Assume, and you make an as…

…well you get the idea!


You may not know this phrase originates from the 70s US sitcom ‘The Odd Couple’, but you’ll have no doubt heard it before. You will also understand its fundamental logic that without at least the most basic research, you will invariably come unstuck at some point and end up with egg on your face, and no doubt mine as well!

This is definitely true of marketing and yet many either forget this lesson or wilfully cut corners to jump straight to the marketing communications. It is the cool and exciting lure of creating campaigns, social posts, video content, ads and literature which is often just too much for a lot of marketers.

If you take home anything from this, it is that marketing is more than just comms.

Marketing is not promotional fluff; it is business strategy stuff.


Simply put, never assume! Even if you’re the Marketing Manager, no, especially if you’re the Marketing Manager in fact, you should never assume, this is because:

  1. You are not the customer – as insightful as your experience with the product, brand or marketplace maybe, you are not the customer. Even if you would buy it, if you have bought it, if you are the right age or socioeconomic demographic – you are still not the customer. This is because your insider experience now means you are way too close to the product, brand or marketplace to have an objective opinion that would be constructive for marketing strategy.
  2. You are not a mind reader – you wouldn’t expect a waitress to know what you’d like to order without asking; she would no doubt get it wrong, you wouldn’t be happy, refuse to pay the bill and likely never go back again. The same is true for your potential customers if you just assume they want what your selling and at the price and package that you set. You will sell some, but not anywhere near what you’d need to be sustainable. Like the waitress, you are not a mind reader.
  3. You do not know everything – If you’re not familiar with the concept of Hubris, then any marketing who thinks they “know everything they need to know” needs to read up on it. They either naively believe it because they are poorly trained, or they knowingly pretend they know everything to the rest of the business to justify their existence, after all knowing the customer is their job right?


Strategy, Strategy, Strategy

And so it follows, that if you’re going to be a marketer, you need to have a strategy, one I would argue will need to be built from informed decisions following market research. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson recommends you follow a ‘Diagnosis, Strategy, Tactics’ approach. Here at Purple Robot, we use ‘Understand, Plan, Implement, Evaluate’.

Essentially they’re both saying the same thing; do your homework, plan for the next 12 months, THEN and only THEN, start to play with the fun of marketing comms. I would recommend an equal split between these phases; i.e. 33% of time and efforts on Diagnosis (understand), 33% of time and efforts on Strategy (plan), and finally 33% of time and efforts on Tactics (implement / evaluate).

Want to know more?

By way of further reading, I would highly recommend you find yourself a spare hour, perhaps with a cheeky Burrell’s Gin & Tonic from our friends over at South Ormsby Estate, and watch the thoroughly insightful Mark Ritson deliver his “On the Contrary” seminar. We should say his language is often colourful… you have been warned.


You can also give us a call on 01522 708 855 or drop us an email to discuss the marketing strategy for your business in more detail.