One of the biggest threats to businesses is not necessarily the economy or rapid change it’s the risks associated with keeping a fixed mindset about who we believe are our key consumers and correspondingly what we think works best in the marketing mix to attract them.
Rebel Brown whose speciality is ‘neuroscience in business’ recently has talked about our fixed notions we have about business when we use our ‘mindware’.
In a marketing context I’d define mindware as the programming we have about who are consumers are and how we need to act to attract them (which often lets the most useful insights pass us by).
The mindware that we potentially draw on about consumers and marketing conditions everyday can limit our thinking:
- The breakthrough idea that drove trial and built loyalty last year has a lingering effect over the choices you make today about driving interest in new products
- The segments that responded very favourably to the latest initiatives are now at the top of your marketing tree when perhaps there are others that are less in your face but need more attention
- Your value proposition has driven all your efforts to date so you can’t see past it to notice emerging issues on the perimeter of your offers
- The competitors you benchmark against are still relevant but you have held your view of them as a snapshot that you don’t often update which means you are working in the past
Your products and services are now within a completely different market space than 12 months ago even if you have been standing still. Yes, indeed you’re moving anyway.
It’s quite a balancing act to maintain relevance using your stored knowledge but also reach forward and pick up on the insights that are in front of you.
Whenever possible, rather than just when you are working on the annual marketing plan, it’s good to ask yourself what’s my marketing mindware driving here that I need to ask a few more questions around. And then consider, hang on does it need an update!
Something someone said to me the other day about planning for business happens to be an apt way to end this article…
“if you know exactly what you are doing next year, then you really don’t know what you are doing”