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‘Begin with the end (user) in mind’ a lesson from the late, great Stephen Covey.

I was very saddened a few days ago to learn that world-renowned author and speaker Stephen Covey passed away at the age of 79. It seems he could not recover from a complication stemming from a recent bicycle accident.

A picture of me and my wife with Stephen Covey at a Marriage Conference

Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ had a profound influence on my life. I posted on my personal Facebook page that outside of God, my mom and playing basketball, Stephen Covey and his 7 Habits book had the most powerful influence in shaping my ‘paradigm’.

All of the habits are of course necessary and there is no ‘one, more important than the other’ however I want to focus on the second habit for this post ‘Begin with the end in mind’.  I have tweeked it just a bit to include the end ‘user’ in mind. I believe this habit should always be applied before you embark on a marketing strategy or new product/service of any kind. The reason that it has such a powerful impact is that, when you take this approach and begin with the ‘end user’ the focus shifts from what you want to ‘sell’ to what the consumer wants to ‘buy’.

Beginning with the end in mind for a business marketing / advertising campaign forces you to look at the consumer first, and ask those key questions, what does that user expect to get from this? It forces you to channel everything you do, to match the expectations of your end-user so that you achieve your highest conversion rate.

It sounds a bit mechanical when I refer to a sale or a transaction as a conversion rate, but think about it, what good is 1,000 people coming to your store, or website or social media page if they don’t engage with you or ‘convert’ because you don’t understand their true wants and needs?

In his book Covey uses this habit for personal growth. Beginning each day with the end in mind is about a mental focus and clarity that uses goals and timelines to keep on that path, to not only endure but to enjoy the journey, knowing that you’re headed in the right direction.

In business, it’s more about the ‘end’ result based on the ‘end-user’. Doing everything each day based on the way your prospects and customers perceive you, and what they expect from you. At our agency, our first question to every advertiser is ‘what or who is your target market’? Knowing who you believe will not only make the buying decision for your product or service, but who will be the biggest influencer (thus bringing in other buyers) is the key to a well-crafted campaign.

From here you can find the right media mix, creative approach, benefits sought, etc so that your message resonates loud and clear with your target. Instead of crafting a message that makes you ‘look’ good based on the businesses’ view, it makes you look based on your constituents view.
Begin with the end ‘user’ in mind, and you will reap the rewards for it, and keep the legacy of Stephen Covey alive and well!

 

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