Some of the insights in the recent Gamma Notes post on using customer profiles and knowing your audience might seem obvious. But, you’d be surprised how often things like internal protocol or our own personal preferences impact decisions.
In fact, a little (big) something called confirmation bias can impact something as simple as your decision to continue reading this post . . .
Confirmation bias is neatly defined by Science Daily as “a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.”
They go on:
When we want something to be true, we will spotlight the things that support it, and then, when we draw conclusions from those spotlighted scenes, we’ll congratulate ourselves on a reasoned decision.
Haven’t we all done that? And, if you say no, you’re probably guilty of confirmation bias.
Know Your Audience And Thyself
In order to determine which decisions are based on good information versus bias, we have to do some testing. (And of course, not let confirmation bias color how we read the results.)
Returning to an example in the previous post on customer profiles: My friend believed that incoming phone calls held no promise for lead generation.
There are in fact a number of possible variables that could be skewing this perspective, and these variables act as great tips for analyzing almost any similar situation:
- Positioning – Perhaps the phone number isn’t presented in such a way that actually encourages use – how would a vanity number change the results? Does toll-free matter? Maybe a simple local number is more appealing to the audience.
- Messaging – Is the overall message and brand something people feel they can engage by phone? Or, is the thought intimidating for some reason?
- Call to Action – How is the number presented? What’s the expectation that callers have? A wait? A human being? An automated system? Lots of questions?
- Bias – She may not like using the phone. (I know, it’s not my first pick either.) Or, perhaps a previous experience involving one of the above has biased her outlook on the phone as a lead generator altogether.
As you can see, there is a great deal to consider and all of the above can be narrowed down with even basic testing and analysis.
For example, a more specific call to action such as “call for a free (blank)” might be all that’s needed to get at least some result. A phone number with no call to action may generate exactly that . . . no action.
So before reinventing the wheel or worse, taking on that rebranding strategy, it can pay to take a step back and look at the situation objectively.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
A business professor and friend once told me, “The numbers don’t lie.” And rarely will your customer profile.
We, on the other hand, lie to ourselves all the time.
How might you be deceiving yourself in the way your business messages, markets, and sells? Please share your thoughts and questions below.