Moments of Truth Cartoon EenieMeenieMineyMo: Bring Objective Intelligence to the Marketing Process

EenieMeenieMineyMo Methodology

EenieMeenieMineyMo Methodology

This is the sixth 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. To say thanks for your input, we will send the first five folks who comment a print of this “Marketoon” signed by Tom (U.S. addresses only).

Congratulations to our hero, the marketer, who has applied an objective methodology to make her recommendation. Her honesty is refreshing, isn’t it?

Approving major campaign investments is nerve-racking enough; at least she’s supplemented her “gut” with the ever-reliable “EenieMeenieMineyMo” method. Using that method, even “chance” doesn’t look so bad!

Let’s also feel some sympathy for the decision-maker, maybe a CMO or executive outside the marketing department. He sits there, at the end of a process, probably sweating bullets, about to give “C” his blessing. What’s he thinking?

“How do we really know ‘C’ is the smartest thing we can do? Was there a D, E or F? The team and agency worked so hard, how can I say ‘no’ now? I guess this is the campaign development process…I’ll look foolish if I reject their recommendation. But, once ‘C’ starts running, everyone will blame me! What if it bombs?”

Okay, enough.

What’s not shown here that we really have to think about?

Campaign, positioning and messaging development rely heavily on “process.” While process is important, how much does our reliance on it compensate for a void of objective intelligence?  If we had, on-hand, objective intelligence on how consumers connect to our brand, and which of those connections matter most in driving action, then we could better frame and justify our decisions. Instead, we turn to our basket of tricks to help us narrow in on “the winner.” They range from simple “down ‘n’ dirty,” one-off quant studies (sometimes also referred to as “CYAs”) to sophisticated copy testing for recall, persuasion and other key measures like “I got the main message.”

Unavoidably, “processes” are infused with subjectivity. Campaigns are largely influenced by opinions and views, willingly or not. And, within any team dynamic, some folks’ opinions always count more.

Ultimately, the questions we ask and the hidden biases we share on day one shape the trajectory of the entire project.

Bottom line here: I am a huge proponent of process and the human contribution it demands. But what the marketer and her management counterpart deserve is a framework of objective intelligence on what’s motivating consumers of their brand to choose, use and advocate. With this breed of intelligence now available on the front- and back-end of our processes, we can feel a whole lot better about our decisions.

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About Alan Zorfas

A 30-year marketing veteran, Alan Zorfas co-founded Motista with Scott Magids in 2007. He has led the creation of its breakthrough consumer intelligence product and is now driving the company’s go-to-market plan.
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7 Responses to Moments of Truth Cartoon EenieMeenieMineyMo: Bring Objective Intelligence to the Marketing Process

  1. avatar Nilesh says:

    This is fantastically true insight.
    The process can only “feel” better with adding front & back end intelligence – if the intelligence is again some gut feel (which can be the case in many instances)
    the decisions should be objectively evaluated with process & without process & check if process adds any value over gut.
    No decision is wrong when taken – with or without TM processs unless it is implemented.

  2. As always, Tom hits the nail on the head — the truth of which unfortunately saddens me greatly. As a career practitioner of marketing research and business analytics for almost 2 decades, I’ve seen my own industry consistently miss the opportunity to clearly articulate a reason for being, and to effectively help their business partners us the real, predicitive and non-subjective tools available to guide business decision making at the vast majority of organizations. Shame on all of us.

  3. avatar Sylvia Sudnick says:

    Your ‘process’ is also one specific to many work places in that often, shall I say ‘always’, the office leader has an ajenda or specific outcome in mind, but in the show of ‘transparency’ or including everyone in the decision making process, goes into a hugh and time consuming ‘dog and pony show’ to allow everyone to voice their opinions, concerns, objectives, etc., you know the drill. Then when all is charted, written down and analyzed, the office leader’s choice, voice, or what ever else you care to name it over rides all the other voices and the end result is just that which was wanted in the first place. Everyone then leaves the meeting down trodden, angry, frustrated and in an ever increasing spiral of defeat and bad moral. Feeling more and more frustrated with the in office ‘system’ of ‘team work’, supposedly being involved in these empty decision making meetings. What can I say, when one holds the ultimate power in the environment, and ‘plays games’ with trying to be a team leader and does not have real people skills, nor have the skills to be a real manager, it brings down the whole office. Everyone values honesty, duplicity erodes!

  4. Your trademarked approach EenieMeenieMineyMoTM has a lot of opportunity. Starting out in the quant world and moving to methods that are hybrids but are smaller size than large quants and reflecting on how comfortable people are with numbers – I would say many miss out on the EMMM aspects analysis that embody a lot of quant. So – feel free to extend this valuable trademark to how it would play with quant analysis.

    Net:net – loved your thoughts and keep it up. As Tom and I have said in other emails, the comic is good, the text is just wonderful.

  5. avatar Ellis Leeper says:

    And as mentioned, ‘some folks opinions count more than others’ it’s invariably the ones with the least knowledge in that area! They are there as ‘approvers/stampers’ rather than valued ‘inputers’.

    That’s where your project management skills are required most, in directing the project on a more steady course!

  6. avatar John Tingle says:

    Excellent points. Also, agencies themselves (ourselves) have to be just as careful internally as with clients. And slapping a “TM” on your so-called proprietary process means little without diligent work behind it. In fact, it might even suggest a limited approach. The “TM” mark on the EenieMeenie… process is both hilarious and true.

  7. Pingback: eeniemeeniemineymo | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist

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