Avoiding Self-Serving Bias in Your Marketing

When was the last time your marketing led to great results? Do you remember how you achieved that success? Think about all the strategizing, teamwork, and effort that went into this triumph. Conversely, think about the last time your marketing efforts failed. Do you know what caused this to happen?

This is where most businesses make a crucial mistake. If you give yourself credit for your successes but blame external factors for your failures, then you are guilty of this misstep. Self-serving bias is a term that describes when people believe good things are caused by their own efforts but bad things are caused by other factors.

Perhaps you made a change to your marketing strategy and see a significant spike in sales, but then when you try to replicate that spike by doing the exact same thing you end up failing. In that scenario, it would be easy to blame market conditions, your marketing platform, your competition, etc. However, it would be foolish to expect to receive the same results twice. We must constantly innovate in order to improve.

No one wants to blame themselves for failures, but that might just be the best place to start. Next time your company sees a decline in sales, brainstorm ways you could have worked harder, been more creative, or made better use of your resources. No matter how great you think your marketing is, there will always be room for improvement.

Marketing often requires a lot of guess work; there isn’t always a guarantee what will work and what won’t. You need to examine your results and make predictions in order to develop a solid marketing strategy. When your marketing endeavors pay off, it’s never a 100% direct result of your efforts. There are always external factors at work. Similarly, when you fail, it’s always a combination of factors and you shouldn’t count yourself out of the equation.

One key to success is that you should never give yourself all of the credit for your wins, just as you should never give yourself all of the blame for your losses. It is imperative that we take the time to step back and recognize our own strengths and weaknesses so that we can continue finding new ways to move forward and make improvements.