Research Your Customers
Do research even if you can’t afford it, because you can’t afford not to.
You don’t have to hire a research specialist, but you do need to spend time talking to your customers, asking them questions, finding out everything you can about what they like and why they like it. It’s also a good idea to dedicate time to reading research other people have carried out on your customer groups.
We encourage you to create customer personas. It’s a lot of fun and it can be a hugely informative process, helping you tailor messaging and media to the interests of each group of people you serve. We take a rigorously customer focused approach to marketing. Want to know more? Read about our strategic approach.
Set Measurable Goals
Yes I know. I’m almost embarrassed to type it it’s so obvious. But yet…we still get briefs for projects with no measurable goals. Why is that?
Tangent alert! As well as commiserating with frustrated marketers, I’ve also been reading Carol Dweck’s excellent book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success. It’s a good read, and I recommend it.
Her research has identified two key human mindsets, and I'm going to give you a very simplistic summary of her far more sophisticated findings.
People with a fixed mindset believe they are either intelligent, artistic, entrepreneurial, attractive etc or they’re not. Validation is important to people with a fixed mindset. They compare themselves to other people, which can lead to feelings of superiority or inferiority. They believe that effort is inauthentic, because you’re either talented or you’re not. And they avoid risk and challenge, because failure undermines their concept of themselves.
People with a growth mindset believe that, “your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ…in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments-everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” They have a love of learning and resilience that comes from embracing challenge and accepting that failure is an intrinsic part of learning new skills.
Carol Dweck also looks at the role mindsets play in whether businesses succeed or fail, and it’s fascinating. She identifies common growth mindset threads in the leadership of successful companies rescued from the brink of disaster.
Common success factors identified include:
- Asking the tough questions
- Encouraging critical feedback
- Pushing boundaries
- Learning every aspect of the business
- Nurturing a culture of growth and teamwork
- Crediting others
- Setting long term goals for sustainable growth
Setting challenging yet attainable goals is tough. And yet as Carol Dweck’s research shows, the hard work is the good work that pays off in the end.