The Power(lessness) of One
Perspectives > Blog Post

The Power(lessness) of One

March 31, 2015

Jeff Craw, Ph.D

While there are many realities facing brands today, consider the following three: • The ability of advanced technology to capture and retain bits of data means that companies are inundated with massive amount of information every day (i.e., Big Data). • Brands exist in a fast-paced, ever-evolving culture that demands immediate answers. • Brands prefer simplicity over complexity. Combine these three factors and you get a business environment where companies want to grab the latest bit of data, draw quick but firm conclusions, and make decisions for the future that aren’t based on a full picture. But, this quick-fix approach is short-sided and misleading...

While there are many realities facing brands today, consider the following three:
• The ability of advanced technology to capture and retain bits of data means that companies are inundated with massive amount of information every day (i.e., Big Data).
• Brands exist in a fast-paced, ever-evolving culture that demands immediate answers.
• Brands prefer simplicity over complexity.

Combine these three factors and you get a business environment where companies want to grab the latest bit of data, draw quick but firm conclusions, and make decisions for the future that aren’t based on a full picture. But, this quick-fix approach is short-sided and misleading.

Before beginning at Kelton, I completed my doctorate in psychology at Columbia University, where I spent five years conducting a series of research projects before writing my dissertation. The promising results of one study were not enough; my dissertation advisers needed to see results confirmed again and again. While you can certainly criticize the slow, overly conservative approach of academia, there is a lesson learned in the need for confirmation. By corroborating results, there is greater confidence that your research is tapping into something real and influential.

At Kelton, we wear many hats, but a common theme through all our work is that we uncover brand truths for our clients. Given the uncertainty of quick data and singular results, do we discredit research as an avenue to brand truth? Of course not. So, what then are we to do? We “triangulate on the truth”. We approach our clients’ business problems from multiple angles, knowing that when all signs point to the same conclusion, we are on to something. We leverage quantitative, qualitative, and brand strategy methodologies, highlighting and further exploring insights at the intersection of each approach. We employ tracking studies so that we capture truth for our clients’ brands not at a single moment in time, but at various points throughout the year.

Truth for us is not in any one project, or in any one team. Truth for us is when our quantitative, qualitative, and strategy teams all coalesce on the same insights for our clients and their business, brand, and culture. This is why we advocate so strongly for multi-phase, multi-method projects. Truth for us is when our clients come back for additional work because they have found our research and strategy insights align with their own experience – two viewpoints converging on the same conclusion. When research, strategy, and client experience/intuition all merge together like this, we proceed with confidence knowing that we have unlocked a brand’s truth that can drive their business forward to short- and long-term success.

Jeff Craw, Ph.D

Manager, Quantitative Research

As a Manager of Quantitative Research, Jeff possesses a strong background in statistical modeling and research methodology.  He has the unique skill set to dive deeply into nuances and complexities...

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