The Importance of Being Ignorant


2016 was the year people who are supposed to know what they're doing got everything wrong.

Experts were 98% certain that Hillary would win the White House.

Wrong. Trump is being sworn in today.

Experts were certain that we would remain in the EU.

Wrong. Article 50 will be triggered soon (ish).

As marketing experts we should sit up, pay attention and learn something from all this wrongness.

It's time to challenge our previously held beliefs about how marketing works.

And to do this we need to open ourselves up completely to learning.

Luckily - for those willing - there's never been a better time to learn.

We have more data than ever before to inform our work and we're entering an exciting new era of machine learning which will accelerate our rate of knowledge evolution exponentially.

Our day-to-day will soon involve collaboration with AI, providing an opportunity to put our theories to the test like never before.

This could be daunting. We could fear the consequences new intelligence could pose to our views of how marketing works. What if we've been wrong all along?

Well, we may well have. Perhaps behavioural science has been wrong. Perhaps demographic targeting has been wrong (and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that it has been).

It's all part of the fun. Only by opening ourselves up to genuine learning can we pave the way for genuinely better marketing.

Those who rigidly believe they know it all are are destined to find the next chapter more than a little uncomfortable.

Olly Hones is a Partner at Cubaka.

Olly has been lucky enough to work with brands such as Diageo, Barclays and Kronenbourg over the past four years.
He’s now our partner (some guys have all the luck, eh?).