When I entered the advertising business, I was mentored by a man named Joe Urey. Joe taught me that before creating an ad campaign, we had to do the research to find out if a market really existed. This research might include surveys, telemarketing or focus groups. Rarely did we embark on spending a clients budget until we knew the potential of the market.
Today with the faster, digital pace of business and companies looking for quick sales solutions in a down economy, I'm seeing a lot of businesses chasing new markets perceived on a hunch. With little or no research, these companies are spending marketing dollars, in an attempt to open markets that may not even exist.
I'm reminded of the carpenters rule, "measure twice, cut once." In this very unusual economy, it is important to do your due diligence of research before you market. You need to know if a business is even currently open. You need to know if they can use your product or service and you need to know what the competition is doing. Failure to find this out can lead to expensive mistakes.
Frank Capra once said, “A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” My advice would be to make sure a hunch is telling you the right thing before you jump in with both feet.