(By Gil Gerretsen) I was visiting with a client yesterday and they were telling me about a referral they received at a conference. This was a potential vendor — someone they might want to buy from.

The source of the referral said the company had a booth at the show, so my client went looking for them. Couldn’t find them! They looked at the list of all the exhibitors and still couldn’t find them. After the show, they discovered that the company had a booth under their obscure corporate name (i.e. ABC Inc), not the brand name they were commonly known by. They were also in the show directory as that business name. Their brand was nowhere to be seen.

You’d think that any half-savvy marketing person would know better. How many leads or referrals did they miss because nobody recognized them or because nobody could find them? Sadly, I see or hear about errors like this far too often.

To the people inside the company, things seem obvious. They don’t think like an outsider. The insiders assume that the outsiders know what they know. That the outsiders think like they think. Seldom is that true. Scientific marketers assume nothing. They concentrate first on thinking like outsiders and try to see the world through their eyes. Do you?