Today more than ever, successful marketers will follow the principals found in Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Concept". I was introduced to Mr. Levitt's concept while a marketing major at Northeastern University back in the early 1980's.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Levitt's work, "The Marketing Concept" is simply put as "your product/service offering should be geared towards what the customer WANTS, not what YOU THINK they want. Back in those days, and even today, some companies are engineering driven ---meaning ...if we build it...they will come. NO MORE.
Now, new product development needs to be customer-focused on fullfilling a need or in the iPod/iPhone case creating a gotta-have-it....they really don't need it, THEY WANT IT! So, how do you know what your customers/prospects need or want? ASK THEM..they'll be glad you did.
With the rapid explosion of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) and adding your own microsites and Wiki's, you can hone your R & D and marketing research efforts with these low-cost and powerful communication tools.
Although today's marketing and communication channels are undergoing rapid change, one thing will always remain constant and that is successful businesses/organizations listen to their target market and give them what they desire...and they strive to make the TOTAL customer experience better than their competition.