Martin Weigel Salmon vs Lamposts: The Use and Abuse of Research


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Martin Weigel Salmon vs Lamposts: The Use and Abuse of Research

  2. 2. Q: How can research help in the development of great creative ideas?
  3. 3. Q: How can research help in the development of great creative ideas?
  4. 4. let’s startwith the value of creativity
  5. 5. we can spend our way to success
  6. 6. if we spend aheadof our market share
  7. 7. excess share of voice (ESOV) = share of voiceminus share of market
  8. 8. an average of 0.5% points of share growth can be expected per 10% points of ESOVsource: IPA, ‘How Share Of Voice Wins Market Share: New Findings From Nielsen And The IPA Databank’
  9. 9. e.g. a brand with a market share of 20.5% and ESOV of 10% points would expect to grow over a year to 21%source: IPA, ‘How Share Of Voice Wins Market Share: New Findings From Nielsen And The IPA Databank’
  10. 10. spending ahead of market share yields results
  11. 11. but
  12. 12. creativity makesmarketing investment work harder
  13. 13. creatively-awarded campaigns generate 11 x more share growth per 10 points of ESOV than non-awarded campaignssource: IPA, ‘How Share Of Voice Wins Market Share: New Findings From Nielsen And The IPA Databank’
  14. 14. creatively-awarded campaigns generate 11 x more share growth per 10 points of ESOV than non-awarded campaignssource: IPA, ‘How Share Of Voice Wins Market Share: New Findings From Nielsen And The IPA Databank’
  15. 15. that’s the magicof creativity
  16. 16. so (how) canresearch help?
  17. 17. given that the road to advertising hell is invariably pavedwith good intentions
  18. 18. if creativity is to thrive it helps to work to three principles...
  22. 22. let’s get the obvious(yet always inflammatory) out of the way and move on...
  23. 23. researching advertising is the least valuable research you can do
  24. 24. most creativedevelopment research is strategic research done too late
  25. 25. and until it is made it cannot evaluate the Howof communication
  26. 26. because most communicationis in the implicit Hownot the explicit What
  27. 27. two forms of communication ‘Analogue’ ‘Digital’ non-verbal verbal implicit explicit feelings concepts unconsciously experienced consciously experiencedsource: Paul Watzlawick, Janet Beavin Bavelas, Don D Jackson: ‘Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interractional Patterns, Pathologies, And Paradoxes’
  28. 28. “ Wherever relationship is the central issue of communication, we find that digital language is almost meaningless. ”source: Paul Watzlawick, Janet Beavin Bavelas, Don D Jackson: ‘Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interractional Patterns, Pathologies, And Paradoxes’
  29. 29. it’s why you know exactlywhat’s going on here...
  30. 30. and why hecan ‘talk’ to dogs...
  31. 31. until it is madeyou are researching stimulus material not creative work
  32. 32. until it is madeyou are researchingcreative hypotheses not creative work
  33. 33. it’s the differencebetween evaluating this
  34. 34. and this
  35. 35. it’s the differencebetween evaluating this
  36. 36. and this
  37. 37. unfinished work inevitably elicitsunfinished responses
  38. 38. so researching rough workcan never be conclusive
  39. 39. besides...
  40. 40. “ There is no way of ‘testing’ an advertisement in advance of market place exposure which gives you a simple yet reliable guide to the effectiveness of the advertisement in question....
  41. 41. ... the tools of measurement are toocrude and of too uncertainrelevance...
  42. 42. ... the laboratory situation is toolittle like the real-life one...
  43. 43. ... the factors which may affectsuccess or failure are too many andtoo complex...
  44. 44. ... the ways in which differentcampaigns work are too varied...
  45. 45. ... and the competitive circumstancesin which the advertising must workare too unpredictable.”Alan Hedges
  46. 46. ... and the competitive circumstances in which the advertising must work are too unpredictable.” Alan Hedges, 1972source: ‘Testing to Destruction,’ 1972
  47. 47. this is not to denythe value of research
  48. 48. “Indifference towards peopleand the reality in which theylive is actually the one andonly cardinal sin in design.”Dieter Rams
  49. 49. but
  50. 50. the earlier research is conductedthe more valuable it is
  51. 51. it’s always better upstream
  52. 52. but it is a meansto understanding not a means to An Insight™
  53. 53. I blame Bernbach
  54. 54. “ Nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature . . . what compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his action . . . if you know these things about a man you can touch him at the core of his being.”
