Are you solving the right problem? It’s a question few stop
to ask before diving in head first in an attempt to demonstrate action and
The trouble with that approach is that the surface problem is many times not the real problem. You can spend considerable resources addressing what you think needs to be fixed, only to find that you get the same outcomes (or worse!).
Last month, we extolled the virtues of customer outreach—why you should do it and how you can go about it. So now you have all this delicious feedback from your customers, but your job is not complete. To get any value at all from your hard-won insights, you must apply what you’ve learned.
Unfortunately, that’s where a
lot of people get stuck. They think they don’t have time to make changes in
their organization, they’re not sure where to begin, or things aren’t broken
enough (yet) to make these opportunities a high priority. But as the saying
goes, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results!
You and I could hypothesize until the cows come home about how your brand or your marketing could be better. We’d come up with plenty of potentially great ideas, but without knowing what’s in the heart and mind of your customer, we’d be building a plan grounded on hunches more than hard facts.
So many of my clients are
dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis—and it’s more prevalent now than I’ve
ever known it to be. But they’re so close to it they don’t always see it for
what it is. All they know is they’ve identified a problem and see marketing as
the cure. But they need someone who will do more than blindly fill that
prescription. Before anything else, they need an accurate diagnosis.
I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen, when, where and how. If you’re familiar with the classic personality types, you can imagine how an environment with no room for that level of certainty could put someone like me (equal parts Type A and Type C) into a tailspin.
Maybe you’ve felt this uncertainty in your work world, too. Maybe direction isn’t clear. Maybe leadership is in flux. Maybe the landscape is changing so quickly that your 12-month plan doesn’t stand a chance of making it past the first six weeks without revision. I have to think it’s not just me. My inbox has seen more than a couple of news bits lately about “corporate chaos” and the air of uncertainty being the new normal. Continue reading →
When I turned 40 a few years ago, I embraced it. Fully. It was a coming of age that promised heightened credibility–if based on nothing more than accumulated life experience–and a milestone that entitled me to a bit of sass. I owned it, and I loved it. Continue reading →
what could you gain by taking a good hard look at your business and asking some tough questions?
If you’re like most organizations, plenty. And what you learn through the process has the power to bring your marketing messages into better alignment with what your customers are looking for. Continue reading →