07 March 2006

Don't make assumptions about what everyone knows.

Watching TV with my younger son a few weeks ago, there was an ad for eBay.

"A waste of money," says he, "everyone has heard of eBay."

Surprisingly for him, the answer is no. eBay is the world's largest auction site and not everyone has heard of it, although it is well-known within his circle. Even if people have heard of eBay, they may not be aware of the range of auctions that take place. If we assume that everyone knows what we know, and thinks what we think, then we are making assumptions which aren't necessarily accurate.

We recommend that all our clients undertake some research to test the validity of their assumptions. It's important and it can prevent expensive mistakes, providing it's undertaken early enough. Research is an important area and I'll go into it in another post, but the only thing that the budget should determine is the amount of research and the techniques used. It is very often possible to get close to a commercial truth without doing large scale testing.

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