CHEAT 2: KNOW HOW YOUR CUSTOMER WILL RESPOND
But of course, even though knowing what the opposing team is intending to do in advance is a major advantage, it's still possible that your strategy to overcome their approach won’t work. After all, there are many ways to respond to a given strategy in the field, so you might pick the wrong one. Also, they could still win if they successfully react to your move.
Similarly, while understanding your customers’ intentions will make it far more likely you can create a strategy that will align with their needs and desires, you might still make suboptimal decisions and not get the full benefits you are hoping for.
This can be largely solved, however, through our second “cheat,” which is prototype testing.
You can prepare something as simple as a mock-up or something as sophisticated as a functioning simulation that almost mirrors your final product, introduce it to representatives of your customer segments, and observe how they use it, what it makes them feel, what they’re thinking about as they use it, and if you’re getting the behavior that you want.
It’s important to test it out with multiple customers (at least 10–12 for each customer segment) to identify patterns, make adjustments to your prototype based on their feedback, and run another test. When you do that through your prototyping and iteration process, you can come up with a digital experience and know exactly how the customer would respond to your product, which increases your chances of winning them over.
It’s like a game of football: if you not only know the other team’s initial strategy but can try out different possible ways to run the play step by step, learning how the other team is going to react to each move you make, you can become pretty invincible. This is how my son Joseph becomes a master at video games, playing the same level over and over, learning where the monsters are and how they will respond to each attack. You can’t really get these advantages in football, but you can in business, so take advantage of these ethical and legal “cheats” and you too can be perceived as having an unfair advantage in the marketplace.