Learn the Science Behind Better Business with Lauren Kress, The Business Scientist and her guests.
Charting on iTunes in Australia, the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and more, this podcast series was created to make professional business and marketing advice accessible to business owners around the world.
Each week Lauren speaks with industry leaders to debunk business and marketing myths that remain prominent despite the evidence and could be limiting the full potential of you and your business.
If the world was your oyster...where would you take your business?
Business Science for Brand Growth: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Business Science?
It can be fascinating to look at the etymology of words from our everyday language today.
The word "science" is suspected to have originated the Proto-Indo-European root word skie- meaning "to cut, split" - becoming scire which means "to know" - probably originally "to seperate one thing from another, to distinguish".
Since the late 14th Century, Science has meant "collective human knowledge" but more specifically knowledge gained by systematic observation, experiment and reasoning.
"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world."
- Louis Pasteur
To govern and lead a business, we must always carve out time to put our labcoat on and observe, reflect, think and experiment.
Why? Because if we want to be in a position to predict outcomes we need to use the scientific method - which has been designed and perfected to eliminate bias, establish knowledge and make reliable predictions.
Without the scientific method and time to think slowly, our understanding is limited and dependent on the cognitive biases and assumptions that our brain uses to think fast, react and navigate most decisions we make automatically.
Whether we are leading a business of 1, 5, 50, 5000 or 50,000, our responsibility is to ensure that we are making the best decisions to serve our purpose.
Business Science applies the scientific method to gather and interpret information in order to turn it into business intelligence.
Did you know?
The number one priority for CEOs when it comes to data collection is in relation to customers' and clients' preferences and needs, however, only 15% find their current data comprehensive!
What is the scientific method?
The Scientific Method is a Framework we use to answer a question based on empirical evidence.
It will help you stop and think about what you need to do in your business to start gathering and analysing information in a way that will be most useful to your business.
Here's the steps:
Step 1: Ask a Question
A simple step that is so often overlooked! When it comes to marketing to understand clients' and customers' needs you need to make sure you're not just diving straight into the raw data to try to tease out an answer.
At the Change Makers our focus is to ask:
What questions do we have to be able to answer so you can attract and serve your ideal customers?
When we work with clients and stop to think about this step we often find that what was being measured isn't necessarily valid for answering the questions that stem from this.
Step 2: Research Existing Sources
The keywords here are BENCHMARK & CURRENT BEST PRACTICE.
Look at reliable information for what's happening "out there" in your industry.
Without knowing what is going on in your industry - how do you know what is "good", "normal" or "bad"?
And how do you know whether something is a priority for innovation or chugging along just fine?
Most importantly how do you know what outcomes to expect in order to determine the amount of time and money you invest?
Step 3: Formulate a Hypothesis
Now it's time to play a guessing game!
What's your BEST guess of what to expect based on the research and data you've gathered?
Based on benchmarks and best practice, what's your prediction for what you need to do - and what will happen as a result?
Document this hypothesis - this is what you're going to be proving is either true or false - because now we're ready to experiment.
Step 4: Experiment Design & Recording of Results
Depending on what your question is (and your budget too!) - there's also sorts of ways this can go.
You could be testing advertising on Facebook to find what content most appeals to your market.
You could be running a Beta test of an app you've developed.
You could be trying out a new sales script.
The key with any experiment you run is you need to have 3 things:
1) An Indepentent Variable
This is what you are testing - like the new sales script or the email headline
2) A Dependent Variable
This is what is changing because of the independent variable - like the number of sales made or the number of emails opened.
3) A Control
This is what you use to see if there is a significant difference between what you usually do and the new thing you are doing - in business, we usually use baseline data for this (eg. sales made using the old sales script or how many email opens we usually get)
Sometimes our data sets will be too small to determine whether there is what we call a "statistically significant difference" between our test and our baseline or control, so we need to make sure we think about when this is appropriate and how much weight we put on the results of these experiments.
Step 5: Draw Conclusions
Ok, so now we've got all this data - what do we make of it? Are there other explanations for what we observed during our experiment? How does this inform what we do moving forward?
Again, with our focus at The Change Makers on helping you to attract and serve your ideal clients - we look at how the experiment we've run informs the related question we established right at the beginning.
From here we then look at how we can use this information to establish optimal standard operating procedures for your business to continue growing.
Step 6: Report & Debrief
The final piece of the puzzle is to document everything so that what we've learnt becomes part of your business intelligence and think about how we can continue to deepen this knowledge with ongoing practices for continued improvement and innovation
78% of scientists and engineers not working in their field voluntarily choose to leave and nearly 50% of those who voluntarily leave are more likely to become entrepreneurs and start their own business.
How do I get more customers?
Marketing is HARD and there's no silver bullet or "one-size-fits-all" approach when it comes to attracting your ideal clients.
But the good news is, marketing is a science - and there are empirical laws that are already established for how we best attract your ideal clients.
As discussed by Professor Byron Sharp and his colleagues in his book "How Brands Grow" there are 7 rules for brand growth that we all need to consider when growing our businesses - and these are industry agnostic.
Whilst there are undeniably differences in the tactics we employ within different industries and consumer insights amongst different groups of people - how brands grow is realted to how our brain works.
