I like Haiku poetry: by reducing the form to 17 syllables over 3 lines, it forces the writer to express the very essence of their subject. This is something I wrote (at a low point) in a previous job…
mouses click, keyboards crackle
like Geiger counters.
The work environment has changed immeasurably during my career. In my first market research job as a graduate we created slides of results, and printed them out onto acetates, which then had to dry, before being slotted into holding frames. Any changes and you had to do that slide again. Printers took 5 minutes to produce a single slide.
Tools to ‘enhance our productivity’ are rife. We create ‘decks’ with far more flexibility and creativity than before. We obsess about images and builds, about ‘the message’. Death by Powerpoint and Analysis Paralysis are phrases born in the last generation.
My Reckon today is that these tools often inhibit and distract us from more rewarding, direct, and meaningful interactions. By which I mean we could talk to each other, face-to-face, rather than hiding behind a presentation or an email.
Powerpoint comes with built-in protocols and assumptions how charts should be laid out: titles and bullets, graphs and commentary. My profession of marketing has created its own language and terminology, because…
- marketers are innately aware and guilty that their ‘profession’ is largely Applied Common Sense, so create technical language to lend it more credibility (noone likes to admit this)
- as in other spheres, the jargon is a defensive mechanism to hinder or prevent ‘outsiders’ from realising that marketing is largely Applied Common Sense (see above)… In markerting parlance, it’s a strategy to create barriers to entry in order to add value to our own core proposition and thereby add value. See what I did there?
Now I know I’m simplifying here, but just go with me, OK…?!
There are two main marketing strategies…
Trial / Penetration = get more people to buy some
AWP / FOP / Loyalty / Share of Requirement etc = Get some people to buy more
By speaking in tongues, by overlapping objectives, strategies and plans, surrounding ourselves with TLAs, we get bogged down in our own process. As I’ve said before, clusters and segements don’t buy brands and products, people do. And all the tools, applications and acronyms simply divide and isolate marketers from the people they claim to want to understand.
If we can get past the jargon, we can start talking as people, in human terms, about what people want and why they want it. Then we can start thinking about how we can give it to them, and make them feel better.