Metacognition: A Marketing Must for Leaders

Yup, it’s a big word. So let’s start by defining it. Essentially, metacognition is perception of the way one’s own self thinks, or “cognition about cognition,” as Wikipedia puts it.

I often ponder bias in marketing—it’s perhaps my biggest pet peeve. The reason? Simply put, we’re all guilty of cognitive biases. That’s human and acceptable. What’s not acceptable is dragging these, unwittingly, into our marketing efforts Unfortunately, too many of us do this, and it can result in wasted marketing efforts. The worst part is not even knowing this is the consequence—because we believe our assumptions to be correct.

For example, say I’m in charge of writing email copy to incorporate in “Eblast” campaigns. Maybe my personal preference is pedantic language—but I’m not able to recognize that. Everyone else sees it in my writing, but my blinders are on. In this case, metacognition is non-existent. I assume that my way is the best, and I continue down the same road. No A/B testing, no colleagues that can talk any sense into me.

What would happen if just for a moment, I were able to stand back and break down why I’m writing in this manner—to really understand the premise behind it? I might be able to see my own bias and open my mind to other ideas—ideas that are actually more effective marketing schemes. Who would’ve thought!?