In today’s data-driven business environment it is easy to forget about understanding the humans represented in the numbers. It is dangerous to be obsessed with numbers while losing touch with the feelings evoked by your sales efforts.
Accessing Mental Models
If you see the world through data alone, you will miss a lot of what the data tells you. As far back as the age of Descartes, we have known that perception is our reality. In other words we see the world as it is projected through our own personal filter in our minds. Everything our sales leads “know” about our product or service is an hypothesis based on their previous experiences.
We are all hypothesis driven based on our own mental models. Data is simply a sensor of what has happened. It is useful for seeing trends and provoke us to ask valuable questions.
In his book “Wired to Care”, Dev Patnaik claims that “Most companies are corporate iguanas…They have a reptilian brain to act. The have a neocortext to think. They just don’t have any way to feel.”
Magic happens when a company taps into cultural dynamics and applies empathy to their marketing efforts. Knowing your customers, what interests them and what they are concerned about is essential to effective use of data.
Shifting Sands Under Our Feet
Your company has surely felt a big shift in buyer behavior:
- Buyers control the process of decision making
- Reputation is more powerful than regulation
- Demand private limos are replacing taxis
- Sharing is replacing ownership
Imagination is discovering all sorts of possibilities that data cannot offer. These disruptive times require that we tap into the needs of our future customers and find ways to be empathy driven. Get out of the echo chamber of data and solve your customer’s problems.
The idea that business is strictly a numbers affair has always stuck me as preposterous. For one thing, I’ve never been particularly good at numbers, but I think I’ve done a reasonable job with feelings. And I’m convinced that it is feelings – and feelings alone – that account for the success of the Virgin brand in all of its myriad forms. ~ Richard Branson
Next year, I will present a webinar series to teach people how to use my proven system for content marketing. It taps into five areas needed for successful content marketing. The first of the five is perhaps the most important. It applies to the human part of the equation. Here are the five part of the webinar series:
- Recipient: The persona of your ideal client and reader.
- Resources: Methods for having a continuous supply of content ideas by copying and curation of concepts.
- Reinforce: Templates and structural components that help establish your brand.
- Refine: Online tools to help you be conversational and relatable because your content is readable.
- Review: The importance of data cannot be ignored. How to use CRM data and dashboards to monitor response.