If you had an 82% chance to win a bet, would you place the bet?
Why are we so enamored with precision? Why is it that if we can’t get an exact number, then we don’t want any number at all? There seems to be a misunderstanding among many marketers that we must clear up. It’s much better to be generally right than to be precisely wrong. If you’re looking to project sales volume for a specific customer segment 3 years out and you’re asking for an exact sales volume number, then you’re asking the wrong question. Again, it’s much better to be generally right than to be precisely wrong.
This way of thinking is the norm in other disciplines such as finance. For example, a financial risk analysis involves assessing the probability of a variety of outcomes under a range of input assumptions, and making an educated investment decision. The same strategy can be effective in the marketing world, too. Rather than picking a number, we should evaluate a range of different scenarios and make an educated marketing decision based on the likelihood of various outcomes.