Often, we interact with people in our ecosystem and forget that life is very different for people outside of our little “bubbles” of reality. For example, some people on the bleeding edge of technology might only interact with people with similar interests, thus they forget that most people outside of their bubble aren’t as informed about the latest and greatest software, apps, and websites.
Furthermore, people also tend to have different opinions about the best ways to approach a problem.
However, many people tend to think that most people think the same way that they do. This is definitely not true most of the time.
In fact, even if you fill a room with like-minded individuals, there is going to be a least one topic where you are going to find some disagreement.
If the topic that is being discussed is philosophical or personal in nature, the worst thing that can happen is that you might make someone else mad or possibly lose a friend.
However, if you continue to live with blinders on and think that all people think like you do when you make business decisions, it could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
People See What They Expect to See
In their book, titled “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” (affiliate link) Al Ries and Jack Trout explain, “Ask two people of opposite persuasion, say, a Democrat and a Republican, to read an article on a controversial subject. Then ask each one if the article changed his or her opinion.”
“You’ll find that the Democrat gets out of the article facts to support one point of view,” the authors continue. “The Republican gets out of the same article facts to support the opposite point of view. Very little mind changing takes place. You see what you expect to see.”
Marketing Your Product or Service
When marketing a product or service, brands shouldn’t look for the solution in the product or service itself.
And, because they are so close to the product or service, know more about the product or service than others do, and have a built-in bias towards their product or service, brands shouldn’t try to create their marketing messages based on their own opinions.
Instead, brands need to build their marketing messages based on the current perceptions of the product or service from the prospect’s point of view, not the reality of the product as the brand sees it.
Marketing Recommendations from Experts
In my opinion, even marketing experts tend to forget that they also have a unique reality that is different from everyone else’s. That is, once they have achieved a certain level of success, they tend to give advice based on what is currently working for them. In the process, they forget how difficult it was to get someone to listen to them when they first started out. And, it may be the case that the current environment is a lot different now than it was when they first got started.
Therefore, if they have a certain level of name recognition and respect, the advice that they give might work for an established brand, but it might not work so well for an up-and-coming brand or even a small “mom-and-pop” business down the street.
As Chris Brogan likes to say, “Your mileage may vary.”
It is for this reason that I was happy to see that Mr. Brogan recently started a new Twitter account to see how “big name” people respond when they think the tweet is coming from a no-name guy with only 45 followers. This is an exercise that I think all successful marketing consultants should participate in from time-to-time, on Twitter and in other marketing vehicles that they give advice about. This will help remind them of the difficulties that a new startup or company might encounter.
We all live in our own little “bubbles” of reality. That is, everyone lives a different life and forms opinions about reality based on what they have experienced in their lives.
If a person has formed a strong opinion about a topic, even the most solid evidence against that opinion might not persuade them to change their mind.
Therefore, when a brand creates marketing messages that are intended to try to persuade consumers to purchase their products or services, they shouldn’t try to change the mind of the prospect by telling them things that go against the prospect’s current beliefs. Instead, they should create marketing messages that use the prospect’s current perception of the product or service to the brand’s advantage.
Furthermore, in order to provide the best advice to clients, marketing consultants need to avoid making a similar mistake. That is, they need to keep in mind that what works for them is not necessarily going to work for a brand that hasn’t made a name for itself in the marketplace.
In other words, brands and marketing consultants need to think outside the bubble.
Photo credit: Trodel on Flickr. Original by Mila Zinkova, edited by Alvesgaspar on Wikimedia Commons.