The 2023 Retail Technology Buyers Guides
customer engagement

Calling B.S.

Because we’re a fairly new publication I spend a lot of time explaining who we are and why we exist and, after several hundred of those conversations it occurred to me that one of the real reason’s we’re here is to bring some badly needed credibility to this space.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.”  – Mark Twain

Because we’re a fairly new publication I spend a lot of time explaining who we are and why we exist and, after several hundred of those conversations it has occurred to me that, one of the real reason’s we’re here is to bring some badly needed credibility to this space.  Let me explain.

In one of those conversations I had someone ask me this question: “What’s your disruptor?”  What he was asking, in effect, was what was our competitive advantage in this marketspace.  The answer came easily – Credibility.

Before this turns into a rant about other media players (many of whom I have deep respect for) I would just ask you to rank for yourself, how you gauge the credibility of what you read in this realm of the press.  Be honest.

The answer came easily – Credibility.

I asked the same question of this individual and his response was simply this: “Hmmmm….”.

At last count there were some 7000 technology providers operating in some corner of the MarTech space.  We focus on those technologies that are more oriented toward customer insight/intelligence/engagement so the actual number of companies on our scope is somewhat less than that.  Whatever the exact number is, in aggregate, it still represents some significant market power. And if you add into that the number of data providers and service providers that operate in this space, that power is even greater.

Which brings me to this.  There are thousands of companies and many more thousands of people that work in those companies, who have a stake in understanding the market dynamics & developments that affect them.  And that’s tough to do if much of the content you consume has been paid to publish.  How do you know if what you’re reading is paid advertising or is it really, genuinely, informative and … (that word again) credible?

I would like TheCustomer to be a place where we can call B.S. on things like thin research or weak thought-leadership – things we see a lot of here.  And conversely, I would like TheCustomer to become a platform for, and a voice that elevates what is important, useful and true as it relates to customer insight.

Side note:  The gentleman I mentioned above noted that he thought that this was a massive challenge and task and that we had bitten off more than we could chew.  To his first point – I completely agree.  This is not going to be easy.  To his second point, I disagree vehemently.  The market value of truth in this space, although difficult to quantify, is worth the effort, worth the fight.

That’s also one of the reasons why you’ll see articles from people like Robert Passikoff here.  Robert pulls no punches.  He has no need to.  He’s been calling B.S. on weak research and positioning for decades so I’m really pleased to be publishing his thoughts here.

This is Robert on some of the year-end research that’s being published right now:

“What’s offered up early in the year can hardly be called trends. In reality it’s opinion, not prediction. And there’s a big difference. That kind of opinion has efficacy only if you didn’t pay attention when they showed up three or four years ago when they were values that would become trends. Generally speaking what’s out there are clichés, opinions that are already passé in a marketing and branding world that moves at the speed of the consumer. These adjustments have already made themselves felt in the marketplace. They aren’t new “trends”; they’re the new normal.”

He goes on, “These include observations, opinions, and suggestions to marketers to focus on things like bots, reality (augmented and artificial), customization, personalization, storytelling, influence marketing, IoT, voice search, voice assistants, video marketing, blockchain, big data, programmatic, and the selling of experiences anywhere and everywhere. Been there, should have already done that.”

You can read the rest of what Passikoff has to say here and I encourage you to check out Brand Key’s latest research while you’re there.

 

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