Evolution has granted us intuition: our ability to get an immediate perception of truth without relying on a reasoning process. It’s a fortunate gift. Indeed, evolution has always favored intuition over many other interesting skills because, as human beings, the two things that really mattered the most for our survival have been for thousands of years:
But evolution never sanctioned our tendency to see patterns and intentionality (also called agency ) also when there were none. Because running away from a falsely detected lion never killed anyone, as opposed to not running from a undetected lion. We’re the descendant of thousands of generations who were convinced and sometimes scared of imaginary things because, when a danger was very close, intuition and superstition always offered better chances of survival than thorough data gathering and situation analysis.
Therefore, intuition is both a gift and a bad habit
In your personal life, intuition will mostly help you. At worst, it can make you look stupid but it is designed to increase your survival rate. For your company, it doesn’t work this way: relying too much on intuition will eventually harm your business.
The following example really happened:
Let’s say you’re a market leader on a given e-commerce category. You know your industry perfectly as you’re basically the first one who thought that selling this type of products online would work.
You hold several truths on how your market works and how your customers think. One of your beliefs is that young people are not converting well because they don’t belong to your usual target group. You already tried to address them with targeted marketing, it never worked. You checked at your brick-and-mortar competitors and you see no one below 30 year-old. And that has never changed for the last 10 years.
But, one day, you get access to transaction-based market intelligence (like the anonymized statistics provided by
Your first reaction is to evaluate how much business you’ve missed for the last 10 years by not addressing the young segment correctly. Your second reaction is to try and understand the reasons why your competitors succeed where you always fail.
You realize that your price range was not wide enough, especially on the 15€ — 30€ part. You realize that your sourcing team was consistently missing the brands that appeal to young people. So it didn’t matter how much you spent on marketing: you didn’t convert on young people because your selection and your prices were not the correct ones at the beginning.
A lack of regular access to transparent and actionable data not only prevented you from improving your conversion ratio, but it also reinforced a wrong statement that would reduce further more your chances to do the right thing.
At Foxintelligence, our job is to give companies an easy access to reliable, transparent and insightful market-intelligence. We firmly believe that the companies which will have the best performance will be the ones that will naturally and consistently back their strategic and day-to-day decisions (sourcing, pricing, marketing, …) with relevant data.
Our panel is 100% anonymized so our user’s privacy in entirely protected.
 Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain
CEO @ Foxintelligence
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