“You can't connect the dots looking forward;
you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots
will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut,
destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has
made all the difference in my life.” Steve Jobs
|Zoltar from BIG - The movie telling predicting the future|
It seems obvious to say but marketing is about tomorrow. Not
today, not the past but the future. You may pivots on the past, builds from
today but clearly marketing activities forces you to look forward.
Take the example of launching a new product or service. It is all
about tomorrow. You realize that in order to grow your brand you need to either
bring something new to old or new customers or you need to bring something old
to new customers. You need a marketing Ouija board to help guide your journey.
Or maybe a marketing GPS system would help you navigate. Remember Zoltar from the movie BIG who helped grant Tom Hanks his big wish about his future? Maybe he can make a big difference by granting you a wish.
It comes down to trust. You need to
trust your own vision of what could be if you think through what job this
product/service will do for someone. Without that unswerving confidence in your own idea, most new products and services fail. To gain that confidence, you need to ask yourself some tough questions.
Here are 7
simple questions to ask yourself as you think about offering something new.
WHAT IS THE NEED: Will this product or service truly serve an unfulfilled
market need or are you guilty of developing a “me too” approach?
WHY IS THIS NEEDED: Does one of your current products or service
not fit this segment you want to enter? How do you know this? What is it based
WHAT IS DIFFERENT: How will this product or service be different
from others who are trying to serve the same segment?
WHO ARE YOU: What tactical communications will you use that will
allow you to engage and communicate to this segment? Will they even know you or
are you starting from scratch?
LICENSE AND PERMISSION: Does the brand name you will use for the
product or service fit within your current architecture? Do you have permission
from your users to go into this segment or will you dilute what your brand
HOW WILL YOU CONNECT: Emotionally, what benefit will your customers
get from what you offer? (peace of mind, sense of self-worth, courage, etc.)
WILL THIS DILUTE: Do you have the resources to do this and will it
dilute your efforts on other more profitable segments that you are also trying
build a data base about the past to predict the future. You can assemble data
points as references but you need to trust in an inner guidance that believes
in the need. Research, surveys, focus groups and historical data sets help you
understand history. The future isn’t quantifiable and subject to a DOE (design of
experiment) like scientist use. Standing on your pile of data, you must take a leap of faith.
|Predicting the future - what's in your crystal ball?|
That is what I love about marketing. Someone has to really
believe in a vision and get others to follow them for the ride. Without that
trust and boldness, we would take small steps all the time. Do you really
believe in the future vision for this product/service or are you just going
along for the ride?
What do you see in your crystal ball?
Labels: future, Marketing Moments, New Product Marketing, Steve Jobs, Zoltar