I will be the first to admit that not all of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that I include in the reports that I write are brilliant, earth-shattering insights (OK, maybe not the first to admit, but, if pressed, I will own up to the fact). But I’d like to think that I try to add something new to my clients’ understanding of the world.
George Colony of Forrester has a acronym he used to use to describe this: SIDK. It means “something I don’t know”, and the idea is that when providing recommendations to a client, tell them something they don’t already know.
Unfortunately, it seems that not everybody is trying to live up to that bar.
The results of a recent study about how women are different, and how to market to them, is a shining example. Here are a few gems from the study, as reported in Marketing Charts:
1. Women are people. You think I’m making this up? According to the article, the firm that released the study said that marketers should be aware that “women are people and have personal feelings and social intentions.”
2. Women have the ability to perceive more than the metric of a product attribute or an instance in time. Apparently, women “appreciate the underlying pattern (idea) that gives rise to the fleeting moment.” Unfortunately, I’m a guy so I have no idea what this means.
3. For women, bigger is not necessarily better. This is a huge relief to me, personally. ‘Nuff said.
Not only are these some of the most ridiculous “findings” I’ve seen in a while, there’s something else about this that bugs me: They’re not actionable. The worst recommendations are those that tell marketers to “remember” something, or to “be aware” of something. What does that mean?
Preaching is not prescription. (This, by the way, is what really separates the pros from the amateurs. Amateurs preach crap like “firms need to be more innovative” or “firms need to experiment with social media”, while the pros provide specifics).