Why Innovators Rely on Their Gut, Not Data

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Now, while more companies are turning to a data-centric approach to sales-and-marketing strategies, sometimes the ole “gut feeling” can turn out to be the ultimate success driver.

Take business executive Brenda Wu of SkinCeuticals, for example. She told me she had an “epiphany” while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room one day. She looked around and realized that her most engaged customers would likely be sitting in a room just like that. So, why not just sell skin care products there?

It was a simple move — but a smart and profitable one. Her vision of transforming white spaces of medical offices into retail magnets worked. The company now sells its products in doctor’s offices across the country.

While marketers and entrepreneurs may spend a lot of time these days looking at consumer data and trends, using the gut can sometimes also hold the secret to success. Here are four ways to do it. 

1. Think like your customers.

These days, we are looking to create personas and understand the customer experience — but what if we stop and think: Hey, I am the customer too! Think about why you decide to buy a product or use a service and keep asking “why” and “why” (again) until you better understand the true reason for making a purchase at a particular moment and how you felt about it before, during, and after that transaction.

2. Put down the data and start daydreaming again.

Easier said, I know. But take a break from looking at Google Analytics or sales numbers for a moment and use your imagination. Think about your business from a wider perspective and daydream about where you want to be headed next. This exercise can sometimes help you gain a better understanding about what future goals are most important to you.

3. Start following your role models.

It is never too late in your career to consider role models. Put a list together of some people who inspire you and push you to view the world differently. Start following these folks on LinkedIn or Twitter. Read their books or articles. It may help inspire you to make better decisions.

4. Try something new (and don’t be afraid to fail).

Thinking differently can led to growth and innovation. But sometimes you need to take risks or try something new in order to see different results. When it comes to your business, don’t be scared to try a new approach. 

Tech

Carol Humphreys