SenseMaker® in marketing

January 25, 2011

It’s taken a bit of time but we are starting to make breakthroughs in marketing with one expert suggesting that SenseMaker® will replace focus groups and polling, although he did add that vested interests may try and prevent that! This press release from Kline reports on the use of SenseMaker® to understand personal care products. It also reports something that we find a lot of micro-narrative work, namely that conventional wisdom is often turned on its head.

That is something you don’t find with collections of stories/anecdotes through direct questions and workshops which really don’t move the agenda on that much from focus groups. It’s the day to day fragmented stories, and the self-interpretation which reveals new insights and understanding. It’s a point I made in my Utility in Narrative post where I talked about the need to move to more context free and resilient forms of narrative work that are enabled by neither little or large “s” storytelling. Those both carry too much structure and to be honest too much interference (and remember I created most of the small “s” methods a decade ago so this is a confession of past sin).

For those interested in this I will be presenting some of the latest SenseMaker® ideas on marketing at a workshop organised by a long term friend and network member Liz Machtynger of Customer Essential next week (3rd February) in what they have called a Customer Greenhouse! Nice metaphor, and its a rich agenda. The theme is retaining customers and building your tribe so I will pick up on SenseMaker® to understand the market and monitor change, but I will also introduce some of the latest thinking on metaphor use in marketing. Its only just been confirmed but despite the short notice its filling up fast and there are only a few places left.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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