This strikes me as the pendulum swinging too far the other way.
Yes, a sales driven approach to doing business is insufficient. But no, exclusively adopting a customer centric approach to business growth is equally silly.
Back in Marketing for Projects 101 we talked about marketing being a process of creating value for both the producer and the customer. Think about a simple, two circle Venn Diagram with the circles overlapping.
A market driven approach means building value for both the organisation and the customer. And this means that you need to understand both your customer’s needs and problems, and your own capabilities.
A simple example highlighting the capabilities point is Amazon.
- Book publisher? Yep.
- Cloud service provider? Yep.
If Amazon had just focused on their customers (let’s say book buyers) how would they have spotted the great cloud utility opportunity in front of them?
The same goes for project teams and sponsoring organisations. Understand your customer’s needs and problems, but also understand the team and sponsoring organisation’s capabilities.