5 Misconceptions Marketers have about their Customers

Understanding your target audience and customer base is the most important component in formulating effective marketing campaigns and communications. While understanding the value of your product to your prospects is the first step to increasing conversions, a lack of knowledge of your customers’ tendencies and pain points will sabotage your efforts.

Here are five common misconceptions marketers have about their customers, and some helpful suggestions for how marketers can align their efforts with the mind of the most important person in their business: the customer.

1. You = Your Customer

As much as we may want to believe this, it isn’t true. Many marketers and business owners fall into the trap of thinking that they know everything about their customers and how they behave. Don’t let personal opinions and preferences dictate the design and content of your website.

Re-align: Continuously interact with your customer find out who they are and what they want.

  • Use email and social media to deliver surveys and feedback forms
  • Place comment boxes on web pages
  • Utilize analytics software (like Google Analytics) to understand what your customers are telling you with their behavior on your website
  • Take advantage of web-based testing with services like UserTesting.com

2. The customers don’t know what they want

A 2012 report titled “Digital Evolution in B2B marketing” put out by CEB and Google revealed that, on average, customers progress nearly 60% of the way through the purchase decision-making process before engaging a sales rep.

Re-align: Recognize that today’s customer is educated and in most cases has already done a great deal of research before initiating the sales process.

3. More is better

Even though the consumer may be in the market for information, that doesn’t necessarily mean that more information is better. Ease of access to information and clarity of messaging is more important. According to Taylor and Francis Online, you only have about 0.05 seconds to make a good first impression on your website. Make it count.

According to a study by Google, users’ first impressions of websites are influenced by two design factors:

  • Visual complexity: How complex is the visual design of the website
  • Prototypicality: How representative a design looks for a certain category of websites

Re-align: Follow the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid) when it comes to your web design and content and you’ll have a better chance to keep your customer on your site (and convert).

4. My customer doesn’t use mobile devices

According to the annual State of the Internet report by Mary Meeker from KPCB, mobile usage continues to grow rapidly and is at 25% of Total Web Usage vs. 14% Year over Year. This trend is even more prominent in emerging markets. For example, in Asia mobile usage is more than 35% of total internet usage. Mobile data consumption is at an all-time high of 81%, with video content being consumed even more.

Re-align: Start preparing your mobile strategy NOW if you haven’t already.

5. Personalization is optional

This is true, but it’s no longer about just including the customer’s name in an email message. Personalization has become much more sophisticated over the past few years.

According to a study last year by MyBuys and the e-tailing group, customized messaging and promotions based on past shopping or buying experiences increases the likelihood of buyer engagement and corresponding sales.

Re-align: Understand that consumers are aware of online personalization and they  tell us that they both value and expect it, as it makes it easier for them to find products that are most important to them.

Team Member Profile: Jeff Matson

Hometown: Laconia, NH
Position: Customer Community Team Member
InMotion Hosting team member since August 2012

Jeff MatsonHow did you get started in the web hosting field?
My initial exposure to hosting was when I was around 13 years old when I picked up a book on HTML and learned how to make some basic websites. Of course, I needed hosting so I chose a host that would suit my needs.

A few years down the road, a mentor of mine named Adam Fisher gave me my first introduction into affiliate marketing and I used those basic skills to become profitable down the road. Operating several websites, I became familiar with the hosting aspect of things.

I later became interested in Linux and started maintaining my own servers along with my websites so that I could have further control of things on the back end. This gave me a great overall versatility at a very young age.

I was always looking for a more efficient way to develop my sites and already had skills in PHP, so I moved things over to WordPress where a lot of the work was already done for me as opposed to building things from scratch.

My first true role in terms of hosting larger enterprise-class sites as when I joined a large manufacturing/wholesale company as a developer and SEO manager. I quickly moved up the ladder to become the Head of eCommerce in which I saw all direct interaction between customers, businesses, and hosting providers.

Jumping to several years later, I am now part of the Customer Community team here at InMotion Hosting, specializing in WordPress. I have further evolved that role to become a direct point of contact between WordPress users and InMotion.

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
My current role is as part of the Customer Community team in which I specifically specialize in WordPress-related news and tutorials. My position has greatly evolved over the time that I have been part of the team to become a direct point of contact between WordPress users and the hosting side of things.

