I looked out of our kitchen window onto the razed earth of our back garden and thought this is a good metaphor for businesses that use marketing.
Why? I hear you shout as if in unison...
I'm glad you asked me.
Our back garden is vast and shaded by Blackley forest to our left and our neighbours to the right.
Plus United Utilities (our mains water company) were kind enough to flood the whole thing last March to a depth of about 2 feet. And although they replaced the turf it still hasn't returned to its strident overall greenness.
The result is a patchwork of lovely green grass and accusing brown patches that stubbornly refuse to go away.
Now, if I was a company that simply "did marketing" I would spread more grass seed and expect things to improve. Rather like companies pay for more adverts, more pay per click campaigns or more email or direct mail campaigns.
That is assumptive thinking: no sales lets do more of what we've done before, or what other people do.
In the case of my lawn I've investigated the reason and I know that the bare patches correspond to pathway that United Utilities didn't take up when they re-laid the lawn. So in this case the answer is to remove the paving slabs, re-turf the bare patches so all is sorted.
That is research-based thinking: lets find out the root cause and address it. In the marketing arena it means finding out why a target market isn't buying it. And do you know sometimes it's because they don't actually want it?
If you were a marketing company which would you do?