Think Different

Marketing is all about standing out and being different. Yet new research shows that we marketers are remarkably similar to each other. Is our sameness a strength or weakness? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • To do this, researchers created what they call the Group Cohesion Score. Using a UK dataset from TGI, they measured the size of the average majority viewpoint across 400+ lifestyle statements. The result is a yardstick that can determine how likeminded various groups actually are.
  • The results are fascinating. First: it turns out that cohesion across generational groups is minimal.
  • Things got even more interesting when they compared various professions. Turns out that marketing is—by far—the most cohesive profession.
  • So BBH Labs didn’t only succeed in proving that generational segments are useless. They also showed why so many marketers still use them. The truth is: we’ve built ourselves an echo chamber.
  • Coming face to face with this truth is a little uncomfortable. But if we can break free of the bubble, it’s also an opportunity to zig while the rest are zagging. In all kinds of interesting ways.
  • The most obvious place to start is segmentation. If you’re relying on generational groups, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board.
  • Or why not zag your way to a bigger budget by leaving the jargon bubble behind and learning to speak the language of the CFO?
  • The easiest way to break out of the bubble is to adjust your media diet. There are a handful of smart, opinionated folks out there who routinely poke holes in the echo chamber.
  • Beyond the aforementioned BBH Labs, we also encourage you to check out Mark RitsonRosie and FarisSamuel ScottTom Roach and Mayur Gupta.
  • And, of course, the one and only Marketoonist.
Issue #99
Aug 9, 2020

Further Reading