I absolutely love every aspect of my position here. I have the opportunity to interact and make lifelong friends within the WordPress community. Without WordPress, I would not be where I am today so the ability to give back is priceless. When you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
The coolest gadget that I own would be my custom-built arcade machine that I built around a month ago. While it’s not quite where I want it to be in terms of appearance yet, the functionality is complete so there are a lot of fun nights playing arcade games with my friends on a full sized machine.

One thing that I do not yet own, but hopefully will in the future is Google Glass. With all of the things on my plate that I am constantly monitoring and working on, I feel like a huge burden would be lifted in terms of productivity. Anyone who knows me sees that I am constantly checking Twitter, email, WordPress news, and other things on my phone, so the more opportunities to leave my phone in my pocket, the better.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I love WordPress and enjoy getting active in the community. If you use WordPress, be sure to search for WordCamps or WordPress meetups in your area.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?

Team Member Profile: Christopher Fenning

Hometown: Combe Martin, Devon, England.
Position: Project Manager
InMotion Hosting team member since May 2013

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
Aside from some programming classes at school my first real exposure to web hosting came from my dad. He started his own business based around online retail and I watched through the early 2000s as he adapted to changes in technology for websites and web hosting.


Throughout university I started to dabble with website design and ended up working on a few sites for myself and friends. That naturally led to me becoming a reseller, although on a tiny scale, and as the traffic on my websites grew I was forced to learn more about the hosting side of things.

The real plunge into hosting came when I joined InMotion Hosting to set up a Project Management Office for the company. There is nothing quite like taking on new product deliveries or large scale system changes to encourage rapid learning about hosting environments!

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
My main role is project management, helping the larger scale pieces of work to be delivered on time and to spec. The projects can be anything from defining and delivering a new product to replacing core systems such as the chat system.

Training and mentoring staff in Project Management is an important part of the role and is something that brings me great satisfaction. It helps the company grow as more people become able to take on the challenge of delivering large pieces of work. The best parts of the job are the variety of work to be done and being able to work across all the teams in the company. There is such a diversity of people and roles here, it is great to be able to be a part of that.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
In a previous job my role was to manage the customization of cellphones for a major network in Europe. This meant I always has the newest phones before they were released to market. The most unique was a 3D phone from LG, launched around the same time as 3D films were coming out at the movies. The phone took both 3D pictures and video and even the games were in 3D. At the time it was pretty cool to have that level of tech in such a small package.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
Firstly I should say I am not from around here. Prior to 2012 I lived in England and worked mostly in Europe and occasionally in Asia. My wife and I moved to Virginia after she was offered a Job and without that I’d never have found InMotion Hosting. We are both very active and love being outdoors. The mountains are our biggest love with climbing, mountaineering, hiking and skiing being high on our list of regular activities. Most weekends, if I’m not catching up on the week’s activity in my UK based sports equipment business I can be found either in the hills or in the sea, and very occasionally I may be spotted at a craft beer or wine festival.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?


Team Member Profile: John Quan – Marketing

Team Member Profile - John QuanHometown: San Gabriel, CA.
Position: Marketing Program Manager
InMotion Hosting team member since December 2009

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
Before I joined InMotion Hosting, I was a freelance web designer and would host my clients’ websites. Here I was mostly dealing with managing domains and setting up emails.

When I joined InMotion Hosting as part of the Web Design team, my primary role was answering phone calls and replying to support tickets. This means I would help clients with questions related to hosting – some of which I had never heard of before. This is where I got my first exposure into what web hosting really was – restoring databases, monitoring usage, running backups, etc.

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I’m currently a Program Marketing Manager. For some detail, I would say this role is a blend of traditional marketing, product management/development, ux, web design and customer service.

What I enjoy most about this role is that I get to do different types of work on a daily basis. One day I could be brainstorming a new email campaign; on another I could be designing a landing page.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
I think the coolest gadget I’ve read about is the Oculus Rift. This is a virtual reality headset that from initial reviews, looks to be a game changer and will take gaming to a whole new level.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
One of my favorite hobbies is photography. I picked this hobby up about 8 years ago when I got my first digital camera. From there I upgraded cameras, got new lenses, and have been an enthusiast ever since. Some of my favorite types of photos include landscapes, candids, and night photography.

Here’s one of my favorite shots from the past year:
Sunset Flower

I’m also a big fan of being outdoors. I really enjoy hiking and cycling as they allow me to be outside white at the same burn some calories. One of my hiking goals this year includes day hiking Mt. Whitney.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?
Easy going.