Steve Jobs understood something about marketing, which gave him a strong, competitive advantage. I’d like to share it with you. It’s easy to understand, simple to put into practice and can massively improve your results.
Saying and doing
It starts with understanding the following: There’s often a huge difference between what people say and what people do.
I spoke with a blogger recently, who polled his readers to see if they would be willing to pay for a premium service. He accurately described the service in detail, including the small monthly fee. In total, 73 people said they’d “happily pay for the service”.
Just 12 people signed up!
Steve Jobs and focus groups
Yes, we absolutely should listen to what our marketplace is saying. However, we need to remember that people often say what they think we [or their friends] want to hear or things that make them look good.
This is why Steve Jobs shunned focus groups. He learned that people in focus groups tended to say smart, generous things in order to look good. He found their feedback to be not only of little real value, but potentially misleading. That’s a dangerous mix.
It’s a good idea to listen to what people say. However, we tend to make massively better decisions when we watch what people do.
The early bird
This is why many service providers offer early bird prices when they launch a new service or product. For a limited time, they market the new service at a reduced rate and see what kind of interest there is.
- If people are not buying at the early bird price, they know that their marketing or their service [or product] needs to improve before the full launch.
- If people are eagerly buying, they know there’s a significant demand.
If you’re thinking of polling your contacts, readers or friends to see if that idea of yours is worth investing your time and money in, think again. Yes, that information can be useful, but pay far closer attention to what people do.
Here’s some advice on how to find a winning idea.