Attest campaign seeks to make marketing guesswork “illegal”

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Consumer research platform Attest has launched a campaign urging brands to remove guesswork from their marketing playbook for good.

The campaign follows the finding that 57-73% of marketers feel their departments rely on guesswork when making decisions.

Attest on a mission

Attest hopes to highlight the risk of such guesswork in an era of weakening brand loyalty.

A survey it carried out among 1,000 UK found that a staggering nine in 10 (92%) are trying different products and services due to price pressures.

Trust in brands is also at a new low, with 79% of shoppers convinced that brands are involved in “greedflation” (i.e. using inflation as an excuse to hike prices).

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As part of the campaign a video showcases the dangers facing brands that rely on instinct instead of data when making high-stakes decisions.

The “Make guesswork illegal” campaign will be shared across social media, earned media and digital channels, with video content developed in partnership with Nusa Films.

Brand crimes – bringing the Guesswork Crime Lab video to life

To bring Attest’s campaign fully to life – with a dose of well-intentioned humour – Attest CEO and founder Jeremy King donned a lab coat in the campaign launch video to walk us through the Guesswork Crime Lab, where the most salacious brand crimes are investigated for their lack of consumer forethought.

The campaign is rooted in reality as King started his career as a scientist focused on behaviour, genetics and ecology, long before he founded Attest in 2015.

With this background, he relies on empiricism, exploring hypotheses, uncovering paradigms and using data to make decisions.

When he moved to the world of business, he was shocked by how little a role hard data played in critical business decisions and the messes left behind by decisions devoid of research.

The fictional environment will be instantly recognisable to marketers the world over who have been forced to rely solely on gut instinct.

“In my early days as a scientist, I learned why guesswork is practically illegal in the world of science,” said King.

“Personal bias can derail even the greatest of experiments, resulting in massive, costly mistakes and error-filled conclusions.”

“Yet, when I was just starting to dream up the idea for Attest, I was shocked to see that many businesses consistently fail to make decisions with anything like the inputs, objectivity and rigour that science demands – often using pure guesswork, gut feel or HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion).

“It happens constantly in the business world – even though the stakes are so high. We see the same mistakes again; flopped product launches, marketing that backfires, failing to understand consumer needs or choosing the right tone at the right time.

“Major decisions made without information have fatal consequences.”

“This campaign, albeit playful in tone, touches upon a very serious problem in business today.

“Whether a brand is handling the backlash from a high-profile controversy, adjusting prices due to inflation or strategising on how best to reach their next wave of growth, you can easily trace the biggest PR, advertising and product disasters back to one simple fact: instead of doing their research, brands made big calls based on guesswork.”

“At Attest, we believe access to great research creates a stream of unfair advantages, and it’s an advantage we want more people to have.

“We exist to help all businesses look outside their office, and think beyond their experience, by connecting directly with millions of target consumers everywhere.

“With this campaign, we hope to remove ‘guesswork’ from marketers’ vocabulary and habits once and for all.”

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Marketing missteps & controversy

Attest is a platform that exists to put quality insights into more people’s hands by making it less of a big deal to conduct regular research.

And with this campaign, Attest wants brands to avoid the disasters Jeremy mentions and stay out of the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

To do this, the research also delved into consumers’ views on marketing missteps and high-profile controversies:

People are split on how to respond

The most likely response from Britons is to boycott/stop buying a brand’s products and services “immediately”, with a third (33%) favouring this approach.

By contrast, however, 30% are much more forgiving and are willing to give a brand time to issue a public statement before making up their mind.

While social media plays a key role for 19% of people, who will either unfollow a brand or publish public posts disapproving of a company involved in a controversy.

Brits most concerned by racism

An accusation of racism when a brand is involved in a controversy is the top issue that concerns the public (at 42%).

This is followed by accusations of poor treatment of animals (38%), bad treatment of employees (35%), discrimination (based on people with disabilities, religion, and sexual orientation, at 33%), sexism (24%) and “greenwashing” (22%).

A combined 20% of Britons are concerned with brands involved in political controversies:

11% express concern if a brand was accused of right-wing, socially conservative politics.

While 9% would feel the same way regarding accusations of left-wing, socially liberal politics.

Consumers value transparency the most during a controversy

A majority of Britons 54%) want a brand involved in a high-profile controversy to provide full transparency and steps on how they will fix it.

A notable 51% will be happy with the issuance of a public apology.

Other remedies favoured by people include removing the person responsible (33%), offering a discount/refund (27%) and providing services to lodge complaints (20%).

To view Attest’s other brand video on Guesswork Industries, where employees rely on some interesting methods to figure out what their consumers want, click here.