By Ryan Sauers, Chief Marketing Officer at The Sauers Group
In all aspects of business, it is vital to utilize various tools to evaluate performance. One such device is the Johari Window. This tool is especially important for those of you in the marketing profession.
The Johari Window is broken into four distinct quadrants.
Let’s start with the upper left (blue) quadrant. This quadrant deals with things that are “public” in nature, meaning they are known both to you and others. It may seem that everything in the world of online information falls into this quadrant, but this is not true. For example, if you publicly display information that is accessible to anyone—on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.—then you fall into this category.
The lower left (yellow) quadrant applies to things that are “private” to you (known to self) and are not known by others. This makes for quite a challenge in the social media environment, as it is hard to keep things private in a world that wants to make everything public. In social media, posted/written information often has a life of its own. So many times, private information might be accidentally posted in a place where a person thinks it is safe and private but where others actually have access to it. For example, many people go on job interviews where the interviewer already knows a lot about them beyond their resume, just by conducting a search for that person’s name on Facebook or Google with just a few keystrokes. So we must purposefully control what we do and do not want people to know.
The lower right (green) quadrant is referrerd to as “unknown.” These are things we all speculate about and quite frankly are unsure of the answers. For example, will Twitter be around in three years? Will Google keep growing? Will the economy turn around in 2011? Will the buying patterns of Generation Y remain the same in five years? You get the idea. So this area of the window represents those things that neither you nor the people you are targeting are completely sure of. This quadrant is an important one to consider as you develop your overall marketing plans and what role social media will play now and in the years ahead.
The upper right (red) quadrant is called the “blind spot.” This refers to something that is known to/seen by others but not known to/seen by yourself. This provides a huge growth opportunity for all marketers. If we are not aware of our blind spot, then we are truly operating “blind.” This means we are not aware of what we are missing—and yet, others around us are quite aware of it. This is a huge no-no for social media marketing. For instance, let’s say your company (in the opinion of all stakeholders beyond you) feels you are overdoing or over promoting your every success through the many social media tools available. So colleagues, employees, clients, vendors, and others see your campaigns/efforts as overdone and borderline obnoxious. But what if you think (your blind spot) you are not doing enough promotion and need to increase your social media marketing efforts? The key is to learn what your blind spot is, so you can address it. A great way to accomplish that is to get candid feedback from a variety of different people who will tell you the truth and not just what you want to hear.
The overall goal here is for you to use the Johari Window as another way to examine what you are doing, why you are doing it, what you know, what you don’t know, and why you do what you do. Doing so will enable you to be purposeful in all your marketing efforts. Rememember… the tools of social media are here to stay, and they will become even greater in the years ahead.