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A huge marketing mistake, and how not to make it

cut-cableI was skimming twitter a couple nights ago, when a comment caught my eye. It was a light conversation about television, and someone mentioned cable, and then one person said, “who has cable anymore?”.  Since lots of people have cable, I was motivated to write this:

Giant Marketing Mistake: Assuming your personal opinions are universally shared.

Even More Giant Marketing Mistake: Basing business decisions on an opinion you believe is universally shared, but isn’t.

Opinions are so very diverse. So many people, however, fall into the trap of assuming everyone feels the same way they do. Let’s look at the cable comment. Yes, TV subscriptions are certainly declining as the Internet is connected to more and more televisions. Research differs, but with 11.8 million TV subscriptions in Canada, “who has cable?” is not really an accurate premise. It’s a growing issue, but it is certainly not universal. The original tweeter (name kept confidential to protect the guilty) seems to indicate that because he may not have cable, no one else does either. It’s what I call “living in a bubble”.

I’ll give you another example, this one music related. How many times have you heard, “everyone hates Nickelback”? No one will admit to liking Nickelback or their music. Radio stations get complaints by the bucketful, about how, “No one likes this band – stop playing them now!”

All these people apparently hate Nickelback

All these people hate Nickelback

The thing is, lots of people like Nickelback. Lots of people, in fact, love Nickelback. I know this because they have sold millions of albums, and have sold out stadium-sized concerts. How can this be if “no one” likes Nickelback?Imagine you’re a concert promoter, and you have the opportunity to book Nickelback at your local stadium. You refuse, saying, “Ugh, I hate Nickelback!”. You’ve lost the opportunity to make a buck by rising above your own assumptions.

Chad Kroeger is a smart business person. He provides a product that makes his business a lot of money. If he went by the reviews, he would have given up long ago. Instead, he did what worked, instead of what “they” said would work.

The lesson is this: research issues carefully before making business decisions. Make sure the research is impartial and is set up to give you an honest answer. Then, if the way forward seems to lead to success, take it – even if it conflicts with your personal opinion.

Don’t assume!

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