By Joe Pulizzi published June 1, 2010

Think Like Your Customers Think

There’s a very important line at the beginning of the movie The Godfather II.

Just after Michael Corleone, The Godfather (played by Al Pacino) gets shot at, he sits down his brother Tom Hagan and talks about an important lesson from his father.

One thing I learned from my father is to try to think as the people around you think…and on that basis, anything is possible.

If marketers only lived by just this one lesson.

Do you truly understand the pain points of your customers?

Do you understand what kind of information they need to solve those pain points?

Are you hanging out where you customers are hanging out online, so that you are in a position to help?

These things are not easy, but when executed, all things are possible.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

Join Over 200,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Get Inspired: 75 (More) Content Marketing Examples FREE!

  • Maranda Gibson

    What a great post! Absolutely, you have to think like your customers do, otherwise you’re just going to be feeding them something they don’t want. Always remembering what their needs are, and what you can do to fill that need, is the most important thing you can do in marketing or customer service. How can I help you is not just a phrase, it’s a philosophy.

  • Vim

    Awesome Post short and sweet, knowing your customers and putting yourself in your customers shoes is important to know what you want to achieve. The Godfather series has some great quotes and a lot to learn from.

  • Barbara DePompa

    In working with so many different clients over the years it never ceases to amaze me how many simply DON’T take this simple advice to heart.
    Customers really don’t want what I lovingly refer to as ‘vendor fluff and puffery.’
    And if there’s no meaningful/credible information on a vendor website, or in white papers or other published documentation, customers will go elsewhere to help resolve their major ongoing challenges.

  • Dewita

    Right on Joe. Though, sometime it’s easier said than done. I try to hang out where my potential customers are.. online and offline..