GET THE FACTS
This quote always reminds me to check my assumptions. Opinions and perspectives are important – hey, we’re marketers – we’re all about perceptions and how brands and marketing makes you feel. But that doesn’t mean we’re not also about data.
When creating a marketing plan, it’s important to look at all angles. First gather perspectives and opinions – internally. Talk to the people in your company and get to see their perspectives, and not just those in the top offices – make sure you hear from everyone! The grounds crew, the receptionist, the sales people: they all have something to contribute.
But don’t forget to check your assumptions!
Sometimes a client says, “We know the issues, we know the problems and what people think.” And maybe you do – but maybe you don’t. It’s all opinion until we get the facts. One great way to do that is through primary research. We usually conduct surveys or focus group sessions to get this perspective. For example, one client told us that people thought their profession was too expensive, not useful or valuable and therefore fewer people were buying their services. Made sense and was reasonable – but we knew to check the assumptions.
Through a focus group we found out that the assumption wasn’t correct. In fact, when asked, people thought quite highly of the profession but just didn’t think of them. They hadn’t considered using their services and didn’t understand exactly what they did.
By checking our assumptions, we found out it wasn’t a negative perception issue at all, but one of awareness and education. This insight made all the marketing strategies and tactics very different and more targeted!
So take the time, invest in and value the external feedback you can get through market research, customer surveys, and other perspectives. I promise it will be eye opening – and your marketing will be that much better!