As we do our jobs day by day we get to see how many companies operate -- advertisers, media, agencies, research companies, consulting/financial firms, technology enablers. Some are inspired and are thinking and acting clearly, while all too many appear to be simply going through the motions.
The differences in results are perfectly correlated with the atmospheres one senses within these companies. Jim Stengel's book How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies shows the ones that are growing and increasing ROI, as well as growing net promoters, brand equity, profits, etc. as of a point in recent time. The successes are all linked to idealism as regards service to humanity, expressed in the purpose of each brand in making life better, and expressed in innovations serving those missions. The advertising used by these companies leans away from hard sell and into human connection and bonding. The ads' clients respect the users causing the reverse to also be true.
These companies are paying attention not only to higher ideals but also to the means of achieving things on Earth, including scientific uses of data analytics and the avoidance of unvalidated data analytics. Not just talking about it but actually carrying it out. If all companies acted this way the world would as a whole be even more successful than it is. Someday they will. Darwin would be able to predict that.
One impediment to the success of even these well-intentioned, high minded companies is the tendency for their own managers and agencies to be stuck in "the way we have always done things" mode. Using the best new platforms, big data, artificial intelligence and so forth to maximize success runs into a brick wall at the workflow level. Agencies are already underpaid and overworked so that new improvements after being extensively discussed and agreed upon sometimes fail to be implemented.
Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) CEO Scott McDonald had buttons made up saying "Foment Empiricism" which were distributed to attendees of the March ARF conference. He explained what empiricism and science really are, and that marketers could actually reach that level of discipline, with the rewards being better results. I'll be expanding more on that theme at a free ARF webinar for ARF Members on Wednesday, April 18 from 1-2 p.m. ET.
I'll report on a truly empirical development of a new platform for increasing ROI at the creative level. I will also address the ethical use of psychological data and what we empirically know about maximizing ROI, with use cases that make it possible to implement higher marketing productivity without running into workflow barriers. Hope you can join us!
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