Revolution, Boiling Frogs and Big Data by Simon Chadwick and Jamie Johnson #CASRO #MRX


Live blogging from the CASRO Digital conference in San Antonio, Texas. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.CasroDigital

“Revolution, Boiling Frogs and Big Data”

Simon Chadwick, Managing Partner, Cambiar L.L.C. ; Jamie Johnson, Regional Director, Seek Company

  • Macro trends in technology have potential to create agnosticism and bring our industry to a standstill
  • The conversation we are not having is where technology is lacking – need to be close to the consumer, how we understand the emotional side of the consumer, definition of ROIs
  • What is BIG DATA – there are probably 15 definitions, but we all know it will impact our life, CMOs have worried about it for 2 or 3 years
  • Big data definitions: follows us around and gives us insight into our lives; is just a marketing term since data has been around for decades and now it’s just getting bigger [totally agree]
  • Big data leads to conundrums, we really don’t know what it is
  • Conundrum 1: People want to understand what the best use is and what role it can play in their organizations.
  • Conundrum 2: It it even my data to use, vagueness around where it fits, and which organization owns this function, is it marketing or finance or operations data?
  • Conundrum 3: concern around cost of implementation will cost a lot of money and will it yield a robust return on investment
  • Big data needs to overcome hurdles
  • There is a lot of data but is it the right data, what is being measured and how relevant is it?
  • Have the tools to analyze, synthesyze evolved with big data?
  • Data scientists are great at analysis but lack the necessary storytelling skills
  • The biggest hurdle of all is privacy [here here!].  We can now micro-target to people before they even know they need something – this is a concern. Concern is not for the consumer but that the government will come after us and then it will be game over.
  • Persuasive visualization of big data will play a significant role in its widespread application
  • Is big data the holy grail? does it paint a complete picture? is it enough?
  • Micro-segmentation gives marketers the false feeling of being empathic with consumers [interesting point, never really thought of it like that]
  • Correlation never replaces causation [what? they’re different?  :) ]
  • Empathy is the answer, the yin to the yang of big data. Empathy is about to become the next big deal in research.
  • Don’t look at consumers and see ROI or purchase intent or excel or metrics on a spreadsheet. See the people.
  • Empathy allows us to tell stories.  The days of a quick one hour debrief are over. We need a more holistic story.
  • Analyze and synthesize are two different skills and hard to find in one person. If you find that person, don’t let them go.
  • Big data will slip out of our hands so what is our role now? We run away from the words marketing research, what lines are we allowed to cross, who is full-service or what, all the lines are blurry.
  • Myths we can explode – CRM was the big deal 20 years ago, online was the big deal 10 years ago, or should we really be concerned now
  • There are now entire conferences on empathy in marketing/research
  • Quickly means we have to sacrifice quality – maybe, but we need to strive for it
  • Big data does not provide all the answers
  • We must be equipped and ready to to synthesize, storytelling, and strategy work as we don’t have these skills today

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One response

  1. Read the story on Nate Silver’s new venture on ESPN in the March 17 issue of TIME (“Hey, Sports Fans, It’s Time for Math Class.”) Silver is the guy who called 49 of 50 states correctly in the 2012 presidential election. His show could well put him–and big data–center stage in the popular media. Clients may start asking, “Why can’t WE do what Nate Silver does?” Good question. Why can’t they?

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