June 10, 2016 : 2-minute read

Beware of the Herd

I just bought a chainsaw. It’s a beauty—a 16”, gas-powered monster with a five-point anti-vibration mounting bracket and a side-access chain tensioner. She’s got a 32cc 1.8HP engine with plenty of torque and a really impressive weight distribution profile. She even has an air injection system and an automatic chain oiling pump. Yep…she’s a real beast.  

At least that’s what I read. I’ve never owned one before and don’t actually know what any of this stuff means. I do know that I need to remove some dead trees and trim back some branches. My quest started when I went on the web a few weeks ago to look at chainsaws. In the last few weeks I bet I’ve spent at least eight hours doing research (including joining chainsaw forum groups, watching videos and making multiple trips to Lowe's).   

So which one did I buy and how did I decide which one was right for me? Did I go for the highest rated? The one with the lowest cost? The one with the most features? No, no and no.    

The truth is while I learned a lot about chainsaws, I honestly couldn’t figure out which one was best for me. I’m ashamed to say that I ultimately crowd-sourced my purchase decision. I bought the one that Amazon told me was the most popular. I went with the herd.  

In a world of too much information, too many choices, too many features, and way too many opinions—how do we make purchase decisions?

At Bulldog, we geek out over the challenge of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. We obsess over the best ways to mine valuable information from customers and prospects (demographic, firmographic and behavioral) so that we can deliver truly personalized, contextual and relevant communications that help guide them on their specific journey.

What’s interesting is that at no time during my search for the right chainsaw did anyone ask about me—why I wanted one, what I wanted to do with it or how much experience I had operating chainsaws.

I would have gladly provided this information if asked, if in return it could have helped me find exactly what I was looking for.  

So how do you go to market to connect with your customers and prospects? Are you looking for important cues, asking them the right questions and listening to them so that you can better guide them and help them get what they are looking for? If you’re not, I wonder how many customers you’re losing to the herd.