What are these 7 rules? They are:
1) Continuously reach all buyers – avoid being silent
2) Make it is easy and hassle-free to buy / engage services - Articulate how the brand fits with the users life
3) Get noticed - grab attention and focus on brand salience
4) Refresh and build memory structures - use accessible, relevant language so it is easy to integrate your brand with existing knowledge
5) Create and use distinctive brand assets - use sensory cues to get noticed and stay top of mind (logos, colours, taglines, audio, ambassadors)
6) Be consistent - avoid unnecessary changes, whilst keeping the brands fresh and interesting
7) Stay competitive - keep the brand easy to engage and avoid giving excuses not to engage
Did you know?
Brand marketing doesn't just apply to business-to-consumer products and services.
When it comes to business-to-business products and services, growing your brand ie. your business reputation relies on becoming familiar, recognisable and memorable for your customers.
Even your word-of-mouth referrals depends on having cues and assets to help people remember who you are, what you do and easily put a person in touch with you to find out more - whether that be via your business card, LinkedIn profile, website or email address.
Think: If my customers don't know about me, they can't find me and can't easily access my services - how can they work with me?
Do we need to be on social media?
Depending on the stage and size of your business, there are lots of considerations we need to make to answer this question.
If you'd like some help with this or a smiliar question like - "do we need a website?" Or "do we need a search strategy?" You're welcome to book in an introductory phone call with Lauren Kress, The Business Scientist.
During this call, Lauren will help you to identify how you can connect with your customers so you can start getting some runs of the board with your clients.
To get started you can also download our free resource: 3 Steps You Must Take to Become a Market Leader.
"Brand" is a word that is often ill-defined and poorly understood - even amongst many so-called brand and marketing experts.
In essence, the simplest and most practical way to think about brand is to replace the word "brand" with "business reputation" because the concept is the same - but reputation is a word we're all familiar with and use commonly from a young age.
So, now thinking about your reputation - as you probably already know and have experienced, there are many strategies you can implement in order to grow a positive business reputation amongst your market - including positive word-of-mouth, referrals, direct sales, video marketing, events, media... anything that positively or negatively contributes to your business reputation is what we care about when it comes to brand and brand strategy.
Another core principle to understand when it comes to brand is that your brand is inextricably linked to your business culture.
Businesses that fail to deliver on the promises they make to their customers are heavily at risk of damaging their reputation and losing market share.
On the other hand businesses that deliver fantastic results, but aren't effective at implementing marketing practices to encourage positive brand growth are likely to be losing out to competitors that are more proactive in market and have bigger resources to invest in their growth.
That's why at The Change Makers we focus on how your business can both ATTRACT AND SERVE your ideal clients - not just one or the other.
In fact, many of the businesses we work with are already delivering fantastic value to their clients - they get great results and exceed their clients' expectations.
The problem? They aren't leveraging these results to go beyond word-of-mouth referral.
That means slow growth over several years, which can cripple many new and established businesses particularly if there are strong competitors in their market.
If you're looking for ideas for what you can leverage to grow your brand and market share, access our brand growth diagnostic tool.
What services do you provide at The Change Makers?
We help consultants, coaches and professional service businesses attract and serve their ideal clients using science.
We do this by first and foremost finding out whether we are a good fit to deliver on your objectives via our application form and introductory phone call which you can complete and book via this link.
There are four programs we offer to our clients:
1) 1-on-1 Coaching & Mentoring
This is generally suitable for business owners and startups in micro or small businesses who are looking to find the best ways to get more customers whilst dealing with a limited budget.
If you want to learn how to become the brand expert within your own business, then this is most likely going to be the best option for you.
2) Time to Grow: Brand Transformation (Signature Service 1)
This program is designed specifically for ambitious entrepreneurs and scaling businesses who want to put their best foot forward to become a market leader in their industry or niche.
Businesses and entrepreneurs that will benefit from this signature service have probably already been through an accelerator program, worked with a business coach or completed an online learning program or masterclass to develop their MVP or minimum viable offer and start getting sales through the door.
The keyword here is: consolidation - bringing it all together.
This process is about taking a deep dive into everything that the entrepreneur and their team has learnt in order to create a roadmap to scale in the most cost effective, time effective and sustainable way.
3) Time to Fix This: Brand Turnaround (Signature Service 2)
This service is for established businesses at risk of losing market share, failing to acquire customers, dealing with bad clients and maintaining (or losing) revenue year-on-year.
For these businesses there is a sense of sluggishness, inertia, overwhelm, stress and lack of direction.
The keyword here is: innovation - breaking bad habits.
This process is about thinking outside the box, agreeing on what needs to change and piloting new ideas to grow the business.
To be a part of this program, clients must be ready to draw a line in the sand and be committed to making the change.
4) Done for You Services: Launches, Rebrands & Campaign Management
This is for businesses and organisations with an allocated budget for a specific brand or marketing initiative such as a product launch, event or activity.
After our initial discussion, if we each agree that we are a good fit for one another, then we will put together your proposal outlining your recommended strategy and methodology, action plan, timeline and required resources for us to achieve your outlined objectives.
Our Done for you Services Include:
Case Study Development
Business & Marketing Performance Analysis
Content & SEO Audits
Writing (including medical writing & technical writing)
Email marketing & automation
Media & PR
Social Media Community Management
SEM (including PPC) & SEO
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