Perception is reality- in marketing

arrogance, Customers, ego, Marketing, Product Management

I was watching Shark Tank a little while back . There was this young lady who came with a business model which she called as an Ed-Fintech model and she started rattling some numbers from different global agencies on why they are in such a good space. They had not even started on revenue.

What happened – young person, giving “gyaan” with no revenue – suddenly with every statement that she made, most of the “sharks” pounced on her.

Problem perception- those sitting on the other side of the table thought she was acting as a “know-it-all”. They felt she was arrogant and that hurt some egos. No one ended making her an offer. From her perspective maybe she was just being confident with the research that she had done. Net outcome no investment

I remember about 25 years back there was a Korean company called Daewoo which entered India and launched a sedan. It was an extremely well engineered car which the Indian market had not seen till then. Now some of the early users of the car did not understand the way the fuel gauge was calibrated and they got the impression that it its a fuel guzzling car.

That perception got created with some users but the competition took advantage of that and blew it out of proportion. Eventually the car was a huge looser and whatever forecasts were made went south.

As a product manager or a marketing manager you have to keep an eye on the perception that is getting created and handle it, because once its made, it is not easy to brush off and it becomes reality.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Time is a relative term – Good or Bad

arrogance, ego, Karma, Time

I think it was Einstein who spoke about time being short or long depending on the relative situation. If you were with you “girlfriend” it would seem shorter and if you were sitting on a hot stove, it would feel so long before you could switch off the stove.

I have a different take on time. Not to contradict Einstein. But thinking of time in a totally different way. After spending more than 50 years on earth, I have realised life goes through different phases like the weather. And they happen to everyone, like the weather.

When things go wrong with us, we tend to blame others for some trigger or the other. Suddenly the people who caused that trigger to happen, become “BAD” people. My take is most people are not bad. Its the specific “time” of our life which is good or bad. And times change, like weather changes.

The other way of also looking at this is that, when we like to transfer the blame of something, anything, to someone else….it means that we don’t have faith in ourselves. And till you don’t have faith in yourself, you will never learn the lesson which life teaches you. And life will keep giving you those lessons till you learn the lesson. The more arrogant you are about things, or bigger the ego, the more difficult it is to handle these things.

As Dan Sullivan says, till you learn the lesson, the “bad” thing which happened to you, the brain will keep relieving the issue and cause you more and more pain depending on the circumstance you are in. Once you decide to see what was the learning and how you will utilise the learning, the pain goes away.

NLP Professionals and Tony Robbins etc. have a different way of handling this issue. Some of it ], I have used and has worked. However Dan Sullivan’s rational explanation appeals most to my brain and therefore I have tried to utilise it more and more.

So “first lesson ” – Most people are good – times are good or bad and second, you can make BAD times – not so bad – if you get the learning out of the whole experience. Since times will change, anyway, its best to be equanimous in whatever situation you are and get the best out of it and bid for the time to change. As part of the Karmic cycle, I believe, when you do “good” even during these “bad” times the suffering is lesser and the change is faster.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

Calling out the elephant in the room – Assumptions -3

arrogance, Assumptions, ego, Leadership, Marketing, Product Management

Last 2 posts I had written on listing out the assumptions about your marketing plan or product management plan. I have gone into quite a bit of detail there.

I had no plans for writing a third post for this topic. I subscribe to the newsletter Knowledge@Wharton. I was surprised when I got the newsletter in the email today. The headline of the first item was…..Want to Become a better leader? Question your assumptions

It’s an article where the Dean at Wharton Erika James spoke with author and professor at Wharton Adam Grant on his new book Think Again; The Power of Knowing What you Don’t Know . As per the article , this book is about why executives should reconsider their approaches to manage people….

You can read the full article here.

Not listing out the assumptions for marketing I mentioned was a sign of either arrogance or ego or you just being too naive. Depending on the stage in my career I have been all the 3.

But after reading this I realized that what I thought was a good practice for marketing is also a good practice for leadership. Like in marketing if you let your arrogance or ego come in the way, so in leadership if you can’t see and accept that some assumptions that you are making can defeat your purpose then you are in a bad spot.

I haven’t read this book yet, but just the fact that this came up was very serendipitous. I am definitely going to be buying the book to look at how he thinks on the assumptions for leadership.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Calling out the elephant in the room – Assumptions – 2

arrogance, Assumptions, B2B, Business, ego, Marketing

For a background to this post, I would suggest you have a look at the fist part of the topic here

Not many know that the digital camera was first created by a team in Kodak. Whether you call it arrogance on the part of the managers at Kodak, who assumed that no one would want to buy such an expensive camera. What was assumed was that the technology would make it unviable for most folks to afford the camera.

No one thought that technology was following Moore’s law, where the power of the chip was roughly doubling every 18 odd months. A similar thing happened at Xerox who actually had designed the “mouse” long before it became a standard accessory. But they never moved forward on it.

It is said , the Swiss already knew about battery powered watches, much before the Japanese, but because they prided themselves on their engineering and movement, they never bothered taking a patent. Suddenly the Japanese were all over the place with watches leaving the Swiss, gasping for breadth. Again technology assumptions can go wrong very badly.

Brainstorming on the assumptions you are making and listing them, gets you grounded to think better. Also its a better idea to ask an outsider to check out your assumptions.

In marketing, because you are dealing with human perceptions, understanding and accounting for the assumptions can help you avoid expensive mistakes. In B2B scenarios where there are multiple people involved in a decision and there’s general inertia, not accounting for these assumptions can be fatal.. Its a good idea to keep asking ‘what else are we assuming”.

Like assuming that the person on the production line will easily adopt the new technology you are bringing in via the CIO and /or the CFO. More IT projects have failed because of these faulty assumptions than the problem with the technology itself.

Especially when you are making the marketing or sales plan at the beginning of the year, if you don’t account for these assumptions, very soon when you hit the road, all your plans will fall flat.

Don’t make the mistakes that I have done. Whenever you make a plan list out all the assumptions and make everyone aware about them so that collective wisdom can find a better solution.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!