I was just reviewing some notes and a pattern emerged–marketing managers always talk about what customers want. But they don’t want me to talk to customers.
Hmm, they never tell me about customers wanting simpler, cheaper software licenses. Or things that work out of the box. Or not to be locked in. Or prompt, professional support without a complex agreement.
On the other hand, we know that customers will never tell you about the next new thing!
As a engineering service provider, I’m very interested in what the customer has to say. It’ll be interesting to see in what ways the end users find their voice – through publications like yours, through self-publishing, or maybe even through self-organization (*cough*ISA*cough*). Customers won’t always have the vision required for new solutions, but they have the pains that might be solved by them.