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I’ll never forget a conversation I had with my graduate advisor my first semester as a sociology grad student. I had scheduled a meeting to discuss my first big research project with him and made the comment, “Well in my experience…”
He stopped me mid-sentence, his eyes got large, and he took a deep breath. “Listen to me,” he said. “Your personal experience is irrelevant here. You are not a representative sample.”
Sasha Pasulka published a brilliant post on Seattle 2.0 recently explaining how she learned this lesson firsthand. As she Tweeted about her plans to launch a new email newsletter, she was mocked by a friend who replied, “Welcome to 2003!” Despite her skepticism that her readers would voluntarily provide their email addresses, people signed up “in droves.”
Her conclusion, “I should have done this years ago. I did not, because I was thinking like me, and not like my market.”
We Marketers are Freaks of Nature
My eyes were really opened when I talked to a friend who runs a website for ranch and farm real estate brokers. He recently told me that every time he sends an email to his customers, his fax machine goes nuts with responses.
Originally From ‘Don’t Confuse Your Personal Experience With Good Strategy’| Published July 21, 2010
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