A Vexing Problem, Part 4
Joseph Carrabis replied with a really detailed and thought provoking point of view on his blog:
I’m going to zero in on the bits that energized me the most:
I also offer that it’s not a losing battle, nor do we need to sensationalize or exaggerate, or resort to fear tactics. Definitely not fear. Not with a pioneering mentality and not as is suggested (the competition is doing it). The response to that would be “Really? Good, let’s see what happens and if they really absolutely positively get an advantage that we can’t duplicate or approximate without going through everything they went through, we’ll do it. But only then. Maybe.”
I’m also quite sure logic (at least as we’re using it here) isn’t the answer because the language of analytics (as exemplified by this blog, June Li‘s, (oh, just pick any one but not Stephane Hamel‘s or mine because Stephane and I use different language models, me all the time and Stephane much of the time) is to effect action, not promote logical processes. Effecting action rather than promoting logical processes is not specific to analytics although analytics really enforces that former aspect of language.
I would offer that effecting action rather than promoting logic is another reason why (pulling from some other disciplines I study) this type of analytics is all over the place in the States and catches on more slowly everywhere else (with exceptions being Asia, India and Australia, probably).
Indeed, the whole “Razzle-Dazzle-Fear-Logic” route wouldn’t be effective for everybody – it assumes, using Joseph’s ideas, that the filters of emotion desire, fear, are generalizable to everybody. And that’s not all that valid.
Is it a combination of all three? Let me offer the following for example purposes; “if any of you are interested in putting NextStage’s analytics on your own sites we could probably tell you in a relatively short period of time exactly what your customers (potential and otherwise) are thinking, tell you their objections and hot button items, and provide methods for overcoming conscious and non-conscious objections (if any) as well as activating their “buyer” mental states.”
Ah, right. I notice that Novo used a very similar kind of a “bottom line ” kind of a value statement, but there’s this neat use of the keyword “if” at the start.
It’s as though you’re already structuring the paragraph in such a way that there are two options from the get go – you’re either interested or you’re not, and at the end of a perfectly sensible proposition, one wouldn’t necessarily want to say “no, I’m not interested in knowing that”, and we get into the usual skepticism and minding the credibility gap.
Is this that kind of ‘anchor and adjust’ method that we’re so famous for?
And here, I think, is the statement:
What I’m suggesting is that analysts start selling tractors with CVDs and PTOs rather than snowplows and snowblowers. I believe one reason NextStage can get in to companies that are ignoring, doing away with, reconsidering their investment in, etc., traditional analytics is because we’re offering them a tractor with CVDs and PTOs along with a set of apparatus that not only thresh the field but also plow, plant and accurately predict the harvest all in one operation. If there’s something a (potential or otherwise) client wants to know we can usually fashion that apparatus in our off season (many of our reports came from specific client requests). None of what we offer falls under “necessity”, me thinks, because the separate pieces can probably be found elsewhere with a little work. It definitely falls under “understanding and usability” because our tractor also determines optimal field size, fertilizer spread, sowing pattern, etc., and then calculates harvest after being driven across the field once.
Good old fashioned Canadian pragmatism at work. 🙂
My core takeaway from this, thus far:
In trying to dislodge the status quo, don’t sell just physical technologies or just pure social technologies: sell them both together. Emphasize the scalability and adaptability of your offering. Acknowledge the complexity of what you’re trying to do, but emphasize that your engine can handle a multitude of tasks. (And really, when we’re talking Marketing Science, that’s what we’re truly talking about.) Front load the argument with a bottom line value statement. If possible, understand how the buyer of your product is thinking.
Effectively, it’s not necessarily something in Canadian cultural norms that is holding us back, but rather, as catalysts, we’re not quite enunciating the real value of action-oriented analytics.
There’s a lot to stew on, and potentially, a Part 5.