“Don’t mistake your opinion with marketing data.” This was a mantra of a previous boss I had. He was right. BUT by stopping there, he was missing a key element to drive positive outcomes.
Far too many people believe that data tells you what you need to do to drive winning business results. And on top of that, most marketers use their own subjectivity to explain what that data indicates.
Last week, I engaged with someone that posted on LinkedIn about his experience wasting much time mulling over the results of consumer sales. Much of the conclusions derived were erroneous. That is until he truly dug in to understand the consumers’ behavior.
Here is the conversation we exchanged as a result of his post:
Coincidently, just a few days before that, I posted a poll on LinkedIn asking people:
“To what extent do you believe ‘psychology’ plays a role in marketing?” –
95% replied 100% or strongly.
According to Wikipedia, “Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts.”
As marketing professionals, our mission is to drive business success. And psychology plays an imperative role in that success from (at least) two perspectives:
1) From an input perspective, we need to truly understand the mind and behavior of our target audience as it relates to our product/service, their knowledge of the space and our products/service, points of influence, what their consumer journey looks like, competition, and ways to emotionally connect with them.
2) From an output perspective, we need to first listen and communicate, and then engage in a manner that is most compelling to the target audience based upon THEIR feelings and behaviors.
There are far too many smart people that carry deep subjectivity that cloud their ability to drive business success. There are far too many people that have a strong opinion about marketing but lack either meaningful data and/or understanding of their target audience. Successful marketing leaders use both empirical data and in-depth target audience research to yield strong business success.
Collect data that provides accurate information. But don’t stop there. Examine your consumers/clients. Learn about their buyer journey. Learn what influences them in their purchase decisions. Learn how to motivate them and their decisions to yield preference for your product/services. Connect. Listen. Engage.
Marketing success comes with the right mix of data and then, enriched research and understanding.
Make It Happen!