  55. 55. we have put the insighton a pedestal
  56. 56. and are in danger of fetishizing it
  57. 57. we need to relax
  58. 58. after all,this doesn’t happen...
  59. 59. “Yes, but what’s the insight?”
  60. 60. most insight hunting leads to truisms...
  61. 61. “mums are very busy”source: client name withheld
  62. 62. “youre either a dog person or a cat person”source: client name withheld
  63. 63. psycho-babble gibberish...
  64. 64. “refrigerators are a canvas for self-expression”source: client name withheld
  65. 65. and simple bullshit...
  66. 66. "biscuits are the unsung heroes of the 20th century"source: client name withheld
  67. 67. and unrecognizable‘consumer’ portraits
  68. 68. “His name is Christian.   Hes 27.   A freelancer.   He lives life with a detached sense of irony, at times hes even contradictory.  He values creativity, and design culture.  He lives for passion, not money.  He will only buy into products and brands that he feels actualise his quirky personality, like craft beer. He really values authenticity.   He likes to customise everything he owns, and he expects brands to allow him to co-create.  When he isnt "hacking" his Facebook profile picture, hes sharing content with friends via his iPad.  He stopped watching TV and reading print YEARS ago.  He lives in an urban environment.  He wears hats in the mood boards and about 40% of the time he has an infuriating beard.”source: made up, but you get the point
  69. 69. insight reduces people to ‘consumers’
  70. 70. “ P&G... tended to narrow in on only one aspect of the consumer - for example, their mouth for oral- care products, their hair for shampoo, their loads of dirty clothes and their washing machines for laundry detergents.  P&G had essentially extracted the consumer out of her own life” Alan Lafley, former CEO, P&G
  71. 71. chasing consumer insights ignores the many kinds of insight that can fuel creativity
  72. 72. business brand shopper mediainsights insights insights insights category human cultural insights insights insightscorporate product consumption tech insights insights insights insights
  73. 73. for example...
  74. 74. “We only have one future, and it will be made of our dreams, if we have the courage to challenge convention.” (corporate insight)
  75. 75. men’s bodywashis bought by women (shopper insight)
  76. 76. being a mumis the hardest and best job in the world (human insight)
  77. 77. men don’t want to look like provincial amateurs (human insight)
  78. 78. it’s in all of us(corporate insight)
  79. 79. at the heart of the city of Detroit and its people is the soul of the working-class fight (cultural insight)
  80. 80. but in the quest for understandingthe consumer can bea poor and unreliable source
  81. 81. yet too much research stilltreats witnesses as reliable
  82. 82. we are creatures of instinct not calculation machines
  83. 83. two systems of thinkingthat help us make sense of the world
  84. 84. “ The operations of System 1 are fast, automatic, effortless, associative, and difficult to control or modify. The operations of System 2 are slower, serial, effortful, and deliberately controlled. Daniel Kahnemansource: Daniel Kahneman, ‘Maps of Bounded Rationality: A Perspective on Intuitive Judgement And Choice’, Nobel Prize Lecture December 2nd, 2002
  85. 85. “ System 1 runs the show. That’s the one you want to move. Daniel Kahnemansource: Lawrence Green, ‘Target consumers’ unconscious’ and reap the rewards’, Telegraph, June 2nd 2012
  86. 86. much of our realityis too taken for granted to be easily articulable
  87. 87. “ Consumers find it difficult to talk about the taken for granted world - it is too obvious or too all encompassing or too fundamental to be easily articulable. What any consumer can readily articulate is only part of the picture. Much of the rest of the picture is beyond their reach lying within the taken for granted world of not thought about meanings and associations.” Alan Swindellssource: Alan Swindellls, ‘The Invisible Mechanics of Consumption’, Market Research Society Annual Conference, 2000
  88. 88. we are largely invisible to ourselves
  89. 89. research turns people into liars
  90. 90. so we can’t‘mine’ for insights
  91. 91. they’re not ready made waiting to be discovered
  92. 92. they’re the product ofthought and analysis
  93. 93. and giving peoplewhat they say they want rarely leads to anything good
  94. 94. Komar & Melamid:"The People’s Choice” project
  95. 95. this is America’sMost Wanted Painting...
