Second-hand knowledge from sales isn’t enough. A checked box on a customer survey isn’t enough.

You need real-life conversations with your customers.

At least if you want to gain insights that will make a tangible impact on your marketing efforts.

Content Director Toby Wall and Senior Writer Mary Tomlinson share easy-to-implement tips gleaned from hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the years.

Make these conversations smoother (and more informative) by:

  • Getting background intel on their role. That way you won’t waste precious minutes confirming demographic details — and instead can hit the ground running with what matters to them.
  • Demonstrating empathy and giving credence to their pain points. When you give any interviewee space to talk about frustrations or sticking points in their role, you stand to gain a ton of great contextual information about their world.
  • Regularly summarizing your understanding of what they’re explaining to you. This isn’t about being right or wrong; this is about making sure you’re hearing them and learning more of the thinking behind their decision making.

Like anything worth doing, customer interviews aren’t the simplest marketing task to pull off. But just a few short, well-executed conversations can make a world of difference in your marketing strategy.