Are you asking the right questions?

Are you asking the right questions?

In today’s “big data” environment, it’s easy to get caught up boiling the ocean in search of a powerful insight that inspires strategies and tactics that lead to social conversations, deeper brand affinity and ultimately increased sales. We’ve come to believe this is possible through the powerful and evolving ability to capture and processvast amounts of data. But are we asking ourselves the right questions?

The problem with our perspectives...

The problem with our perspectives...

I’ve noticed a discernible uptick in the number of blogs/articles/posts on Millennials and Boomers. They fall into two camps.

  • Camp 1: Boomers gifting “advice” to millennials about their sense of entitlement.
  • Camp 2: Millennials asking boomers to look in the mirror.

The issue is, both generations are looking at the issue from their own cultural bias that is derived from the sum of our lifetime of experiences. We both need to change our perspective.

Probably Approximately Correct

Probably Approximately Correct

In Leslie Valiant's book titled “Probably Approximately Correct, ” he poses the question if it’s possible to explain how living organisms function in their environment using the mathematical technique of algorithms. This question relates to our application consumer research techniques, and I wonder if we are using the wrong analytical approach to inform branding decisions.

The insidious nature of social power

The insidious nature of social power

Social power exists in any society when one group has some form of leverage over another, and it provides some advantage or benefit. Every social system has power inequalities, and they've been in existence throughout the history of humanity. When your brand is in a position of strong social power, it has some for of leverage over the people it serves and it is natural for your constituency not to trust you. Why does this matter?

Deep and simple - the wisdom of Mr. Rogers

Deep and simple - the wisdom of Mr. Rogers

All of my career, I’ve struggled with how to describe how I try to approach understanding something, what has always made me question the “best of class” research approaches that most marketers request and researchers recommend when faced with a business challenge. I’ve now found it.

The anonymity I know

moot:

Yesterday Sam Altman published a short post containing his thoughts on Secret, and also anonymity in general—namely that it breeds meanness, and that anonymous social networks are destined to decay and grow worse over time.

I strongly disagree. What I’ve observed is the opposite—that…

I used to criticize anonymous posters. But now I understand the value. Even if it’s crude and vile, I’d rather know it exists than it be secret and passive aggressive. 

The changing job market

The changing job market

Back in the late 90's, there were many predictions about the “Free Agent Nation.” A nation of freelancers with no loyalty. Constantly jumping from project to project, always connected by the web. Well, the dot com bubble burst, all the supposed free agents got jobs and the freelance movement returned to what it had always been - temporary work.  Is it different this time around?

Ben Franklin's daily habits. Very nice.

Ben Franklin's daily habits. Very nice.

Productive people, they point out, jealously guard their time and are masters of saying “no.” The example they use is Warren Buffett, who they said in a meeting with Bill Gates pulled out a date book that he carries in his pocket. It was practically empty. “You’ve gotta keep control of your time,” Buffett says, “and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.”

And, not or

tumblr_mmj7wwO6zP1rob1pdo1_1280.jpg

“And,” not “or.”  I think charts like this are helpful, but the focus on “share of media” is so misleading. TV did not “lose share.”  It’s simply sharing share with many other different forms that allow people to watch TV AND browse the internet. Marketers, keep repeating to yourself.  And, not or.  And, not or. 

The potential of the iWatch

I do think Apple is creating an “iWatch,” but not in the way most are assuming, i.e., an accessory to the iPhone. I think Apple is creating an iPhone for your wrist that is constantly paired with a bluetooth earpiece and iPad (full or mini). In other words, you would never talk into this directly (although you could), but it would mostly enable communication as the phone “hub” and your interaction with it would be by talking to or interacting with another small device.