Analytics, Customer Experience, Brand Strategy, Creative Efficacy


Posted 10 Sep 2019

Snippets from Forethought on contemporary topics in marketing research.

#Foretoons is a collaboration between Forethought and Either Either (creative agency) providing a satirical commentary on marketing research themes. Click on a Foretoon to comment or share.

Foretoon 17

Business outcomes versus personal outcomes. Deleting intuition-based CEX initiatives that objectively do not drive business outcomes can result in the reduction of fiefdoms and gut-instinct over rigor (NB human centred design is not a substitute for rigor). Should executive management expect the role of killing initiatives to originate from middle management?

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Foretoon 16

When the ideological CEX manager meets the hedonic consumer, the loser is enterprise value. Makes you wonder, what has the CFO got to say about the bourgeoning, faith-based CEX costs? Line management refer to this as “CEX investment” however, that is fanciful because in the shallows where these costs are being incurred in the name of customer centricity, there are few applied principles of business finance to assess the “investment.” No hurdle rate, no income stream, and often rubbery costs and timelines. There is a mathematically correct answer to the question, what drives retention. CEX investment should be based on the correct answer.


Foretoon 15

A never ending stream of new initiatives recommended by a never ending stream of “experts.” When it comes to assessing initiatives and rationing centricity, whatever happened to terms like rigour, objectivity, return on investment or business outcomes?


Foretoon 14

Having conducted a longitudinal study of over 30 data sets spanning six services categories, all with third-party, independent change in market share data, our analysis revealed that there is an expansive disconnect between setting out to improve NPS and hoping that a tangible business outcome follows suit. Astute executives should demand to see the in-market evidence of the relationship between NPS and in-market performance (e.g. sales). Executives who make such a demand, will only receive correlations with NPS and within-survey attitudinal questions which do not translate to in-market behavior. There are lead indicators that do predict changes in marketing share and defection but, NPS is not amongst them.


Foretoon 13

The North Star is the superordinate brand promise which should be drawn from the mathematically derived, choice drivers. Because the North Star is a brand promise, it must be matched with customer experience. Indeed, the North Star is the link between brand and CEX. The greatest risks associated with developing a North Star is when it is developed using opinion (e.g. HiPPO – highest paid person’s opinion) or instinct and not using science to derive the customers’ choice drivers. In that case, the North Star runs the distinct risk of becoming a distraction from the commercial goals of the enterprise.


Foretoon 12

Just the mere utterance of “pain point” often justifies yet another initiative. Pain point-based initiatives have the potential to become the economic black hole of organisations..


Foretoon 11

Brand building CEX initiatives are the operational fulfilment of the promises made to the market in the pursuit of acquiring new customers. It is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure customer experience matches the brand promise.


Foretoon 10

Saying that you are dedicated to customer centricity sounds admirable right up to the moment that you realize just how insatiable customers are. The undisciplined practice of customer centricity is analogous to the endless pursuit of chasing rainbows.


Foretoon 9

Communications professionals have become fixated on where we say it (media) and less so about what we say (verified drivers of behaviour). Creative efficacy will not change – no matter how good the media plan is, until analytics is used to determine rationally and emotionally, what we say.


Foretoon 8

A handful of customers are used to generate costly initiatives which incidentally, in the case of digital, the consultants or related parties often build.


Foretoon 7

We are in the era of tech platforms enabling the proliferation of survey data often with little or no linkage to in-market outcomes.


Foretoon 6

You must first deconstruct trust down to your buyers’ trust cues before you can construct trust.

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Foretoon 5

Contrary to popular practice, reducing initiatives to a vital few is the swiftest way to improve customer centricity.


Foretoon 4

The gambler’s fallacy – surely following losses will come wins. It is the same in Advertising. In the absence of marketing science, the relentless spin of the perilous big idea wheel of fortune continues.


Foretoon 3
In explaining an organisation’s prosperity, NPS is sometimes coincidental but rarely casual


Foretoon 2
“Customer” journey maps designed by management and consultants with a cursory few “confirmatory depth interviews.”


Foretoon 1
Dear Data Analysts,
Take heart; for all but a few, big data analytics has amounted to very little. Meanwhile, small data (survey data) analytics continues to enable businesses to drive business outcomes.