To Succeed in Marketing,
Try Proving Yourself Wrong
I would be flattering myself were I to open with, “As you may recall from my last post…” It’s not as if you have nothing better to do than read my posts, much less remember what I said in the last one.
So I shall refresh your memory. I promised to share a few tips for determining, in advance, if your marketing program will succeed. Here goes.
Tip Number 1: Try to prove yourself wrong.
I can hear Positive Mental Attitude aficionados the world over grinding their teeth. Such negative talk! But if you truly want to get to the facts, you’re better off seeking to prove your hunches wrong than right.
Here’s why. People tend to see what they want to see. Consider an overweight, balding man. Now suppose he thinks he’s young and virile. (Come on, admit it. You and I know people like that. Maybe we have even been “people like that” ourselves.) Now, if our friend gazes in the mirror with the intent of proving to himself that he “still has it,” there is a good chance that he will see exactly what he hopes to see.
That is why you should seek to prove yourself wrong. If your idea survives every challenge you throw at it, there’s a good chance you’re on to something viable.
Take, for instance, the Germ Theory of Disease. An early way someone tried to prove it wrong was by boiling linens and washing hands to show that infection rates wouldn’t go down. Except, infection rates did go down. Later, when microscopes were invented, someone tried to prove the theory wrong by showing there were no too-small-to-see-with-the-naked-eye critters. But it turned out that there were such critters, and plenty of them. And so it went. After failure upon failure to disprove it, the Germ Theory of Disease became pretty well ensconced.
Want to know if your marketing idea will work? Try proving it won’t. If you succeed, you’ll be glad you found out before wasting money on it. But if you cannot prove it wrong no matter what you throw at it, you can proceed with a heightened degree of confidence.