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3 Ways Personal Bias is Hurting Your Marketing Campaign

3 Ways Personal Bias is Killing your Marketing CampaignThe Chief Marketing Officer has just walked into your office, well, into your cube anyway. And she's not happy. You feel the tension.

"They're looking at our budget with a microscope. If we don't absolutely nail this next major campaign, they're going to, to.....well, something....."

She's not being paranoid either. Marketers are under the gun, having to justify each spend. The average tenure of a CMO is just two years.

"I just feel like we're missing the market somehow," you tell her. "Something doesn't feel right. I mean, we're hitting all the big social channels, but it's like the consumers are out to lunch."

Well, maybe the consumers aren't out to lunch, maybe you are. Maybe you are making assumptions as a marketer that you shouldn't. Is your bias as a marketer sending you in the wrong direction? Well, it doesn't have to be this way.

Your Bias as a Marketer

email marketing demands respect As marketers, we have an innate bias to believe that consumers think and act just like we do. Maybe not consumers like your mother, but other consumers anyway. Although email marketing is going to remain the absolute rock star in terms of driving revenue, social channels are in the limelight. But are you sure you're hitting the right social channels? Marketers only have a certain amount of time in the day. You've got to hit the big two, Facebook and Twitter, but are you missing anything else? What if your bias towards your personal use and preference of Facebook and Twitter blinds you to the fact that consumers don't put the same stock into those two networks? What if you were to sit down with a group of your customers and ask them what social networks they are starting to use more?

You are Missing Key Social Networks

As it turns out, marketers are heavily biased towards personally using Facebook and Twitter. Not that non-marketer (normal) consumers are not. But normal consumers aren't as enamored with those two channels as you are. In fact, when asked about smaller players Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare, it turns out that consumers prefer those channels significantly more than marketers. Remember, just because you barely use Pinterest, Instagram, and Foursquare in your personal life doesn't mean it's that way for everybody. Your customers are quietly shifting their focus onto these smaller players. And you (the marketer) are missing the boat.

Marketers are Not Normal

Marketers are biased and not using Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare as much as consumers.Consumer's personal use of Pinterest, Instagram, and Foursquare dwarfs that of marketers. ExactTarget put out a great infographic that outlines all kinds of biases that we marketers carry.

ExactTarget does excellent research. And, I'm not just saying that because when I was at a one of their user conferences last year they gave me a free ticket to the Katy Perry concert. I know, I know. Katy Perry. Secretly, you want to go act like a twelve year old girl and scream at a Katy Perry concert too. Your jealousy betrays you.

Take a look at the graphic on the right. It shows that normal consumers have a much higher preference to use Pinterest, Instagram, and Foursquare as compared to marketers. Are you missing the market because your market may be using different social networks than you?

Are You Sure You Should Design for Mobile?

We read article after article about mobile. Mobile this, mobile that. Mobile blah-de-blah-blah. And, as a marketer, I'd bet money that in your front pocket, or purse, is an iPhone.  If not an iPhone than a Samsung 8G-double-quad-smart-McSlidey phone, right? At any rate, we marketers keep hearing how important designing our email marketing campaigns for mobile devices is becoming. After all, if you believe the stats, 497% of all emails sent are opened on mobile devices (the stats are so high because your customers apparently are not only opening your email campaign on their smartphone, they are opening your email campaign on their smartphone over and over again.)*  Perhaps you are making the wrong assumption about designing for mobile. Don't believe me? So, now might be a good time to for you to glance at the graphic below.

Only 50% of consumers own smartphones

Make sense now? My suggestion? Don't ignore the trend with mobile. Instead, take a look at your email marketing tool's reports to see if it can tell you how many are opening your emails on mobile, and about what type of mobile devices your customers are opening your email with.

Mobile email open rate

These are just a couple of the biases that are outlined in ExactTarget's research. Go here to see the full research report.

* The 497% thing is not true. I made it up. It's a little thing some of us call sarcasm. Geez.

Join The Conversation

  • ThoughtReach's picture
    Feb 11 Posted 4 years ago ThoughtReach


    Excellent point. I think you hit the nail on the head. If you actually know your customers, and know what they want on a social channel like Pinterest, you'll know what to deliver to them without your bias getting in the way.


  • Feb 11 Posted 4 years ago kclancy

    This is a really interesting article. Another thing worth mentioning is what people use different social media networks for. Pinterest is an amazing tool for marketing products, but you also have to be aware of what people on pinterest want and what they're looking for. People aren't on pinterest to look at football jerseys. Most people on pinterest are women and they're re-pinning crafts, recipes, makeup, and clothing. If you're trying to sell some of those things, pinterest is a great way to get your stuff out there. If you do a good job of presenting it and your product is one that consumers like and want, pinterest users will do your work for you--they'll re-pin your products all over the site. 

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