This is the second in Motista’s series of cartoons by award-winning cartoonist Tom Fishburne, titled “Moments of Truth.” We’re looking forward to your input on this cartoon and any issues related to consumer connection you’d like to see us lampoon in the future – if you post your feedback as a comment (update: post by 7/19 to receive print), we will send you a print of this “Marketoon” signed by Tom (U.S. addresses).
In marketing, nothing is more powerful than an insight that ties the right human emotion to your brand. As legendary John Hegarty (Bartle Bogle Hegarty Advertising) once remarked at a planning conference: “Real life has a way of delivering the goods.” (Check out his new book, Turning Intelligence into Magic.) No question that original, breakthrough ideas come from listening to and observing consumers. This “Marketoon” lampoons what we all know as a moment of truth for marketers: An insight can get our attention, we build consensus, professionals provide further interpretation and laddering, quant study backs it up and a campaign is born.
As an ex-planner and agency executive, I lived off such consumer insights. I convinced my clients to conduct focus groups, ethnographic studies, cultural studies, “Right Brain” research and other methodologies designed to reveal insights about our consumers. Despite the cost and time, they were all worthwhile.
So, what was missing?
A consultant specializing in observing business behavior and decision making said to me years ago, “Insights are plentiful and cheap. Finding out which ones matter is the trick.”
Which ones matter? That was missing!
Marketing’s “inside joke” is so centered on mystery, e.g., “Which half actually worked… it’s the fuzzy stuff, millions spent on what someone said in a focus group.” What’s not so funny is the crisis of credibility around marketing and—worse—its reflection on the players.
CMOs clamor for better metrics. Brand managers want more actionable consumer intelligence on hand. Agencies want length of tenure with clients to improve. A CMO of a Fortune 500 company once remarked to me after presenting his marketing plan to the board, “Look, there are believers and non-believers. That’s what it comes down to.” Yikes, that’s a tough job we have, isn’t it?
Motista doesn’t replace qualitative. What it does is provide an incredibly valuable bridge between what marketers need to know—what’s really motivating their consumers and what businesses need to know—what’s going to matter in driving results.
Motista is empowering in that it gives marketers a quantitative framework on what’s most motivating consumers in their categories, tied to the business outcomes they seek. This intelligence helps kick-start processes and enhances marketers’ investment in qualitative. But the real breakthrough happens when marketing presents its recommendations to non-marketing and C-level executives. And, for once, the “fuzzy stuff” makes business sense.