I highly recommend the recent Washington Post article by longtime business writer Tom Heath, titled, “The story behind Atlantic owner David Bradley’s ‘biggest business failure.”
The heart of the story was really about how David Bradley and top lieutenant Kevin Turpin replaced Atlantic’s vaunted National Journal publication–which was being existentially threatened by Politico Pro, Bloomberg Government, CQ Roll Call, Huffington Post, RealClear Politics and even Google–with a new range of services.
Here’s the key. These new services were conceived after:
“Bradley asked Turpin to start a 62-person sounding board comprised of associations, nonprofit organizations and clients of the National Journal. They spent the next year listening.”
“I would ask them about challenges, what kept them awake at night,” Turpin said.
The results have been terrific, according to Bradley:
“What we’ve been doing is utterly original products. They are not the romance of the (National Journal). For the first time in my ownership of the National Journal — but especially for the first time in seven, eight, nine years — everybody is focused on something that’s really exceptional. I’m really happy.”
My message to CEOs, business owners and other senior executives:
“Don’t wait until your business is suffering or under withering assault by competitors or market forces. Go have some conversations with your customers and prospects to ask about them–their perspectives, priorities and challenges. The insights will propel your business forward–and could help avoid a huge problem down the road.”
Check out our Customer Re-Discovery Playbook that takes you through the entire customer listening process, including 12 thought-provoking questions to ask, how to ask them and how to listen to what your audience really needs. You can download it absolutely free by clicking here.