Data and I have not been on the best of terms . I have been told I operate from my gut 🙂 I am anecdotal.
Gandhi has been one of my marketing inspirations ! ( you will know why later in the post )
Heading sales teams I always leaned on gut feeling to turn around loss making businesses.
I observe , almost like a fly on the wall.
I saw the sales team focused on targets rather than the person in front of them.
I took away the money target and set a friendship target for my sales team .
“Make a friend” I said. And things turned.
I am fascinated by human interactions and I can get into the shoes of those I observe , literally.
Many of the actions I took to choose a particular direction were from gut feel .
They turned right , saved time.
Intuition is that feeling in the gut that nudges you to move in a direction.
Sometimes it is the warning of a change that is about to happen.
As a marketeer with over 30+ years in the field I would have encountered many situations.
They are stored in subconscious mind.
I believe it is this subconscious mind at play along with the creative side of the brain.
Observing that which is not even yet expressed by a consumer as they have no reference point is what my strength has been.
Steve jobs is an example of an marketeer who operated from intuition .
He said “I began to realise that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis.”
What could be the reference for an iPod ? or an iphone ?
The story of Dmart an India version of Walmart unfolds with observation of how women in urban India shopped.
Every grocery (kirana) store in India had incidentally a man on the counter and he knew the entire family and their purchase history.
These kirana owners have a super computer stored in their brain.
They remember every member of the family and also what each one prefers.
When my wife calls her local kirana store owner he recognises her with just voice .
He knows her purchase needs even before she would tell him.
This is the reason new generation of Indian women from traditional joint family homes would prefer to remain anonymous while they shop freely.
A kirana store owner is a threat to that privacy of shopping.
That is the secret sauce of Dmart , women and men get to shop freely anonymously without a sales man or woman hovering over you.
You are left to take your time while shopping.
This is freedom for the women from traditional joint family homes in India .
It also helps to cut costs for Dmart.
They recruit a few employees and they are local , from the lower income strata . There is another story on why they do this .
This is pure observation the founder got by visiting kirana stores. No data , no market research. Pure old school observation and hunch.
I heard him speak about this and why he does not consider data based research in his decisions.
Similarly there was the Liril soap AD where a young woman is bathing under the waterfall, having fun in a bikini.
Alyque had this observation of changing times and women in India seeking time for self , having fun , being liberated from tradition.
There was simply no reference in all the cases , no data to back.
I belong to the school of marketeers who has strong observation, empathy and intuition.
It helps me and my clients cut time with innovations.
Many times I have taken calls contrary to data because simply there is no reference point.
Any new creation or idea would not have a reference for how consumers would behave.
Gandhi used ‘non violent resistance’ as a way to fight colonial occupation.
He could mobilise masses and let the British with little room to counter such an agitation.
It was called Satyagraha (fighting for the truth).
This was a brilliant marketing strategy and had no reference from the past.
All struggles had been violent till then.
Gandhi was a great observer and he had strong intuition.
Every leader and innovator has this quality of operating from intuition and taking what is calculated risks.
Is there a way to build intuition? Or is it a gift ?
I feel everyone has this natural capability, we lose it by
1. Not being open
2. Not trusting our gut feel
3. Not taking calculated risks
We restrict possibilities by being closed . I have trusted intuition in my marketing.
What is your opinion?