Mr. McKee Goes To Manhattan And Beyond

Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland in the ABQ, contributes to BusinessWeek, which must increase his footprint substantially. Especially, when he offers solid advice like “Ten Common Marketing Mistakes” that the magazine’s readers can internalize, bookmark or print out and discuss.

One mistake McKee identifies is Letting market research trump everything:

Too many marketers invoke data as if information had mystical qualities. To say market research has its limitations is to understate the point; some of it can be flat-out misleading. Consumers don’t always realize how they feel, what they think, or why they do what they do, and even when they’re well aware they won’t always tell you the truth. Research is a valuable tool in a marketer’s shed, but used improperly it can cost you a finger (and perhaps your head).

So, data is great but it’s only one way to understand consumer behavior.

In an earlier piece for BusinessWeek titled “The Perils of Market Research,” McKee argues that:

Research can’t predict the kind of cars we will be interested in five years from now, how an ad concept will be received three months from now, or what the next hit movie or popular fashion trend will be. Yet we still hold onto hope that somehow statistics and spreadsheets will enable us to foresee the future. They won’t. They can’t.

For more from McKee and his team see the agency blog, or his new book, When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You’re Stuck, and What to Do About It.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.