To get one thing straight right in the beginning: I think that the See-Think-Do framework of Avinash Kaushik is really awesome. The framework connects all the ideas of marketing in a simple and beautiful way. But it also has some weakness, which I would like to address.
The weakness of the potential audience
Avinash Kaushik defines different sets of audiences for each stage of the framework. To define the audience of the see stage Avinash Kaushik gives the following example “My definition of the audience in the See stage are “all people who wear clothes.” Essentially, this is the largest possible way in which you can frame your potential audience. Largest.”.
Avinash Kaushik also edits “The See stage is exclusionary, though. For example, it won’t include anyone who does not wear clothes.”
If Avinash Kaushik is right in his argumentation, that the potential audience for a product or a service is just as big as the number of people who are already using it, then new markets will never be created. But in reality new markets emerge very often. No one had an insurance before insurances were invented. No one jump of the bridge with a rope on their feet before bungee jumping was invented.
Additionally this definition of potential audience does not explain “Once-in-a-lifetime” or “First-in-a-lifetime” purchases, like midwifes or tattoos.
The weakness of the one product/ service focus
Avinash Kaushik focusses on selling product and services. This works very good, when you just sell one (kind of a) product or one (kind of a) service. But how can you use this framework when you sell different (kind of) products like P&G or Unilever?
Of course you could start to optimize all your products with this framework, but will this bring you to the global optimum or just a local one? Probably to a local one, because you are not using the synergies of your products.
The weakness of the non-consumable products/ services
Another weakness of the framework could be explained best by an example. Let’s say you want to create a new social network. The see stage would describe your potential audience as all people who use social networks. So far, so good.
But who are the people in the think stage? These are all people who use social networks, who think they might need some.
Do you see the problem?
When you already use a social network, you not need another one. You can’t use up your social network. On the contrary: It get’s more useful the longer you use it, because ot the network-effects.
Well, these are the 3 weaknesses which the see-think-do framework has in my opinion. It shows that you could not use the framework for every business-/ marketing-case. But still it is an awesome framework which works at least for most of the cases and which gives you a great mindset for building your business.
If you have any thoughts or feedbacks on this topic, please share it via the comments. This would be awesome!