solutions that solve their problems.

Find blogs that they read, and look at the content that’s popular. This will give you more hints about the things that are important to them.

Importantly, don’t guess. Remember…

I don’t care what you think – I care what your target market thinks.

Everything else is irrelevant.

So what do you think? If you’re reading this article, you’re probably in my target market, so I really do care what you think, despite the title of this post!

Photo Credit striatic

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Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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5 Responses to I Don’t Care What You Think
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allan Ward, Allan Ward. Allan Ward said: From my blog I Don’t Care What You Think http://bit.ly/a6E12y #blogging […]

  2. Ryan Martin
    September 28, 2010 | 5:15 am

    Great advice,
    That is something that we all need to remember when we are creating content. We need to know exactly who we are taking to and what they are looking for.


    • Allan Ward
      September 28, 2010 | 1:04 pm

      Thanks for the comment Ryan. It does take a bit of an effort to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, but it’s worth it.

  3. Steven H
    October 7, 2010 | 11:20 pm

    I like this post! The whole “I don’t care what you think – I care what your market thinks” attitude is great for getting rid of fluff and going right for the juicy stuff. :)

    • Allan Ward
      October 8, 2010 | 2:07 pm

      Hey Steven,
      I agree. It takes away a lot of the ambiguity. Just find out what your market wants and give it to them. Forget about what you think they should want!

      Thanks for your comment.

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