Common Sense in a Shiny New World


Here at Eicoff, we believe in common sense. It can reduce complex issues to simple truisms. It’s often prescient. It makes for good quotes. And sometimes it helps us to step out of the weeds and look at the big picture.

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.  – Will Rogers

From Vietnam to the mortgage crisis, some really smart people have overthought their way into some really serious trouble. (For a Marketing example, we present Exhibit A: Pepsi’s ‘protest’ spot with Kendall Jenner). In the early 2000’s the tech craze burst this humble writer’s employment bubble. In retrospect, all the signs were there for the sensible to see, but groupthink and the need for the shiny new thing obscured them.

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.   – Gertrude Stein

These days, the marketing world is awash in information. The rise of big data, tracking and analytics has allowed marketers to target consumers more directly than ever. As a result, they receive more invasive messaging than ever before. While it’s allowed digital media to finally monetize, there’s a price. Many sites and apps are swamped by ads. Quantity is not necessarily quality.

No one tests the depth of the river with both feet.  – Ashanti proverb

Shiny new things abound in the worlds of experiential, social and virtual reality. Sometimes you get amazing results with new innovations. Sometimes you get stupid human tricks on a selfie stick. And even though digital media usage is growing, are its measurements transparent? Do its primary adopters have enough spending power? Are older, more monied generations buying in, too?

The consumer is not a moron. – David Ogilvy

Consumers have usually driven the marketing boat: “Do I believe in this? Is this something I need right now? Can I afford it?” Pretty common sense concerns. Given its ability to tell a good story about a product, Television has always been a powerful place to make your marketing case to the consumer. The days, however, pundits like to claim, “TV is dead.” Well, not only does TV viewing data refute that, but just look around. People are watching TV in more ways than ever. And nothing yet has the quality reach of TV. Not even a selfie stick. Shouldn’t a marketing budget go where the eyeballs are?

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here at Eicoff, many of our employees have long tenures at the company. They have weathered both massive industry changes and misguided trends. How to tell the difference? Experience often refines common sense. Even when we get it wrong, the very nature of our business model demands an immediate course correct. We analyze the response data and work the problem. It’s how we make money for our clients.

It is a brave new world, and we all have a lot of questions. But we still believe the human brain is the world’s finest computer. (No offense, Watson) Our experiences, observations and insights matter. If we use our common sense as well as bots and data points, we’ll get to where we need to be. Here’s to a sensible future.

The future ain’t what it used to be. – Yogi Berra