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Thought

Leadership

We've been bursting bubbles for years

Since 2017 our extensive research and award-winning thought leadership has applied frameworks from behavioural science and cross-cultural psychology to explore the thinking styles and worldviews of the marketing industry. The evidence is clear:

  • People working in advertising and marketing interpret and experience the world differently to large swathes of the population.

  • Marketers’ seem determined to impose their worldviews on others,

  • Failure to confront these biases limits the commercial and social impact of the marketing industry

 

Here are a few key stops on our journey.

Gut Instinct (2017)

Adapting a series of experiments from Richard Nesbitt’s ‘The Geography of Thought’  we showed that marketers tend to see the world as a straight line: focused on individuality, and experiencing the world as discrete, dichotomous and predictable. This contrasts with the mainstream – who see the world as a circle: focused on context and understanding the world as relational, connected, complex and difficult to predict.

 

The Empathy Delusion (2019)

Inspired by Johnathan Haidt’s book ‘The Righteous Mind’ our research revealed a gap between the moral intuitions of advertising and marketing people and the mainstream. Again, we found that people in our industry are at the individualistic end of the spectrum, failing to acknowledge the ‘binding ethics of community’ that play such a significant role in the lives of the mainstream.

Then Orlando Wood picked up the baton. Embracing these ideas, in ‘Lemon: How the advertising brain turned sour’, Wood linked left brained (i.e. straight line) thinking to a persistent decline in the effectiveness of advertising over the last 15 years, and argued that right brained (i.e. seeing the world as a circle) advertising was the answer.

 

The Aspiration Window (2020)

Of course, the real problem is not that marketing people are different from the mainstream, it’s that these differences are linked to a profound market orientation problem. In the Aspiration Window we showed how this manifests in a fundamental misunderstanding of mainstream aspirations.

Want to burst a few bubbles of your own? Contact us to explore how we can support you on your thought leadership journey.

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