Why Emotions Lead To Bad Marketing Decisions

by | Dec 5, 2018 | Customer Growth

“Everyone knows that in the heat of an argument, we will all say anything to support our cause.  We will quote the Bible, refer to unverifiable statistics… Action and demonstration are much more powerful and meaningful.  They are there, before our eyes, for us to see… No one can argue with a demonstrated proof.”

The 48 Laws of Power By Robert Greene, Page 72
—Law #9, Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument

We’ve all been there as business owners.  

We find something to change within our business simply because we want to or because of a gut feeling.  We don’t have any data to support how beneficial the change will be.

Hey, it’s your business, so you certainly can make any change for any reason at all.

Here’s the problem.

Although there’s no issue with trying out new ideas, it becomes an issue when you don’t gather metrics to measure the success of an idea.  Now, I realize it isn’t realistic for a small business to spend the time analyzing every single decision being made.

Yet, when it comes to marketing, you need to make data analysis a part of every single campaign.  Making decisions based on a gut feeling or based upon what your competitors are doing is a recipe for a lot of wasted advertising dollars.

When you base marketing decisions on emotions, you’re treating marketing as an expense rather than an investment.  When you use metrics and data to make marketing decisions, you will then be more likely to see a positive return on your marketing investment.  

I know which option I’d choose… although I wasn’t always in the data over emotions camp.  

 

My Early Days Of Copycat Marketing

Back in 2004, I was involved in starting up and running a local Des Moines area technology services business.  Our marketing plan was very simple. What were other companies similar to us doing?

We used this strategy, and we ended up all over the place with our marketing…

  • We bought large ads in the yellow pages.
  • We handed out flyers door-to-door.
  • We spent time cold calling local businesses.
  • We joined multiple networking groups.
  • We became members of the local chamber.
  • We even ran a TV commercial.

The fact that we tried all of these different mediums wasn’t necessarily a problem.  Okay, it was a problem because we were determining our marketing strategy based upon emotions.  How else do you think we ended up justifying a TV commercial?

Another major problem was that we didn’t effectively track each of our marketing channels.  

Because we didn’t track our marketing channels, we continued to do the same thing—month-after-month, year-after-year—even though it wasn’t working.

As you can imagine, this was a great way to waste money.

In hindsight, there are many things I would have done differently with our marketing.  Of course, I can’t change the past, and this was all a part of my growth journey, but let’s have some fun with this and discuss a do-over.  

And not a do-over in 2004.  Let’s pretend my technology services business was starting in 2018.  Now we can leverage the advantages of today’s more advanced technology and a wider variety of marketing channels.

Let’s go…    

 

Time For A Do-Over—Minus The Emotions

First, I would better define our target market.  Back in 2004-2006, we were targeting both business-to-business and business-to-consumer customers.  I would niche this down to B2B only. We could always branch out at a later time and serve both markets (if it made sense).

Then, I would thoroughly define the ideal business customer for us to serve.  This is often referred to as creating an avatar.

This includes dozens and dozens of questions that would need to be answered, so it’s very detailed.  Some of these questions include:

  • What are their values?
  • What income bracket are they in?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What are their biggest fears?
  • What’s their political affiliation?
  • What books do they read?
  • What do they do for entertainment?
  • Have they recently bought any similar services to what I’m offering?
  • What other businesses are successfully selling to them?

With this information, I would then determine where our avatar “hangs out.”  Let’s call our target avatar Bob. By this, I mean what media channels does Bob consume?

  • Does he listen to any podcasts?  
  • Does he read any trade magazines?  
  • Is he on any forums?
  • Does he use social media?  If so, which specific platforms?
  • And so on…

I’d then put together a marketing plan to target Bob on one particular channel at a time.  

Analytics

Data Over Emotions

Finally, this marketing channel would be monitored and tracked to provide us with all of the metrics we would need to understand our level of success.

Essentially, should we continue with this marketing channel?  Or, should we look for another option.

It would be data driving the decisions, and NOT emotions.  

If you analyze the data correctly, the data most certainly won’t lie.  

You Might Also Be Interested In: Why Failed Marketing Can Be A Good Thing

 

Wrapping Up

If my information technology consulting business was launched today, it’s pretty obvious what I’d do differently.  Aside from the most important thing—market research—I would be measuring all marketing activity.

This data (when gathered and analyzed correctly) is so valuable.

Are you measuring and analyzing your marketing?  

If so, great job!  Keep looking for more metrics to gather and analyze to continue to increase your ROI.

If not, you should be.  Stop throwing your money away and start driving your marketing with data-based decisions.  

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations