“Well, I’ve never experienced that.”
It is a powerful and dangerous little sentence,
and one that is used rather frequently.
Most often it is used as a dismissive, conversation ending statement intended to essentially invalidate the statement of another.
That’s the powerful part.
It shows to others that you do not value insight, input, or different perspectives. It shows that you are willing to overlook data that does not apply to you.
Business and marketing plans require stats, data and projections. These are a key part of the plan and must be considered and included to rationale, viability, and success. Each initiative, tactic and campaign should include ROI (return on investment) predictions, and they must be based on valuable data.
But understand that even with this they may not be approved because while data, calculations and references are critical, they mean nothing if the overall idea does not resonate with the person reading it. If they haven’t “experienced” something like it, it’s a non-starter.
People know that data and stats can be manipulated. They understand that facts can be skewed based on context. And many know that analysis is interpretations and is only as good as the person doing the analysis.
Human nature is to find assimilation, resonance. They respond to what they can relate to.
When you say you haven’t experienced something, you say you don’t have experience, and you are unwilling to view something with a different perspective or an open mind.
You may have the final say, to approve a plan, a budget or address an issue, but the impression you leave last longer.
That’s the dangerous part.
Marketing requires dancing that powerful and dangerous sentence, understanding what your targeted audience will relate to, and more importantly, will respond to. Unless you are also in that targeted audience, or all of the segmented audiences for that matter, you will not have the same perspective as the audience. Therefore you cannot dismiss the message or the messenger.
You muse be able to market with an open mind, a variety of perspectives, and test all your tactics to see what resonates best, and when.