Dear Expert

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I know we haven’t met, but having read your many presentations, posts and tweets, I did just want pass on what I hope you will regard as constructive feedback.

I’m sure you’re making an observation, rather than merely wishing it dead, so please, it would be really nice (and helpful) if you could follow up the words “… is dead” with a compelling and authenticated death certificate that proves that whatever you think is dead is in fact just that. A compelling industry source tends on the whole to be more persuasive than quoting another blogger. Of course, if you are just predicting that it will be dead, I think distinguishing between a guess and a fact would help enormously.

While we’re about it, it would be really helpful if you could please follow up any use of the words “… is increasingly ineffective” with supporting cross-category, longitudinal data. It’s a quantitative statement not a qualitative interpretation, so it seems only reasonable to ask for this. And I’m sure you’re not just making it all up. It would be preferable if that data related to business metrics, rather than intermediate measures such as awareness, views, likes, etc. And wherever possible it would be good to have accounted for all the other factors such as price, distribution, product quality, competitor activity, weather, etc. that might have impacted the business results.

Oh, and one last thing. I think it might help if you could please follow up any use of the words “No-one…” with evidence that demonstrates that the number of people engaging in this behavior is now categorically down to zero. Again, it’s a quantitative statement (and a categorical one at that) and you seem very sure of your facts. It just would be lovely to see them. And given that the world is an awfully big place, it would be good if you could extend your data set to beyond the borders of North America. Or Europe. Or the M25. Or at least if you could qualify the statement, e.g. “No-one I know…”

I like facts. I also like stimulating opinion. I’m a fan of both. But I do like to know which I am on the receiving end of. I’m only asking these things because I’m not clear if what you’re saying is opinion or fact. And I wouldn’t want others to get the impression that you are confusing the two. Or, heaven forbid, deliberately presenting one as the other.

I thank you.

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