Mindset Hack: Eliminating Fear of the Unknown

If history has taught us anything, it is that, initially, most humans resist change. Change scares us because it means trying new things with an unknown result instead of resting on the comforts of what we are already familiar with. It’s only when we ask ourselves how we might improve something or are curious if something new would work, that we tap into the innovative spirit that is in all of us.

  • Why would you want to trade in your horse and carriage for a train or driving machine that burns gas?
  • Why would you want to pay to ship a package overnight when you can mail it for less money?
  • Why would you want to email a document when you can fax it in fewer steps?

In each example, there is an established norm and a perceived disruption of something new and unfamiliar. The perceived disruptor brainstorms how to make something easier, better, faster, less expensive, scalable and/or more profitable. Then the disruptors proceed to build a proof of concept and test market their idea. The disruptors aren’t built differently from most people, but they don’t let fear of the unknown stop them from proceeding if proceeding is deemed doable.

I don’t believe that trying new things or change requires everyone to be open-minded or curious by nature. That goes against our human instincts for survival. But it does all boil down to mindset, and mindsets can be hacked, on purpose, to help facilitate growth no matter how great the resistance is to try something new.

The mindset hack is to understand that there is always at least one particle of possibility that trying something new can work or something that exists could be improved in one way, shape or form. No matter if it’s one or 1 million particles of possibility.

In direct marketing, trying something new and deciding if it makes sense to explore comes down to a projection budgeting exercise. How do you calculate projected results to know if moving forward is worth the effort? Just plug in the numbers and do some math and massage the numbers until the key performance indicators (KPIs) are where you want them to be considering response rates (RR) for each audience type. Direct marketers usually consider a sale as a response. But you may consider a click on an ad or web form submit as a response. Just note that in those circumstances, the RRs would be higher.

Budgeting Example

Let’s say you wanted to see how sending a postcard mailer to three core audience segments would impact sales and how many pieces you would need to send to achieve your sales goal while staying around 10% cost of marketing (COM).

In this example, if the goal was to not go over a 10% COM, we could say that we have the best chance of success with the lead nurture and current customer audiences with a 6×9 postcard. Therefore, looking at the median range of lead nurture campaign projections, it could gross $84,750 for a $6,600 spend or net $78,150. That is a great return on investment (ROI)! Even better with the current customer audience.

If you have already calculated the cost of acquisition for a new customer, those metrics could help tell a different story for the lead gen campaign if there is a higher COM KPI for that audience. Looking at a campaign or program possibility through an analytical lens, the path forward becomes quite clear. If your organization needs help illuminating the path forward for your 2023 marketing plan, let’s talk.

Jenny Lassi • September 14, 2022

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