The Danger of Self-Reference Criterion

The Danger of Self-Reference Criterion

John Haggard

One of the biggest problems in all marketing campaigns is failing to get ourselves OUT of the way and allowing our opinions to unduly influence our thought processes.

Projecting One’s Own Opinion and Experience Can Be a Very Costly Mistake

In the marketing arena, self-reference criterion is using one’s own opinion and experiences to project how others will react to a commercial or marketing campaign. This is a very costly mistake. Just because a business owner doesn’t like a particular media campaign that is presented for marketing approval does not mean that others won’t like the campaign and buy the product being advertised.

We must remember that in our businesses, we are NOT the buyer. Just because we think the campaign won’t be effective does not mean it won’t be wildly successful to those who are in the market to buy.

See a short video presentation here.

How To Know If An Idea Is A Good Idea?

Now, this does not mean that every idea presented is a good idea. You are the owner of your brand and ultimately responsible for its success. But if a marketer is presenting an idea to you that you are not particularly crazy about, you can ask these questions to get a better handle on whether you should proceed with the idea, modify the idea, or “can” the idea:

  1. Has this concept worked for anyone else, and if so, who?
  2. If the concept is truly original (and very few are), what market research (or focus-group testing) has been done to predict the likelihood of success?
  3. If the idea does NOT work, THEN what?
  4. If the idea is so good, why hasn’t it been done before now?
  5. Are you (the media vendor) willing to share in the financial cost of the idea if it doesn’t work?