Insights From GKS

How We Think

Articles from GKS Consulting for thought leaders in nonprofit organizations, education and service-based businesses.

The Trials of a One-armed Paperhanger
December 1, 2015

I often marvel at the abilities of creative colleagues. They turn out beautiful and responsive work day after day – work that is generally greeted with “I like it” or “I don’t like it” from the client. Indeed, too often creative professionals operate like the proverbial one-armed paperhangers. They busily sit at their computers cranking out work with little intelligence to guide them. That additional arm would help them do better work that can be judged on more valuable criteria than whether the client likes it. While effectiveness or whether the work does the job it is intended to do is aMORE >

Fear of Knowing — Why We Resist Doing Research
November 30, 2015

Fear of knowing followed by the fear of having to change may be the biggest obstacles to embracing a marketing research program. In an email providing comment on the draft of a questionnaire being prepared to assess prospective customer perceptions, the client took a moment to reflect on how he was feeling about the long overdue marketing research project. I was initially somewhat taken aback to see language including “exhilarating in its own freakish way,” “frankly terrifies me,” and “a kernel of thrill in it all.” After all, as a marketing researcher, I find nothing more exciting than generating insight fromMORE >

What’s a Parent To Do?
November 29, 2015

We’re all painfully familiar with the challenges of navigating today’s economic environment. And we’re also well-versed in the character of the Millennial generation and their engaged, helicopter parents. Taken together, we have to wonder how parents—who want only the best for their children—will approach financing college attendance in the next few years. Will anything change in how students and parents make college choices? Will families pay even more attention to sticker prices associated with attending college? Will parents more assertively dictate distance from home or even community college attendance? What will families expect from financial aid officers? Not content with idle speculation,MORE >

Marketing Researcher: Get over yourself
October 29, 2015

From one marketing researcher to others: it’s time to “get over yourselves.” With fierce commitment to statistical validity and complex analyses, marketing researchers have become their own worst enemies. Long after the answers to marketing questions have been revealed, researchers persist in developing complex statistical variations presented in lengthy reports. The result: Research projects take on lives of their own, becoming costly and taking time from implementation; Clients cannot help but believe that resulting recommendations or creative solutions are market proof and infallible; “Selling” future research becomes more difficult when clients feel the research was not connected to tangible outcomes; and Colleagues lose sense ofMORE >

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