If you are that analytical type – this just goes against the grain. Clearly *X* is the independent variable and *Y* is dependent on *X*.

*Y=mX+ B*. We all know that. You would really rather that I focus on the *X* and then tell you what happens when *X* is varied. And then you are free to produce the *Y*.

But this is not text book math that we are dealing with. It is the real world. And in the real world, starting with a bunch of *X’*s and formulating the function for *Y* is pretty muddied. It’s just that every single *X* out there does not practice monogamy with just a single function at a time. In fact whatever *X* you choose to study is going to be part of many different functions. So maybe you should just pick the *Y *that matters to you and work backwards to figure out which *X’*s go into the creation of that *Y*.

In this analogy, *Y* is the real customer that you need to win over. The one who has the problem that you are solving; understands the constraints and limitations of how they are operating now; would derive great real-world benefits by adopting your product offering; and is WILLING to spend money to adopt the solution. So if you are presented with the real deal – a bonafide customer – you have to treat them as the ideal *Y* and then go and figure out those *X’*s and how they come together to make that *Y*. If you can do that, you have yourself an invaluable source of marketing content which you can use to shape all your messaging and effectively bring in a steady flow of new *Y’*s.

But often there is a breakdown in getting through that process. Assuming you recognize the correct *Y* when you see it – i.e. they are willing to give you money, then the bigger breakdown occurs when you derive the wrong set of *X’*s. And then, in the pursuit of maximizing productivity, you incessantly resort to dividing your labor to focus on cranking out as much of those *X’*s as you possible can. And so it goes. You could be getting lots of page views, lots of downloads etc. But if you are not getting a proportional increase in sales – you are not getting more *Y’*s. Have you ever heard some say: “We are doing everything right – but we are not getting results.”

So where does that leave you?

You need to get to know that genuine *Y*, better than you do. Or you need to get to know more of them. It leaves you with the need to go back to only the bonafide *Y’*s and try again to figure out what the real *X’*s are, and how they come together to create the *Y*. The true challenge rests in how the communication with *Y* takes place. If you treat *Y* as a test subject to be diagnosed to find out the *X’*s, the exchange may be short lived. Nobody really wants to be the test subject.

On the other hand, if *Y* is treated as a partner in your quest to understand the *X’*s, they will uncover the gems of information that are invaluable in continuing to formulate and refine your marketing content. And to be that partner for you – you must deliver additional and special value which provides the return on time investment that will genuinely motivate *Y*. I stand by my conviction, give me *Y* and I will give you *X*. And if you can’t give me *Y* – you don’t have a business.