Dealing with Confirmation Bias in Marketing & Advertising

Hands shield "belief" written in wooden blocks from several "facts" written in wooden blocks as a representation of confirmation bias.Data-driven marketing and advertising is vital to ensure your time, effort, and money spent has the biggest impact. But is your data wrong? Are your marketing strategies based on false assumptions and bias? In our last episode of the enVisioning Success podcast, Objective Over Personal: The Science of Avatar Creation, co-hosts Julia and Laura touch on confirmation bias from a market research perspective. Today we’re going to expand on that, looking at the confirmation bias in marketing and advertising and how many companies can be suffering from it without even knowing.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

You’re operating under a confirmation bias when you’re letting your beliefs and values skew the information you’re viewing and acting on. If you’re cherry-picking data that supports your views, ignoring data that doesn’t support your plans, or not digging deep enough on analytics because it backs your assumptions, you may be guilty of this bias. This is especially true around emotionally charged issues and desired outcomes, meaning it can hit business owners the hardest when they do all the marketing themselves.

How This Applies to Marketing

Like with many other things, your ability to market is determined by your time, expertise, and money. For many business owners, one of these three business resources is going to reign high above the other two. When we apply this imbalance to marketing, we can see one of three things:

  • Time Confirmation Bias: Many businesses just don’t have the time for marketing. So there’s a preference for “set-it-and-forget-it” marketing or using vendors. You need to regularly review marketing to see if it works, and a marketing partnership is the relation you need.
  • Expertise Confirmation Bias: You may have experience in (or been exposed to) only one type of marketing or one place to market your company. Getting an outsider’s take and business analysis via a marketing consultation is a good start for tackling this one.
  • Money Confirmation Bias: The old adage you can’t make money without spending money especially applies to marketing and advertising. A skilled marketing agency with an ad budget can massively increase your reach, website traffic, and leads online: it’s pay to win.

Dealing with Confirmation Bias by Marketing Type

Let’s apply some of these concepts on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve ever had marketing fail on one of these types of platforms—from unsuccessful ads to broken websites—chances are it was due to bias problems.

About the enVisioning Success Podcast

This article is based on topics discussed in enVisioning Success, our weekly podcast hosted by Vision CEO Laura DiBenedetto and COO Julia Becker Collins. In it, they discuss all things business and marketing, from lead generation to leadership. Find us on PodBean to download from your platform of choice, or subscribe to our mailing list to get new episodes and other news delivered directly to your inbox.

Every business and executive has their blind spots. If you’re worried that your failures in marketing are due to a lack of resources and compressive marketing, it’s time to talk to us at Vision Advertising. We can help you better understand your customers’ motivations and turn that into the marketing and advertising needed to find and bring them to you without the bias that can come from the tunnel vision of running a business. Contact us today to get started with a consultation.

Turning Motivations into Marketing: Understanding Customer Behavior<< >>The Marketing Analytics Behind Your Customer Journey

About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by his background, Alex writes “social media content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to whitepapers and beyond. In addition, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision’s clients, along with social media advertising for others. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, compiles tabletop roleplaying system conversions, and cooks a mean Chicken and Dumplings avec Peas. A videogame enthusiast, he is also developing his first video game with the startup game studio, Pretty Weird. He is terrible with plants*.

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