Admission #1:  We flunked high school calculus.

[So maybe the teacher had an issue with our mouthing off.]

These days, though, it doesn’t pay to get snarky with math or its proponents.  Because in every hour of our work life, numbers come into play.

Colleagues in our sister industries have similar concerns, especially about media measurement.  That stalwart of our parents’ TV black boxes, Nielsen, recently publicized a solution – its new C7 rating would accommodate a week’s worth of views, the total time spent on different platforms (from Netflix to cable to YouTube), and the average audience size.  In partnership with Facebook, it also aims to deliver age and gender demographics for online video viewers.

Digging in deep, the questions still proliferate:

  • Will this account for the folks who (admission #2:  like us) save TiVO- and Roku-recorded content to replay AFTER a week?  Or those who binge-watch specific series and programs way after their debuts?
  • Will this drill down into audience profiles so we know the true value of what’s being sold and bought?
  • Finally (and probably most significant, in our eyes):  Will this C7 analyze attention – how intently people engage with content?

Hey, advertisers aren’t the only ones who yearn to get those kinds of scores.  Those of us practicing change inside companies haven’t yet figured out employee engagement with content – let alone with the corporation.

Or have we?


Now that the BIG elections are over, can we tell you how much we loathe-despise-detest pollsters?

We’ve learned how to zero out (to avoid the robo-dialers).  Found excuse after excuse to disqualify ourselves from responding to a live questioner. [Try “I gave at the office.”  It’ll flummox them every time.]  Squirmed and gave weird comments to the “other” answer in online surveys.

Yet, somehow, THEY know:  There’s a fellow feeling deep down of compliance, of understanding that it takes 10,000 calls to create a village of 1,000.  Besides, we do the same thing … inside.

So why the avoidance, the need to be, quite simply, contrary? 

It might be because we’re over-surveyed.  Have lost faith in the power and performance of polls.  Witnessed the conflict among numbers in national reports.  Or prefer, honestly, to engage in conversations with those around us, testing what we need to among the groups who know and work with us.  A focus group of friends, if you will.

Is it statistically significant?  Nope.

Can we ferret out real intentions in these dialogues?  Maybe yes.  Maybe no.

When we do want to get a snapshot in the moment of what people know, what they believe, and the actions they follow, this is our preferred route.  It’s like copytesting, probing opinions and communicating both ways.  Asking strangers, even inside corporations, about certain matters is like asking for a leap of faith; many – even if you’ve been referred by the senior-most executives – will either decline politely or go through the answers somewhat mechanically.  Sure, the humongous engagement surveys do get responses.  Sure, they’re anonymous, without attribution.  Yet, there’s no opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts; that “other” bucket receives the venting from many … but it doesn’t answer back.

So when you ask us to sample our opinions, think again, please, about the “how.”  We’re counting on it.