  96. 96. “ If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”  Henry Ford
  97. 97. “ If you ask a kid what he wants in a cake, you will end up with a cake made entirely of icing. And not only will the kid not like the cake, it will probably make him vomit”  Phil Knight
  98. 98. the task is not to understandpeople’s opinions
  99. 99. the task is tounderstand people’s behaviours and responses
  100. 100. and that demands we investigate thesein some kind of context
  101. 101. the lab is not real life
  102. 102. no-one here is hungry
  103. 103. no-one here is in a hurry
  104. 104. no-one here isdriving through
  105. 105. no-one hereis thinking with System 1
  106. 106. everyone here is being paid
  107. 107. reality, understanding and ‘truth’are entirely dependent on how we choose to investigate them
  108. 108. whatever method we employ research is nevera clear, objective eye
  109. 109. Galileo’s reality
  110. 110. our reality
  111. 111. “ We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" Werner Heisenberg
  112. 112. so..
  113. 113. don’t rely on claimed behavioursobserve understand those behaviours in their real world context
  114. 114. to real conversations listen not just to answers to your questionsDECODESemio&c  analysis  (of  communica&ons)  concerns  reading  the  hidden  meanings  of  marke&ng  messagesIt  involves  unpacking  the  discourse,  decoding  the  unconscious  signals  the  brand  is  sending  out
  115. 115. unpack the silent, implicit and often unconsciously decode consumed content of communicationsDECODESemio&c  analysis  (of  communica&ons)  concerns  reading  the  hidden  meanings  of  marke&ng  messagesIt  involves  unpacking  the  discourse,  decoding  the  unconscious  signals  the  brand  is  sending  out
  116. 116. introspect you’re a human being tooDECODESemio&c  analysis  (of  communica&ons)  concerns  reading  the  hidden  meanings  of  marke&ng  messagesIt  involves  unpacking  the  discourse,  decoding  the  unconscious  signals  the  brand  is  sending  out
  117. 117. above all...
  118. 118. you haven’t got a great insight until you havea great execution...
  119. 119. insight is a means not the end
  120. 120. and withoutgreat execution it is nothing
  121. 121. the best form of feedbackis what the market tells you
  122. 122. test in thereal world
  123. 123. measure what matters not what you can measure
  124. 124. just because you can measure it doesn’t mean it’s relevant
  125. 125. “ Tracking studies... tend to be very stable over time. Brand attribute scores, particularly for established brands, often do not reflect planned advertising responses, favour dominant brands, and any changes tend to follow rather than lead shifts in buying and share” Neil Barnardsource: Neil Barnard ‘What can you do with tracking studies and what are their limitations?’ Admap, April 1990
  126. 126. so where does that leave the role of research?
  127. 127. research cannot make decisions
  128. 128. “ Research cannot and should not be asked to control either the creative or the decision-making process Alan Hedgessource: ‘Testing to Destruction,’ 1972
  129. 129. research cannot eliminate risk
  130. 130. “ Dont take action if you have only enough information to give you less than a 40% chance of being right, but dont wait until you have enough facts to be 100% sure, because by then it is almost always too late... Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk. Colin Powell
  131. 131. research is nota process of deduction
  132. 132. and this is not the road to an idea
  133. 133. STRATEGY IDEA
  134. 134. “ The whole process of advertising is not a safe, cautious, step-by-step build up, because that would lead to advertising for me-too brands Stephen King
  135. 135. it’s a messy business and research is just one input
  136. 136. and as suchit is optional
  137. 137. so...
  138. 138. don’t treat research as adrunkard uses a lamp post
  139. 139. i.e. for support, ratherthan illumination
  140. 140. swim upstream
  141. 141. RESEARCH EARLY
  142. 142. RESEARCH LATE