Think people, not spreadsheets


Gantt charts don’t make great ideas.

The research is there, the product is right, the audience is right and price is right. Timing is good. The positioning and customer proposition is right. So what can go wrong? Well what about this: what you say and how you say it: the creative proposition.

Being genuinely customer centric takes some work. And it’s not something you find in Gantt charts and Venn diagrams. If you’re serious about being customer centric, then your planning documents need to ultimately leave you cold. You need to be able to say, ‘thanks very much’ and then not let it straight jacket your thinking. What you say should be about empathy and intuition and trusting your instincts. I’m not talking about a funny twinge in your elbow – instinct is empathy and experience and remembering to think like a human being and knowing what people are like – that’s what creates compelling stories. Creative directors are method actors. We channel the audience, we deliver a performance that is authentic and rings true because we think people not spreadsheets. What we do isn’t Art, but it does use artistic abilities. Sensitivities. Attitudes. A desire to connect emotionally. We’re the other end of the range: we don’t want to line things up and pop people into little boxes. We don’t want to think percentages, we want to think about people. And it’s precisely this that will find new propositions, new view points, new ways of saying it, new channels to explore, more convincing arguments. So if you care about what you say and how you say it, you need to stop trusting so much in quant research and what the data says and start trusting more in instincts.