Customers Don’t Think Like Marketers

by Ken Mueller on September 16, 2013 · 12 comments

2013-09-15 19.50.26Customers just don’t care.

They don’t care about which tools you are using, how often they are using them, where you are using them, or how you are using them. They just want you to be there when they need you.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the idea of marketing automation, particularly in relation to social media and the online space, as I prepare for a presentation I”m giving at the Marketing Automation seminar this week, sponsored by The Standard Group. As I’ve looked at a lot of studies and information, there are clearly two sides to the automation equation: those methods of automation that make the job easier for us, the marketers, and those that make the job easier for the customers. Sometimes they are one in the same, and in the end, all the customer cares about is their experience.

As marketers, we discuss and debate various tactics and strategies while throwing around terms like content marketing, context marketing, influence marketing, and the like. We get caught up in semantics and even get in arguments while making pronouncements as to what is right and wrong with marketing and social media. A new buzzword comes along, we all write about it, and then someone decides they are sick of writing about it or hearing about it, and they declare that it is over; and post passive aggressive comments on Facebook or Twitter about how they’ll scream, “the next time someone writes a post about yadda yadda yadda.”

But you see, our customers just don’t care. They don’t think like we do. They think like customers. All they care about is what you’ve done for them lately. They don’t think in terms of content marketing, context marketing, influence marketing, or whatever the next type of marketing will be before someone declares it invalid and throws it out the window. Those are all valid terms, whether they buzz or not, and the nuances and semantic differences make no difference for Sally Shopper and Colin Customer.

We may think that topics are being done to death, but that’s because we’re marketers living in Marketingland (which by the way, can be a rather boring and self-centered place). We need to take a vacation to the real world and understand that they really don’t care.

Customers don’t think like marketers — like us — and that’s a good thing.

So while you’re obsessing over what to call some concept, and which method works best, just remember:

Your customers just don’t care.

All they want are great products and services delivered with great customer service. Period. Do that, and you’ll make them happy, regardless of how you do it, or what you call it.


Excellent article. As marketers, we want to market our product and we care too much about the numbers. We care too much on the stats, metrics, semantics, keywords, etc. And most of the time, we forget why we even set a Facebook page, a twitter account, a Google plus, so on. We set them up because we want to promote engagement with our customers. 

Thanks for actually reminding me. 


I mis-read your title.  Thought it said, "Customers Don't Like Marketers".  That may have been even more true :)

Customers like offers, like buying, like thinking they have gotten a deal.  They do not like waiting for their parcel to arrive.  Pretty simple



This is true, your customers don't care how you  run your business, or how you promote your business, the most important thing is that you get them what they want, and they can benefit from your products. Still marketing is important getting your products on the internet with the right keywords, is a must. 


Um, yes. I think we could all do well to get out of "marketingland" every once and awhile! ;)


There's something about keeping it simple and delivering the goods at the end of the day!

Cheers, Ken! : )


Ken, you are hilarious. You've painted the natural cycle of social media marketing fads so masterfully. My FB feed is indeed littered with the passive-aggressive posts you describe. But the serious point you are making is very profound. "Think like your customers" seems like another one of those meaningless buzzword phrases, but it's something marketers do often forget to do. We get so caught up in our technologies and methodologies that we forget the cold, hard truth: our customers really don't care. Great post!

KenMueller moderator

@douglaserice Thanks, Doug. I know I'm guilty of this myself, so I bear blame on this as well. But lately I think we've been navel gazing too much, deputizing ourselves as our own industry police, and not really getting to the work at hand.


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