Jordan Ogren

May 31, 2021

You are not your customer.

“I hate reading long form blogs. Let’s do short videos instead!”

I’ve made this mistake a hundred times:

Assuming your preferences are your customers. They’re not.

The quicker you can uncover this bias, the faster you can begin making better decisions.

The example above is around content choice, but think about how many decisions we make every day about our customers.
  • “They won’t read long copy.”
  • “They want visuals.”
  • “They only want ketchup and lettuce, no onions or pickles.”

How many times do we stop and think if it’s our preferences driving these decisions?

(I prefer only ketchup)

This bias can do even more harm when it leaks into product/business decisions. It creates a sticky situation.

So how can you avoid this bias? Use awareness.

Realize if you have strong preferences around the thing you’re deciding on.
  • If you do, then you need to make sure you’re putting them to the side.
  • If you don’t, then allow your initial thoughts to influence your decision.

The next thing to do is let customer research or general data drive your thoughts around your decision. 

If you are updating your website, use insights from your current customers and prospects to lead your decisions. 

Also, use insights from other high-performing websites to influence your decisions.

Don’t let your strong preference for having images in your hero block lead your decision. Your prospects may rather have only words that clearly articulate your value proposition.

One tip I recently read from Thomas from Ariyh’s newsletter to avoid this bias is to have a sticky note on your desk that reads:

“My preferences ≠ ACME’s customer preferences”

Every time you write a sales email or make a decision, this sticky note will remind you to put your preferences, if strong, to the side.

As you know, making a decision based on hard data is best.

But many marketing decisions are steeped in subjectivity where data is hard to find.

And in those decisions, be aware of your bias, and make the best decision in light of that.

🧠 // JO