Analysis before action
Einstein used to say that whenever he had a problem to solve he would allocate 90% of his time researching the problem and 10% solving it – sage advice to most all the challenges we face in life. It’s also a credo that marketers should follow.
Business leaders often come to us really excited about getting into action. They want to get out and market their businesses, and they want to do it at an accelerated pace. To work at an accelerated pace, decisions need to be made quickly. But, you can only act quickly if you have done your research and set yourself up for speed.
We have emphasized the importance of looking at the big picture – the economy, major trends, politics, and culture. Equally as important is the need to understand your industry, its trends and where it is heading. Most likely you already have all this insight. Now it just needs to be pulled together in a way that can help you. We recommend you use all the knowledge you and your team possess to develop 3 potential scenarios of where your industry is possibly going. One scenario may seem obvious and more likely to happen, but don’t stop there! Force yourself to write a short paragraph on 3 separate scenarios. You can start by asking some basic questions:
- Is this industry going to grow over the next 1-5 years?
- Will it branch into new business models?
- What will clients/customers need or demand going forward?
- How will technology affect the industry?
- What do we need to plan for if we are to be a major player in this industry?
- What is the one assumption we don’t think will change, what happens if it does?
Scenarios may feel like you are looking into a crystal ball or that you are predicting a future that is hard to anticipate. However, here is what is going to happen. Your development of 3 different scenarios will open up potential blind spots that you had not considered. An idea will come to the surface that you had not thought of before. Scenarios tap into creative thinking on how to approach and overcome major obstacles standing in the way of growth that you had likely not uncovered before.
Einstein was an analytical, mathematical genius. Yet he also understood the power within.
“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creativity and marks real advance in science.”
It can mark an advance in your business as well. Good marketers can learn from Albert.