Why do brands that spend gazillions and employ teams of econometricians to ascertain the specific nuances of demographic reach and frequency in traditional media throw all of that out of the window when it comes to digital? I’m sure you’ve been there. The brand manager who pours over TGI, BARB and planning schedules to wring an extra juicy rating or nudge up an index by a few points throws all caution to the wind when it comes to online channels. ‘Just make it go viral,’ or ‘we’ll need an app for that,’ is as far as the analysis sometimes goes. This can lead to the unbecoming site of a stampede of brands running from one web service to another, driven purely by trend and fashion. A world view I refer to as ‘Shiny Shiny Syndrome' (SSS). For example, a few years ago, when Second Life was in its ascendency, there was a trend for big brands to open shops in the metaverse. The fact that Second Life was created by a bunch of people who were trying to get away from the restrictions of what they saw as an overtly commercial First Life was ignored. Also, the reality that the avatar-driven, bizarre world of cyber-geeks and punks was only accessible to a tiny group of people with super-fast machines and chunky bandwidth was lost in the rush to be first. More recently a similar view seems to have held sway when it comes to the iPhone or anything that comes from the Whiter, Brighter and Lighter Church where Steve Jobs reigns supreme. Companies and brands who in the morning were waterboarding their above-the-line media agencies in a vat of latte to drive their TV spots harder, spent the afternoon launching an application into the AppStore, ignoring the fact that none of their customers own, or maybe have even heard of, an iPhone. Of course, this isn’t true of all marketers. Many obsess about the latest SEO techniques and the ROI from their Paid Search campaigns. However, SSS is still not an uncommon mindset. I think the reason for this is an excessive focus on technology. We’re all prone to losing our sense when High Priest Jobs gets on stage and starts waving his latest creation around. However, only when you get back to first principles, focusing on your customers and how they are using technology in their lives to find brands they can trust and services that offer good value can you create helpful market insights.