How Fast? How Good?

Perception enables and constrains

The How Fast? How Good? project running in the Forest of Dean has got me thinking about how much of what I do in my business relates to perception.

Marketing, innovation and coaching are all about perceptions. Business planning also has a healthy dose of perception about what the business actually is and what it could become. Yet we assume that the last is about facts, figures and benchmarks.

Marketing, Innovation and Coaching

Marketing accepts that everything is based upon perceptions of what is real and true for the individual. It needs to be systematic to enable the influencers to be consistent. This guides the participant to the desired goal whether that is to buy or to get someone else to buy. A common misperception is that marketing is all about shouting and attention-grabbing; that is only a fifth of marketing. And will always fail expensively.

Innovation focuses on newness and progress. Innovate UK correctly expect the winners of its grants to combine technical advance with commercial exploitation routes. Both provide significant challenges to avoid the marketeer over-promising; and to focus the technical developer on solving real problems that provide benefits that someone will buy. Bidding for these projects needs to balance the potential for significant disruption with the likelihood that the gain is in reality marginal.

Coaching focuses on the why, who, what, how and when. Barriers have arisen because the issues have not been discussed candidly. In coaching there are no right answers; only better answers in the situation as it exists. Coaching therefore applies both to marketing and innovation. It enables the key strategies to be created and for action to be consistently taken.

How Fast? How Good is your Broadband?

This survey attempts to answer two questions about the real situation and is like coaching. For a specific rural area what are the typical speeds that people are getting from their broadband. A single broadband speed-checker checks this as a one-off. With enough response, it will identify areas that are slower than others or a whole area below an acceptable benchmark.

The second is all about perception. Most people don’t know how fast they need their broadband to be to use all the services that are now delivered digitally across multiple family members. If asked to state a speed, most of us would guess. This survey just looks at a satisfaction level to get a baseline on expectation.

If you live or work in the Forest of Dean District, which stretches from Little Marcle in the North to Beachley in the South and bound by the two rivers, please complete the survey . So your data can be combined with others to create an informed view. And then share the link with your friends as more responses proves the validity of perceptions because things are rarely at the extremes.