Marketing has a lot of Guesswork – what makes good guesswork?
Marketing is often attacked as having too much guesswork and not enough research
Research gives us data – for guidance. But after the focus groups and the perception audits and the segmentation studies and the customer surveys – we make need to make decisions based on interpretation of that research data That interpretation is based on experience, knowledge and creativity. Its why we are hired to do our jobs. It still our best guess isn’t it?
Guess-making is a Learned Skill
That’s what makes marketing so difficult, so risky, and so satisfying. It’s those guesses, far more than snappy headlines or dazzling designs that push our creativity to the limit – and put our professional necks on the line.
The best marketers are those who make the best guesses the most often. This is the career path of the marketer: reaching increasingly important levels of guesswork – moving from executing someone else’s guesses to being the head guess-maker. From “what have you done” to “what do you think.” Marketing specialist to CMO. If we want to be great marketers, we must learn how to be great guess-makers.
Great guess-makers are not born – they are not the product of some partially predictable recessive gene. Great guess-makers are built, formed over time by diligent labour. A great guess is the product of the sum total of the guess-maker’s knowledge, and experience, and creativity.
So what makes a great guess-maker? I don’t know there is a definitive answer. It is another set of guesses. But I think they are good guesses.
I think the model could be the four Cs of guess-making:
1. Curiosity – Have a base ofgathered knowledge to drive smart guesswork.
2. Confidence – Confidence in your ability to interpret the input data well.
3. Courage – Have the willingness to stick your neck out.
4. Creativity – To take what is presented and create something from it.
What might you add?