Moments of Truth: Interpretive Dance
By Alan Zorfas
I just recently 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!
That incident reminded me to 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, hoping “it sticks.”
In this Marketoon, 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 always rely on some amount of data. Studies, decks and reports justify big campaign recommendations and decisions.
So, what’s missing from this picture? The stuff that really matters.
What most matters is what 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 clients are about “how the meeting went.” One of our Fortune 1000 clients recently told us about a meeting that went particularly well. “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, so maybe that quote isn’t quite as funny or entertaining as an interpretive dance, but it really resonated. And when you look at the data and connections that matter most, you don’t have to rely on your dance skills to get your point across.