That is, what do they believe, and what do they want?
Many marketers build their marketing programs by starting with what they’re selling — products and services which they ask prospective customers to buy. They believe if customers understand the features and benefits of the products, they will buy them. So the task becomes communicating what those features and benefits are. These marketers start with their products, then target their customers. Which is precisely why many products don’t sell.
A customer must be convinced a product relates to what she believes, and what she wants. It makes no sense to try to sell her a tank-style vacuum cleaner if she’s convinced that a upright is a better machine. You can talk all day long about the benefits of the latest tank vacuum cleaners, but you’re violating her mindset. She wants a computer that she believes — correctly or not — is easier to use. So — no sale.
The moral of this story is: Marketing starts with your market, not with your product. Learn what your customer wants, and why. Learn what she believes. Then decide what to sell, and what to say about it — in your advertising and promotion, and in face-to-face selling.