Having spent fifteen years in technology marketing, I’ve gone from being asked “how can we tell if our programs are working?” to “what do we do with all this data?”. There is no shortage of metrics to be measured and data to analyze.

As marketers, we often get so caught up in managing programs and determining their effectiveness, that it’s easy to forget why we’re doing it all in the first place.

From online to offline marketing tactics, no matter what market you are selling in or what type of business you run, I believe there is ONE fundamental practice that lies at the heart of all marketing programs.

And it is this: keep the VOICE of your customer in mind, no matter what you are doing.

Whether it’s a new campaign, new website content, an upcoming event, a press release, a testimonial, a blog post–whatever–there is one question to ask: “what does my customer/client/prospect care about–and is this relevant?”

What keeps them up at night? What is core to their business? What’s the one thing they could fix if they could wave a magic wand?

Take those pains and turn it into your topline messaging.

If  your messaging doesn’t address anything relevant to your customers/prospects–it doesn’t matter what you’re doing.