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July 11, 2011


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I do free marketing workshops at the library..this gets people coming to me for help after the workshop.

"Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"


This should be mandatory. Every day is a great day to connect with all stakeholders in their environment as well as doing something different to see what's happening at the seams of your client(s) world.

Look at the sparks of magic where ideas, context, people and culture meet.

All the best,

Kristi Sanders

This is great advice, and doing so has really helped our business weather the recession. We started proactively adapting the content we offer our audience and the marketing programs we offer our partners about five years ago. So over the past couple of years, while other publishing firms were going under, we had people calling us about advertising because, based on feedback from our audience and advertisers, had already established digital and face to face assets they could engage with.

I would add that it's important to regularly get feedback, otherwise you ignore the market shifts and changing tastes that really occur on an annual basis (if not more frequently).

Adele Revella

Great advice David, and yet rarely followed. So I've been leaving my comfortable office to connect with marketers and ask why not. The first two answers are "Sales won't let us" and "I'm too busy".

If those were the real problems, they would be easy to overcome, and neither of us would be writing blog posts reminding people about the need.

And as you know, I never accept the first answer to any question. I have to get the buyer talking at length about the issue before I can see the real issue. What I've seen is that most marketers don't know how to get buyers to share the information that makes a difference to their marketing strategies.

That insight (and others) guided the content of my ebook, The Buyer Persona Manifesto. I know you told your readers about it already, but I thought I'd provide another link here http://bit.ly/lqEo7B

I personally find that it's far easier to discover and leverage real buyer insights than it is to "dream stuff up". When I dream stuff up, I may love the idea, but someone else inevitably challenges my idea, and then we're back to the beginning again. That just wears me out.

Scott Lewis

Great advice. I might add that, if you go to market through partners, you should remember that your partners are also your buyers. Don't forget to mix some of them in with the business buyer at the "customer" since those partners are deciding daily whether to include your parts in their solutions and they also know what they are having to add in the form of 3rd party products and their own services to make the solution whole. And, just like you advise on customer buyers, make sure some of the partners you talk to are not your current partners. Someone that is already selling and / or servicing your product isn't going to be as good at telling you what would bring a new partner to your product.

Mark Smiciklas

Hi David,

Love it. We all need a reminder to get out of the office and connect with our respective markets. I created an infographic that visualizes the concept - I thought your readers might find it useful. Those that are interested can check it out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/intersectionconsulting/3348598271/in/photostream

David Meerman Scott

Thanks so much for the comments!

Adele - I learned so much from you about the idea of buyer personas. Thanks for stopping by.

Several people mentioned on Twitter and on G+ reaching out to people on social media too. While I absolutely agree with that as an important aspect, I wanted to emphasize the personal ways. I think many people rely EXCLUSIVELY on the social side which is another form of not getting out of the comfortable offices.

Florida Coworking

I enjoyed the advice and shared it.

We take a client out to lunch every few weeks; which has been tremendous in getting feedback and running ideas by them.

I do however think that facebook, twitter, and google+ can be equivalent of the "street" in seeking input from current and prospective users of the service/product. A question on a social sharing platform doesn't involve making stuff up, do not require the conference room, and saves gas at the same time. ;)

Ky Ekinci
Office Divvy ™

Sanjay Shetty

Hi David,

I agree, the ways you've mentioned of reaching people are important, nothing beats a face to face meeting, but I'm wondering why you haven't mentioned about connecting with your potential customers via social media or communities or even listening via social media to the needs of your potential customers. I believe that Social Media can be a great source of business intelligence which can help you in creating an appropriate marketing strategy as well as helping organizations across various business functions. See Social Media and Business Intelligence(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWd69HnpK3w) Additionally, i feel most people do not understand fully the impact of Social Media on Communication(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC1MK0ICM0w).


Sanjay Shetty


Amen to getting out of the office - I'm with you, David. I've had the good fortune of learning how to build personas from Adele and it changed how I approach marketing - both for myself and clients.

As you commented, social media isn't a sufficent method for learning what you really need to know about your buyers. It might provide some information but to really understand them there's absolutely no substitute for good old fashioned, live conversation.

David Meerman Scott

I'm lucky because I speak at conferences nearly every week. http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/engagements.htm

I'm out of my office all the time. And besides, my office isn't all that comfortable.

Rosiland Burch

I agree that were as business owners need to get out there and connect with the potential customers that need there problems solved. What better way to know how to deal with these issues than to get totally involved.

Dragan Mestrovic

Hi David, as you write in your book.

The mindset needs to change first. And that’s the biggest obstacle I see for the most companies.

They are scared to play with open cards because they always have the potential threats in mind.

Like my grandma told me: If you do anything wrong than you do not need to hide ;)

The question is what there granny told them? :)

Kneale Mann



As many wise before me said, you have to go to the business, the business isn't going to come to you.


This is so true! Authenticity is the key. Customers and clients want to relate with who they are going business with.

Thanks for posting it.

trish bertuzzi

On your bus but sometimes you don't have to leave the office. A significant amount of businesses have inside sales teams. If you are in Marketing you should be spending a day a month sitting with that team listening to calls. Not to hear what your team says but to actually hear what your prospect/buyer says.

Better yet, make some calls to follow up on leads yourself. When you are getting the blow off from a prospect just ask them "What about our message did not resonate with you?" It is amazing what you can learn by actually engaging with them this way. We have seen new campaigns, social media strategies, trade shows and even products come out of efforts like this.

Thanks for the post David!

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for all these great comments.

Trish -- yes, listening in on calls from the inside sales team is an excellent idea!


Hi David,
very pertinent for me as I did a wrap up with customers on Saturday and have marketing meeting tomorrow.
I find that in an informal chat I pick up on what works for customers, rather than what I think they are doing.

Interestingly they all read my blogs, watch videos, follow on facebook: but none have ever left a comment or feedback online.
Does this show the limitation of social media?

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