Curse of Knowledge

by Scott Harris

As an entrepreneur, you live, breath, eat, and dream your business.  You know your industry better than anyone else and are an expert in your field.  Knowledge is power, but it can also be a curse.

It can be a curse because knowing something so intimately makes it difficult for you to put yourself in the shoes of a less informed person who lacks knowledge about your business and industry.  This can cause you to assume they have the base knowledge to quickly comprehend your more nuanced marketing message.

For example, a marketing automation company could feature a “drip program” in their messaging to prospects. But if prospect for marketing automation services doesn’t know much about marketing automation terminology this message would be very ineffective.  For those without a deep knowledge of marketing automation, a drip program refers to lead nurturing campaign sending “automated emails to nurture non sales-ready leads.” In this example, the marketing automation company has assumed prospects know what drip marketing is, but the reality is many propects may not know this terminology so their message is meaningless to the uninformed. The curse of knowledge has struck!

What should you do to combat this?  You should…

…Break free from your knowledge bubble!

Get feedback from people who haven’t been exposed to your industry or business concept and learn about their hot buttons.  Discover the incorrect assumptions you’re making about their understanding of what you do. This is especially helpful for new industries.

The curse of knowledge is a wicked thing for entrepreneurs.  A fresh set of eyes is your best defense. Be sure your business branding and marketing activities are understood by the least knowledgeable common denominator.  Knowledge is power, so empower your customers with the base of knowledge they need to embrace your marketing message and become your customer!