In 1977, Peter Lynch became head of an obscure Fidelity Investments mutual fund called the Magellan Fund, with $18 million in assets. By the time he stepped away in 1990, the fund had grown to more than $14 billion in assets, averaging a 29.2% annual return. Lynch famously did a lot of his research by simply watching what people bought, looking into why, then considering those companies as potential investments. If you’re responsible for marketing, how often do you simply set aside time to watch how people consume what you sell, or to ask them about their purchasing decisions? You can head off a lot of faulty –— and expensive — assumptions that way. Better yet, you might turn up a way to reach your audience that you hadn’t considered.