Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In a recent interview with CNBC former Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon told us give the customer what they want.

I read a lot of marketing tips and ideas.

Do this. Post that. Email this other that. Create a video a day. Some other formula that’s supposed to work amazing.

And bam, what does the ex-Walmart CEO tell us to do: focus on the customer wants.

So simple.

I don’t see this enough in business.

So let’s return to basics and think about how this simple advice – and other simple advice – that can change our results in business.

Tip 1: Give The Customers They Want

How freaking simple is the advice: give your customers what they want.

As much marketing advice as I read very few of them get back to the simple basics. This is like forgetting why we are doing what we are doing.

We must always go back to the basics.

When I speak on Time Magicment(™) I remind my audiences that if you go to a major league stadium prior to a baseball game you’ll see the players out there practicing batting. These are people that have hit hundreds and thousands of balls and are still working on the fundamentals.

Likewise we need to focus on the fundamentals too.

Everything we do should be tied back to our customers. We should not implement any tactics or ideas in our business unless we think about how they impact our customers.

Tip 2: Tailor To Your Target

The next step beyond thinking about your customer is knowing who your customer is. I see this mentioned sometimes in the advice I see online. But, in most cases, it’s not emphasized enough.

When I started my law firm, and later my consulting firm, I really didn’t know who my customer was. And it’s OK if this is where you are. It’s part of the business journey that not enough people embrace.

Fast forward to today and I can tell you exactly who my customers are: business owners and leaders. And within that I can drill further down and tell you my clients usually have growing enterprises, a track record of success and an eye to the future.

Everything I do serves these people. Sure some others benefit from it too. But I know who to market to.

My business is night and day from when I didn’t know.

I encourage you to think about tailoring everything you do.

Tip 3: Think About What The Customers You Want Want

Within knowing who your customers are and tailoring to is thinking about what they want.

If you know who your customers are and super focus on them then you can think about how to serve them better and better.

For me this means thinking about what topics my clients – and future clients – need information and products on. I am constantly thinking about what my prototype customer needs.

It is the ultimate test for me. Does my future customer need this?

So with this simplicity it becomes very easy to focus on making improvements. Improvements that are relevant to the improvement of your  business.

Tip 4: Keep Raising The Bar

And with the hyperfocus on what your customers want it gives you the perfect platform to improve your business.

Any improvements should be tailored to serving the customers you have now – in the future – or for your future customers.

Don’t just improve what you are doing now. That’s a good place to start for ideas on what to improve. But if you are going to put serious energy into an improvement it should be focused on your future customers.

Only put serious energy into what your future customers will need.

With simplicity we can know exactly how to grow.

Tip 5: Let The Tactics Follow

So much of the marketing talk today is about tactics: YouTube, Speaking, Writing, Email, Etc.

And tactics have a time and a place.

But let me tell you this from my struggles: not all tactics fit all situations and customers.

I am as guilty as many. I tossed many tactics at the wall before I found the ones that worked for my business.

If you are new to business or marketing try tactics. But try them thinking about your customer.

Over time I learned where to focus: writing articles with real tips, speaking to business owners and leaders and keeping up with my audience by email.

Note on email: against the advice of many I email my readers a lot. I don’t apologize for it. I want to serve readers that are into business planning and the future of business. I don’t want to serve people with a passing interest in my work. I am intense and I need customers that are intense.

Book writing, YouTube and guest appearances on shows, podcasts and events are now important, but secondary, ways to attract customers.

It’s not very easy for me to think about tactics in marketing. Because the tactics I use are tied to my customers and what they need!  How simple is that?!?

What To Do Now

So if you are reading this and saying “Oh My God!: I am so messed up” breathe.

A few years ago my marketing was really messed up. I was lost.

But with simplicity and focus my business has changed.

And yours can too.

Start with what your customers want, focus on your future customers, and apply the tactics that work.

It’s simple. And sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Let me know about your marketing tips and what’s working for you. Looking forward to your comments!

By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd and long-time business attorney that focuses on changes of ownership in businesses. He works with business owners that know their business is about more than themselves to get ready for their future through keynotes, training and personalized solutions. In furtherance of this he hosts The Future Done Right(TM) Show where he collects, digests and gives lessons and insights on The Future of Business. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.

You’ll quickly notice his unusual suits which he uses open the conversation of how businesses should Do Business Differently™. 

The Our Shawn is based in DeLand, Florida (between Orlando, Florida and Daytona Beach, Florida) and Dallas, Texas where he keeps offices. You can also find Shawn on webinars or traveling nationally or internationally for speaking engagements.

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