Great marketers are separated from good marketers by their level of Market Perception – theirability to spot emerging needs of customers and trends within their industry. This capability can mean the difference between eeking out sales each year or banking big profits. How's your Market Perception?
Are you observing the shifts in your industry as they're happening and while they're hot – or are you jumping on the bandwagon when the market is saturated and the opportunity to lead and succeed has all but dried up?
Business moves fast. Successful marketers can identify and seize important opportunities that are invisible to most.
Over the years, several fascinating studies have examined our ability to pick up on our surroundings, as well as our (in)ability to notice one thing while paying attention to something else. Perhaps the most famous of these is Dan Simon’s Selective Attention Test. (Don't read ahead - spoilers!)
It's astounding to think we could miss something so obvious right in front of our eyes, but there’s no arguing that it happens. Compare the original above to a more fully produced version below of the video Professor Simon did for a conference. Now that you know what to look for, you can't not see the visitor in the video!
So how does this study apply to us as marketers?
By now, it should be abundantly clear that focusing your energy on one thing can distract you from the big picture.
Every industry changes over time. How well are you picking up on those incremental shifts in your business? Are you ahead of the curve? Behind? Do you spot trends or read about them after they've been identified and acted on by someone else? What would it mean to your own level of success if you were the one being quoted in or even writing those ground-breaking articles?
On a smaller scale, how well do you pick up on the changes in priorities that your clients are dealing with? Consider the questions they're asking you now, as compared to the questions they used to ask you. In other words, they're pointing right at the gorilla. Are you seeing it? If you give these clues the attention they deserve, they can make all the difference.
For example, have there been any personnel changes at your clients’ offices lately? Often a shift in management can bring a shift in priorities. Looking for those clues helps you build loyalty. It shows that you’re paying attention to the big picture for your client and not just your personal sales goals.
There’s a lot of talk in business circles these days about focusing your efforts on specific targets, and that’s good advice. But focusing your efforts should never mean restricting your field of vision. Pay attention to the little things and you can grow them into big successes.