The marketer’s work is to learn to know his audience well enough to be able to make a good guess and then to continuously learn more about their assertion and how well it fits the people they serve.
The challenge they’ll sometimes meet is to distinguish between the group they serve and the individual they want to serve.
The assertions made about the group are there to design their service or product as well as possible for their audience.
The needs and wants used during the design process correspond to an assumption about the members of the group.
What they don’t do is describe the needs and wants of an individual.
Individuals don’t fit into a stereotype even if it might describe them quite accurately. Individuals have their history, experience, and context which transform their specific needs and wants.
A marketer who assumes that he knows his customers’ needs and wants because he created a service for them, is either attributing needs and wants or he assumes that he can mind-read what a person wants or needs.
Both attributing and mind-reading establish a gap leaving the customer with a sense of being manipulated or misunderstood.
It never is about the marketer’s beliefs.
In the design process, it is knowing and deciding how to serve.
When serving it is being curious as to how to serve best.