Welcome!! This is the first blog to accompany the free marketing tutorials. I’m going to do one of these with each tutorial to try and give some background or understanding of WHY we are doing the tutorial and what we are trying to find out. The exercises I have created are quite simplistic and you might wonder why on earth I am asking you to do them – hopefully the blog will explain.

The first thing we are going to do is try and get a better understanding of the business. If we want to move to a certain destination, the first thing we need to know is where we are now.

This first exercise is about identifying myths that exist within your business – and if necessary, ‘busting’ them. These are preconceptions you have about all manner of different things – your sales, your customers, the market in general. We have opinions about all sorts of different things – it may be a particularly vocal customer who skews your understanding of what are your most popular products, it may be an rumour you have heard in the office that you take as a fact and it stays in your head. At some point these opinions turn into myths and ultimately, they can affect your decision making. We have to identify these myths, question them and see if they true or not.

I used to work in a business where our decisions were governed by ‘everyone’ and ‘no-one’. In our weekly trading meeting, the discussion was built around ‘lets do a certain promotion, everyone always goes for it’ or ‘no, we won’t do that, no-one ever likes it’. It used to drive me mad every week. No data, no evidence, just generalisations. And then decisions made on the back of a hunch or a myth.

In the end, I used to write down these myths. After the meeting I would check them against the available data and email the rest of the team with the answers (it didn’t make me popular!). Tell them what the actual response was to a specific promotion or where the customers came from – so the next time that question came up we would have actual customer or sales data that would allow us to make a better decision.

That is the exercise here. Have a think about the facts that you just take for granted about your business. Are they actually true? It may be something you found out a couple of years ago – is it still true or have things changed? Your customer profile, your sales mix – are they still the same or have they evolved. These are the things that you just automatically take as gospel about your business – just think, they might be wrong!  And if they are wrong, they are giving you a bum steer on your future decisions!

Go to the PowerPoint and write down five things that you think are true. Then go and check the facts.  Record whether its true or not, and if not, what is that truth. Don’t stop at five either. If you are busting these myths, then keep thinking of more and keep trying to bust them. The more you bust, the better shape you will be in.  

TIP – if there are a number of people in your business to discuss this with, then this is a good group exercise, maybe something you can do on a Zoom call – that is how all of these exercises have been designed – accessible on your own, but better in a team.

Now go to tutorial page and download Tutorial 1. There is also a link to a short video on Youtube that might help. Good luck!!

Chris Perkins is a Part Time Director, working with clients to provide marketing leadership, strategy and direction in a cost effective and affordable way. This course has been designed as a FREE to access resource to enable SME business owners and teams to create a workable business plan through a series of simple exercises.

If you require further help to manage your marketing strategy and execution, please email chris@oneobjective.co.uk