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How to Stop Seeing Advertising Through Rose-Colored Google Glasses.


Count on Countless Uncountables

Coming from the father of modern polling, the above quote is, at first, jarring. Haven't we, in data-saturated 2019, reached a point where all things are measurable, quantifiable, and predictable?

Not according to George. And not according to reality. Think of all of the "sure things" that proved anything but in the last few decades: New Coke, the Segue, Google Glass, MySpace, and countless other bombs, flops and surprises in business, politics and entertainment.

So what's a company supposed to do? Shutter their market research activities and adopt the "spaghetti strategy"? (Ie: throw products and services blindly into the marketplace to see what sticks.) Yes and no.

Go ahead and do market research if it's your company's bag. Steve Jobs was famously (maybe apocryphally) unimpressed by market research's benefits. Many others swear by it, and occasionally at it. Regardless, the point of Gallup's statement is lighten up on the data worship a little. Yes, you can know how many households in a 50-mile radius around a specific zip code have +$100K incomes, +2,000-square-foot homes, 2.7 kids, 1.4 dogs and half a cat...but do you really know the people in those households? Of course not. They're humans. In other words, about as predictable as earthquakes.

But, you retort, you've built "relationships" with your customers through email and social media. Don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting the value of collecting and utilizing data from potential and current customers, however, keep in mind that these avenues are tools for easier, quicker communication and delivery of offers and discounts. Are they true relationships? There's only one way to find out. Send them an email next Saturday morning and ask them to help you move.

Beyond Tangibles

The real relationship with your current and potential customers doesn't happen online, or in the mail, or on a screen; it happens in the mind; and, at the risk of being abstract, maybe the soul. It's emotional not analytical.

So seek an advertising firm that not only understands that advertising is more art than science, but has the proven ability and experience in practicing that art successfully, preferably over decades. Or, in short, find an advertising firm that understands what counts.

Feel free to CONTACT me anytime.

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