2016: A year for lazy marketing?

Over Christmas I spent too much time watching Big Blocks Singsong, a series of two minute animated songs for kids that is, in my opinion, far superior to anything Simon Cowell and co are pumping out.

However my son has an obsession with letters and numbers, so we had the subtitles on. These may interesting reading. One song about a dog where the dog sings “I am a dog” was subtitled as “I’m Italian” in another “big beats” was translated as “big boobs” and I still have no idea what lyrics “afghan crotch” refers to.

This is unsurprising – the lyrics were not subtitled by a professional company like Red Bee Media or Glocal, it is done automatically by computer. As a result a huge amount gets lost in translation from audio to script.

Yet how is this different from marketing and market research? – there is a huge focus on analytical software but without any insight into what the various indicators mean. Big data will only exacerbate this, with lots of information but in the hands of individuals who do not understand the quality of the information or the information.

Individuals who have been in the industry for a while have seen this before – SPSS’s ANOVA statistics were supposed to take the need for statistical expertise out of market research. The result (based on my limited perception) was that a lot of people produced copious amounts of very pretty but meaningless statistics.

I suspect that 2016 will be another year of poor/lazy marketing, so beware anyone who takes the one-size-fits-all approach or who simply relies on metrics such as Google Analytics to assess performance.

If anything HR is worse as most of the information comes from partial and poorly designed information systems.

Key decisions whether they are in marketing, HR, or any other management are dependent on decision-makers having the right information. Understanding the limitations of current knowledge is depressingly rare as is the will to put things write.

On that cheerful note, have a happy 2016.


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