Quite a lot of people go to gyms. Many opt for having personal trainers to guide them through the maze of excercises and techniques. PTs are fit guys, men or women, aspirational for those they train. They convey trust through personal example, they impose expertise in what they teach. It’s the same with the ski instructor, with the tennis or football coaches, with the martial arts sensei…
If I went to the gym and a round guy comes to me attepting to teach me what to do to lose weight, to improve my shapes, preaching how impotant being athletic is for the way we live and perceive ourselves, well… I would get relatively confused. I mean, if you know the recipe, why don’t you…act on you first?
But they don’t often do this sort of mistakes in sports, because a) they may intuitively understand they will lose customers and b) those in a position to train are people with expertise in the area, current or former practitioneers.
Indeed, I did not get too much confusion in gyms as a result of the above illustrative contexts. But I have often come across similar situations in my professional life. I spent quite a lot of time in marketing research / insights. On the agency side, I might say I have seen almost zero interest from the business owners / business managers to run surveys for the agencies they lead (just from time to time some soft satisfaction surveys or price checking…).
Let me be clear and bold:
Dear research consultant, you come to me and recommend me, your client, to run a complex segmentation study (yes, I know why, I understand what you can do, how useful this is in developing my strategy and growing a customer centric organization…) But why on Earth you have never run such a study for your own company? As an agency, you know, you could run it at very low costs…Does your agency run segmentation studies, beautifully mastering qualitative approaches with quantitative designs, bringing in neuromarketing tools, social media monitoring apps? All these wonderful & necessary tools work just for me, aren’t they designed to maximize benefits and be as indispensable for you as well? Don’t they help your business grow?
Dear researcher, as a business partner, I understand you want me to run very complex studies on brand and communication. Sorry to ask again, which of the methods you want me to apply (“buy from you”) have you used in your personal business? What messages you use did you pretest? How much do you conduct usability studies on your website (provided you have one that matters)?
How comes the person presenting us your products on digital and social media is reluctant to using Facebook or other such “strange” platforms?
How comes you want to improve my marketing activity and be my trustful, unreplaceable partner, when you don’t have a marketing department in your agency? How comes your agency, which is a company after all, does not have a clear marketing function? It has IT, it has HR, finance, admin…but marketing is not considered a must-have. Meantime, your business consists in giving us insights and guidance in how we should think our marketing strategies and implement our marketing initiatives. Don’t you find this quite shocking?
Why robust data from primary research works for me (I know, I would hardly survive without it) while you manage your business based on intuition and secondary data?
My tennis instructor may recommend me a particular racquet brand. Most probably he uses the same brand or has used it and knows this would fit me. Most probably, my instructor also uses a racquet to play tennis…
It’s the same tool we both use. That’s why I trust my instructor.
But that works for sports…