"where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge, and the knowledge we have lost in information?"
i think if there's a book just waiting to be penned it's one about 'marketing smack talk' - those myriad of statements in meetings meant to sound sage and wise....yet ring hollow and add little or no value to the conversation at hand.
my personal favourite rising to the top of the charts amidst the recession and looming uncertainty facing many products, brands, campaigns etc....is WHAT DO THE NUMBERS SAY? either (a) i need more medication, or (b) have taken way to much of the wrong medication, but last time i looked at a set of numbers they didn't utter a single syllable or revelation...they just sat there like a fat kid on a couch. for numbers to say anything useful at all really, one has actively place them in service of hypothesis, draw out implication and conclusion through comparison, juxtaposition, pattern recognition and some good hard thinking! the human psyche is far too complex and dynamic, as are peoples reactions to communications, as are brands... to be completely and quantitatively unraveled and explained away by point in time numbers alone. "just when you want it, you don't want it" as gershwin said. And yet increasingly decisions are being made around tables on raw numbers alone without much considered analysis, sense of context or implication to those numbers. To mitigate risk or conversely unearth reward, numbers need interpretation. if there's one book that's worth picking up on this very subject - and i urge you to do so - it's The Sum of Our Discontent - Why Numbers Make Us Irrational by David Boyle. Next time you see copy test results, or indices, or ROI numbers (which are ever so vogue) don't ask what the numbers say...figure it out for yourself and take note of the context they're to be evaluated against and the social and psychological context that they were reported in...i guarantee it will cause you pause.