Tearing Up Your 2020 Plan – Part II: How to Find What’s Changing, for Whom, and How

This is a strategy from Tearing Up Your 2020 Plan:

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Audience Intelligence

Your job as a marketer is to figure out the audience that can and will still pay for what you provide.

There's sort of three ways to get at this. This has been classically true, but it's certainly still true. And I think a lot of companies are paying attention to this. I've seen a ton of surveys and usage data analysis recently.

surveys interviews usage data


Surveys basically allow you to ask a large group of people the questions that don't go too far in depth. You know, this is good for light multiple choice. It's good for true or false. It's not great for getting depth, it is great for getting breath.

So you can ask people how they've been affected and how much?

Whether your customers are businesses or whether they are consumers, you can figure out who is hit harder or softer and how, and you can figure out things people are switching to in their behaviors.


Absolutely anytime I do a survey, I want to do interviews as well, because I need that color, depth, and gradation of reality to make the survey-- to put the survey data in context and help me understand that.

I always urge folks who are trying to understand their audience, understand their customers behavior, to also do a few in-depth interviews that could just be a phone call-- a five minute, ten minute phone call.

  • What's changed in your life?
  • Where are you struggling?
  • Has our product helped you and how?
  • What are you doing differently with our products that you weren't before?

Those types of questions are really superb.

For many, there will be answers that give you insight into what you can change and shift and how you can shift your marketing messages to better reach people.

Usage Data

  • Which referral source is still performing for you?
  • What content performs better versus worse now?
  • What features or products are resulting in repeat purchases that potentially have changed?

These things will almost certainly be different now than they were three months ago.

Key Takeaways

So as attention goes online even more, my sort of roadmap for this is:

  • I need to figure out where they pay attention.
  • I've got to discover those messages that resonate
  • I want to market in those places with those messages.
  • I want to do some experimentation!

There has never been a better time to go ask your boss, your team (especially if it's an organic non cost investment-- it's a time investment), “Hey, I want to try this thing, can we see if this works?”

Crises bring out the experimental nature of leadership. They're willing to try things that they weren't before.

Up Next: Part III: Estimating Demand for Your Business During COVID-19

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