Focus group GIGO

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GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

GIGO is the computer science acronym that implies bad input will result in bad output. 

Focus groups tend to lead to GIGO.

As you know, a focus group is a targeted group of consumers who are brought together for an in-depth discussion on a certain topic. Businesses and organizations rely on focus groups to obtain feedback on their products and services or generally provide CYA material when new ideas have been exhausted and taking risks are pushed aside.

Seeing a focus group as garage takes enlightenment.

Most problems don’t require more data. 

Most consumer needs don't require more data.

Most solutions won't be found with more data.

More insight, more innovation, and better eyes are required.

More cross-pollination, more adjacent possible, and better instincts are required.

Seth Godin states, 'It doesn't matter what people say. Watch what they do.

"Surveys that ask your customers about their preferences, their net promoter intent, their media habits–they're essentially useless compared to watching what people actually do when they have a chance."

Steve Jobs gets a lot of credit for his design obsession and commitment to how a product looks and feels. But his greatest accomplishment was the way he designed his business for ongoing success and innovation.

Jobs believed you can change commerce and culture through multiyear planning and execution, not by listening to focus group feedback or copying others' successes.

During a Kara Swisher interview at the 2019 SALT Conference, Scooter Braun made the case you need to trust your gut and dump the data.

Braun is the founder of entertainment and media company SB Projects and represents most notably Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Usher.

He makes the case that the ability to pivot and take advantage of a situation is most important to success.

Not business plans. Not data. Not focus groups.

He told the audience, "part of being successful is having moments where you are doing the unreasonable thing. Greatness never came from doing the reasonable thing. It is doing the unreasonable thing, the thing that no one else sees."

Braun's industry is awash in data, but at the start, you need to trust your instinct and make a decision to start. 

Most data can only tell what is working and what is successful, not what will work and what will be successful - that's instinct and execution.

In a commercial world where there is so much content and so much choice, many are looking to friends and influencers to curate and guide purchasing.

In a commercial world with no barriers coupled with the cheapness to start a business, more data isn't going to help you.

Getting into the marketplace and engaging customers is going to help you.

- Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in advocacy communications for global business working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.

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