By Sheena McKinney, Executive Assistant at Heinz Marketing
Have you ever looked at or typed a word and for a minute it just doesn’t seem like it could possibly be spelled right? Recently I was writing an email and could not for the life of me figure out why spell check didn’t like it. I was incensed. I checked and double checked and added and removed a letter and still…. that blasted, red squiggly underline. Then I realized my error…. I had morphed two words (diligent and vigilant) into one word: Viligent.
I do have an excuse. I’ve had 17 weeks of chemo and “chemo brain” is real, the struggle is real. Once I realized what I’d done I laughed out loud at myself. Then, out of curiosity (and being a fan of words in general), I looked up both of these adjectives and then thought about how this relates to marketing.
The difference between these words is that vigilance is alert watchfulness while diligence is conscientiousness or determination or perseverance when doing something.
I decided you could be both vigilant and diligent and that viligent should be a new word.
Check out the full definitions below. Particularly interesting to me are the antonyms of each one.
Diligence: attentive and persistent effort
Synonyms: assiduity, assiduousness, industriousness, industry, sedulity, sedulousness
Related Words: application, attentiveness, attention, care, concentration, doggedness, perseverance, persistence, tenacity, tirelessness bother, effort, effortfulness, pains, painstaking, trouble
Near Antonyms: carelessness, negligence, slackness, idleness, indolence, laziness
Vigilance: the state of being constantly attentive and responsive to signs of opportunity, activity, or danger
Synonyms: alert, alertness, attentiveness, qui vive, red alert, watch, watchfulness
Related Words: aliveness, awareness, consciousness, mindfulness, receptiveness, receptivity, sensitivity, care, carefulness, cautiousness, chariness, heedfulness, wariness, preparation, readiness
Near Antonyms: absentmindedness, abstraction, daydreaming, daze, distraction, absorption, engrossment, obliviousness, preoccupation, unawareness, unconsciousness, carelessness, heedlessness, inattention, inattentiveness, inobservance, unwariness
We’ve heard of due diligence, what about due viligance? As a marketer are you watchful and determined on behalf of your clients? Are you regularly keeping abreast of your clients’ industry, competitors, customer pain points and social conversations? Are you doing watchful research?
I like how Lumen Learning, in Marketing 101 describes why marketing information and research matters (emphasis added).
Because no one has all the answers all the time.
Because people and attitudes and behaviors change.
Because customers, competitors, the economy, and other factors can all affect your success.
Marketing is an increasingly data-rich field, and these days, doing it well means using all the information you can to gain insights into what your customers want and how you can give them value. Without that information, you’re trying to shoot a target in the dark.
Marketers should always be tapping into regular sources of marketing information about their organization and industry in order to monitor what’s happening generally. For example, at any given time marketers should understand how they are doing relative to sales goals and monitor developments in their industry or competitive set.
Knowledge Is Power Against the Competition
The business environment is increasingly competitive. With something as simple as a Google search, customers have unprecedented opportunities to explore alternatives to what any single company offers. Likewise, companies have ample opportunity to identify, track, and lure customers away from their less-vigilant competitors. A regular infusion of fresh customer insights can make all the difference between keeping customers and losing them. Marketing information and research are essential tools for marketers and the management team as they align strategy with customer wants and needs.
Recently our own Josh Baez, Engagement Manager here at Heinz Marketing joined president, Matt Heinz on Sales Pipeline Radio to talk about the things he’s learned along the way about creating research and the importance of commercial insights.
Check out the recording and/or read the transcript here.
“The cool thing about commercial insights and research is that really I think that anyone can do it. I don’t think that you necessarily need to have this team of analysts and data scientists and all of that just to essentially get research done.”
You heard him. Anyone can do it. Do your clients justice. Don’t shoot in the dark. Take justice into your own hands by being viligant.