I’ve seen this phenomenon in various forms throughout my career (and am certainly not immune to it myself) — whether it be an assumption that the customer understands all the industry jargon, or a blindspot because we’re too close to our own products. We forget, or the thought never crosses our minds, that some part of our customer base doesn’t understand the things that are as natural to us as breathing.
Case in point: Those of us who are embroiled in online or computer-based marketing methods have absorbed certain general techniques for making our way around a new piece of software or online service. We “know” to first look for links to help and customer service at the top right or in a main menu. We “know” we we’re likely to find other administrative details through unobtrusive links at the bottom of a Web page. We “know” that if we’re in the middle of filling in a form and change our minds we can find a cancel button somewhere near the bottom of that form. What we don’t realize is that our customers may have less experience with different applications, so don’t “know” any of this.
The lesson: When developing marketing materials or strategies for reaching less-experienced customers, remember that helping them through technical learning curves may be critical to successful execution.