Learning The Difference Between Complex and Difficult: A New User’s Journey In Learning Concentric Market
I remember back in 2015 when I first interviewed for Concentric, I found the company after being inspired by a book, Buyology, by Martin Lindstrom. In it, Martin Lindstrom describes the differences between what people think, what they say, and what they ultimately do.
As a people watcher, the part of the book that I found most interesting was the section about the age-old question, Pepsi or Coke? He describes a blind test where most people choose Pepsi and how the part of the brain responsible for taste lights up. However, in a taste test with the brand visible, most people choose Coke. In this case, the frontal lobe that is in charge of decision-making lights up. The conclusion being that we choose to like Coke over Pepsi regardless of taste.
As I finished reading the book I only had one thought, I want his job. I wanted to be able to assess the decisions people make without the use of an MRI machine, as that would be inconvenient. I searched LinkedIn and found Concentric. I read about Concentric Market®. Before thinking this is an amazing opportunity, I thought, this is too good to be true.
I couldn’t believe technology existed to simulate consumer decision-making and at the same time if this was real, why hadn’t I heard of Concentric before? I was so excited when I had the opportunity to join the team.
My first interaction with Concentric Market® left me feeling a little overwhelmed. There were so many places to put data in and some were not intuitive to find. However, Concentric’s supportive culture helped me realize that a new user’s perspective is important to help shape training and the new iterations of software.
After a short period of time, I learned the algorithms and Concentric Market® now made sense. It wasn’t as difficult as I originally thought it would be. I was helping build models that were shaping the electronics and automotive industries. It was awesome.
Then it came time for me to build an entire model on my own. I knew how to test the products, but could I actually build an entire model on my own? I didn’t know but I was about to find out. I thought, how could I, a relatively new user, create an accurate model that would accurately tell our customer what budget to use to launch their product? I was an engineer, not a fortune-teller.
I built the model. I received help in calibration but the inputs had been done by me. Gasp. When we share the final report and gave the client a number of what they should spend for 2017, I sighed a bit and though I am not religious, I prayed I had not sent them wrong with an inaccurate model.
A few months later, I learned that our sales forecast was within 1% of actuals and that the CMO kept verifying the numbers as he had shared my disbelief.
I was perplexed on how I, a new user, had been able to build a model that accurate. I realized Concentric Market® is not difficult to use, it’s simply complex. The majority of inputs needed are readily available in most companies. For the inputs relating to consumers, I came to the conclusion that small data is very powerful. After all, consumers making decisions are just people.
Who better to tell the model how consumers think than the industry participants and experts. One might assume that for Concentric Market® to forecast not only your brand but that of the entire marketplace, the data required must be sophisticated. However, the sophisticated part is the algorithms working behind the scenes and they have your back. Take it from an old new user, Concentric Market® is not difficult, it’s complex and you already have the data, use it well.
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