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Are you driven by guesswork?

What media work best in your market sector? Do you genuinely know, or are you driven by guesswork?

I know a few people who were originally employed out of college specifically to manage online marketing, who have now celebrated 20 years in the job. That makes me feel ancient. Although my own career is barely 10 years longer, I’m still old enough to remember the first PC arriving in the office. And it wasn’t until several years later that we first gathered around the PC with its new ‘modem’ attached to watch with amazement as a computer file was delivered, very slowly, from another office.

Many of us in our fifties (or above!) have found it straightforward to keep up with what our younger colleagues take for granted. But we still have to deal with people of our own age who are guided by what they learned when training in 1982 (or 1972!). An ‘old media’ advertising sales rep I know said that his best clients are retiring at an alarming rate. Similarly, most online advertising sales reps will know one or two hopeless cases who will simply never be convinced that the world changed a long time ago.

If you’re under 40, you won’t ever have known a time when you couldn’t research things from your desk without interacting with another person. I suspect that for most of you, a large proportion of your customers are under 40 too. Even the older ones, if they’re engineers or scientists, probably embraced change from the outset and never looked back. However, understanding your prospect’s mindset is the key to successful sales and marketing. It’s easier than ever to survey your own customers. Find out what media they prefer, and don’t be driven by hunches.