Why is understanding customer needs important?
The main goal of all companies is to satisfy customers. In order to satisfy customers, companies have to understand customer needs. If a company launches a new product without fulfilling any customer needs, who is going to buy this product: nobody. Companies have several ways to understand customer needs: they mainly use research (surveys, observations, or experiments) but they also can use contact methods (telephone, personal, online, or mail). By analyzing the results of their customer research, companies are able to determine their strategy and make the product a success. Companies just have to listen to what customers have to say.
All marketing plans (the working sheet of all marketers) must begin with understanding customer needs in order to create customer value, that is supposed to create at the end a long-term customer relationship between customers and companies.
In the marketing plan we had to write for my marketing class this fall semester, we started looking at customers. We were very interested in sustainable energies and especially solar energy so we decided to look at what was on the market in this field. We found lots of companies that offer big solar panels to put on roofs but only a few of them offer small ones that are easy to carry. This fulfills a lack in the market and at the same time a customer need; the need to be able to charge our cellphone when no plugs are available. So we decided to put a small solar panel in the back of cellphones. Products are seen as solutions for a problem in customer daily life.
Here you can find the link to read the complete marketing plan we wrote.
(If cannot open the previous file, here is the link to the PDF version: marketing-plan-part-i)