Remember when you used to make presentations that included what you believed were great ideas and tactics only to have your client or boss question what proof you had that your strategies would work? At that point, you would talk about your experience and instincts. Maybe you would drag out some demographic studies or market surveys about what others in the industry were doing. If you were lucky, you had some focus-group data. Bottom line, no one—including your normally perceptive gut—could feel entirely confident.
Where a decade ago we were forced to proceed on limited research and only partial insights, today we are awash in just about everything and anything we might want in the way of information about our various stakeholders. In 60 days, more videos are uploaded to YouTube than television networks produced in 60 years; in that same two months more than 8 billion tweets will be posted. We’re literally swimming in megabyte upon megabyte, gigabyte upon gigabyte of data, while desperately navigating among a constantly growing universe of multiple platforms and multiple stakeholders, all of which are interacting simultaneously in an always-on, always connected world.
Where in years past we might be able to rely on the art of inspired thinking, today we have no choice but to support that artful thinking with intensive research and the science of analytics to translate the digital noise we are hearing all around us. To survive our hypercompetitive environment, we need laser-focused clarity. Just being able to say, “I’m pretty sure,” doesn’t cut it anymore.
At FleishmanHillard, we have developed a program called GPS like the space-based navigational device, only our GPS stands for Goal, Perspective and Strategy. This proprietary methodology spans research and analytics from observational data from traditional sources to the predictive of big data. Representing the Navigate section of our Compass, GPS is a go-beyond strategy that propels us and our clients beyond mere tactical executions to the spawning of powerful ideas.