Moments of Truth: Interpretive Dance

This is the eighth 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).

Having just celebrated an October birthday, and being an empathetic sort, I asked a lawyer acquaintance I ran into on the train, “Isn’t it your birthday?”  He replied, “No, it’s in February.  What, is that a marketing thing, just throw it out there and see if it sticks?”  Funny, but ouch!

Stop, and really think about how our marketing hero in this Marketoon feels.  She relies on her wares (after all, we marketers are expected to have a bit more charisma than folks from accounting!) to convey to top brass what’s driving her consumers.

Through his wares, Tom Fishburne reveals a feeling all marketers have experienced.   Like it or not, marketers, with their special powers, must make sense to left-brained, accountable business managers.  We present to business executives who “just don’t get it” and simply require solid, objective data to make a subject tangible and enable confident decision-making.

Certainly, competent marketers and researchers rely on some amount of data.   Studies, decks and reports justify big campaign recommendations and decisions.

So, what’s missing? The stuff that really matters.

What most motivates consumers in their lives to choose, pay more and advocate for a brand.   How can your brand’s products and services help consumers improve their lives and themselves?  And which of these “connections” most drives outcomes?  There’s no shortage of data on consumer opinions about products and services.  Social media is fast and interesting, but not scientific.  Focus groups help us get in touch with consumers, but it’s not “data.”  Neither method extracts from consumers what lies below the surface.  Expensive and time-consuming studies—if done with objectivity—can get us valuable intelligence.  But, these big projects hardly fit into the time or budget constraints we work with today.

Some of the most gratifying stories we hear from Motista clients are about “how the meeting went.”  “We showed C-level management what’s really motivating consumers and how it ties to our business goals.  They bought into our connection strategy immediately.  It was the best meeting like this we’ve ever had!”

Okay, maybe that quote from one of our Fortune 1000 clients isn’t quite as funny or entertaining as an interpretive dance, but it really resonated.

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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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One Response to Moments of Truth: Interpretive Dance

  1. avatar Dale Stout says:

    C-level management becomes See-level management.

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