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Ash RoyFeb 27, 2024 12:41:40 AM2 min read

What is an underlying assumption?

Imagine this. 

You've launched a digital marketing campaign. You've dotted every i and crossed every t.

Yet, despite your efforts, it doesn't perform as you expected. 

Could your underlying assumptions be the culprit? Is it possible you assumed something something without even realising it?

Quite possibly.

Let's dive into the world of underlying assumptions and see how they can make or break a digital marketing strategy. 

What Are Underlying Assumptions?

Underlying assumptions form the basis of our decisions and strategies, often without us even realizing it.

They're the beliefs or premises that we take for granted, which shape our approach to marketing, content creation, and even how we see our target audience.

These assumptions are invisible drivers behind the scenes, influencing outcomes more than we might expect.

Here's an example:

Assumption: More traffic to my website will lead to more customers. 

Not necessarily.

What matters is that the traffic that visits your website actually buys your products. 

The erroneous (underlying) assumption here is that more traffic equals more customers.

If your 'conversion rate' (website visitors to customers) was zero to begin with, then no amount of increased traffic is going to lead to more customers. 

Here are a few more underlying assumptions small business owners tend to make:

  • They assume they know who their customer is.
  • They assume they understand the customer's pain points (and often build products around these incorrect assumptions).
  • They assume their product will sell without any evidence to indicate it will sell.


How to identify underlying assumptions

Start by questioning everything. 

How do I know who my ideal customer is? Is there data to support my view of my ideal customer?

How do I know what their pain points are? How do I know my product will actually sell if I create it? 

Challenge and test your assumptions

The best way I know to confirm (or deny) your assumptions is to use A/B testing on your website.

Getting your audience to 'vote with their digital feet' is the best way to challenge your assumptions in the face of hard data. 

Conclusion: The Power of Questioning

Recognizing and then questioning your underlying assumptions results in more effective and impactful digital marketing strategies.

It requires curiosity, analytical thinking, and a willingness to embrace the data, wherever it may lead.

As you navigate your marketing efforts, remember that every assumption is an opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate.

So, keep questioning, keep testing, and keep refining. Your next marketing breakthrough could be just one challenged assumption away.


Ash Roy

Ash Roy has spent over 15 years working in the corporate world as a financial and strategic analyst and advisor to large multinational banks and telecommunications companies. He suffered through a CPA in 1997 and completed it despite not liking it at all because he believed it was a valuable skill to have. He sacrificed his personality in the process. In 2004 he finished his MBA (Masters In Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and loved it! He scored a distinction (average) and got his personality back too!