No, I’m not talking about a beer gut, those few extra pounds or getting punched in the gut here. I’m talking about using your gut for making decisions.
As a decision-making tool the gut is going the way of the dinosaurs. We have tons of data-gathering tools, tried and true strategies, proven formulas, accepted methods, case studies, training and “silver bullet” approaches that we can fall back on. If you show someone a truly new idea, often the response will be, “no one does that” or “I’ve never seen that work” or “that’s just crazy!”. Sometimes that’s great advice. Other times it’s just enough for us to push our ideas aside and to go back to the “tried-and-true”.
But Here’s The Problem…
The tried and true is not unique.
It won’t make you stand out.
Everyone else is trying it.
We’ve all seen it before.
There are often diminishing returns. Do you think a “tried and true” email headline had the same impact for the second person as it did for the 1 millionth marketer who used it?
Add 1 Part Gut
Combine tried and true approaches with your gut instinct that tells you people want something different. Add your unique spin on something. Address an audience that no one has addressed because your gut tells you they have an unmet need. If people didn’t use their guts there would be very little innovation. If you always look backward to make decisions about “forward”, then you’ll never break new ground.
What do you think?
Let me know what you think in the comments below. What’s your ideal blend of gut and data for best decision-making?
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Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.