If you make your most important business decisions using nothing more than your own experience and gut instinct for success, you’ll encounter disaster before too long. Your confidence and vision are vital for maintaining morale, and convincing others your business can go the distance, but ironically they can actually blind you to the true facts of the situation and make decisions based on what you want to be true, not what is.
You can free yourself from this risk by finding the right tools to support your decisions: you can provide yourself with a bedrock of data to work from so your decisions are based on facts and expert analysis, not the ‘best guess’ of a single perspective.
One of the most important tools you can give yourself access to is a Market Intelligence platform that fits with your brand’s ambitions.
Market Intelligence is the data that gives you an understanding of the full context you’re operating in. The ‘market’ in this sense is made up of not just your customers, but all consumers, the trends that influence their purchase decisions, the economic conditions that decide whether or not they have disposable income to spend on your business and the competitors that are also contending for those customers’ money and attention.
It’s built out of a multitude of different surveys and research techniques. It’s a complicated subject and attaining a full understanding of the context you’re operating in is a difficult undertaking: that’s why having the right tools to access and understand it can make the difference between success and failure.
With access to ongoing research about the state of your market, you can use the results of earlier decisions to inform how you make later ones. Looking at the impact of a marketing push through the lens of changes to a brand tracking survey over time, as well the impact on your revenue and footfall (or the level of clicks and online engagement the ads generated) you can get a finely-grained picture of what worked and what didn’t, the places your ads were placed that generated the most impact, and the places where they went unremarked. You can use this understanding to craft your next campaign, leaning into the aspects that worked, and innovating in the areas that didn’t speak to customers.
The most effective tool you have available to you is an openness to the facts: if you submit fearlessly to a feedback process for all your key decisions and review how they worked, and how they didn’t, you’ll enjoy a much greater level of success in the long term.