Maurice Wheeler at Communication Science on the Spot
On 6 December, Maurice Wheeler, founder and strategy partner at The Little Big Partnership, was interviewed by Dr Jessica Piotrowski about adience-led marketing strategies and research.
Maurice explained that, when working as a consultant, you do not promise your client a clear-cut answer. Instead, you promise them a process, that will help them better understand their audience or sector. This requires Maurice to conduct both qualitative and quantitative research (e.g. desk research or stakeholder interviews). Research is expensive though, and must therefore be considered as a means to find possible options. Eventually, you present your client the various options with its drawbacks and opportunities.
Empowered by choice
Furthermore, as a consultant it is essential to understand your audience, thus Maurice spends as much time as possible with kids. He estimated that on a yearly basis, he speaks to approximately a thousand children. Even when Maurice goes out for a run, he will sometimes be listening to interviews with kids. He went on to explain that, although you might think you understand their thoughts and feelings; children can still surprise you. They do not make rational decisions and, unlike adults, are not intimidated by a lot of choices. On the contrary, opportunities make them feel empowered and enthusiastic.
According to Maurice, virtual reality is overrated for children younger than twelve. Instead, he thinks that automation and artificial intelligence will be increasingly important in the near future. For example, developing an algorithm based on conversation mechanics to express a certain brand, such as Barbie.
Maurice ended the night with some tips for the students in de audience, the next generation of consultants. As a young professional, he said, it is important to find a job you are really passionate about. Nowadays, all job-applicants have a degree, but you can stand out by showing you want to put in extra effort to developing new skills.
Written by Susan Vermeer
About Maurice Wheeler
The Little Big Partnership focuses on creating the best interactive experiences for children, young people, and their families. Maurice has spent the better part of the last twenty years developing numerous audience-led strategies to solve a range of problems for international clients, including Nickelodeon, BBC, Disney and Lego.
On Tuesday 21 February 2017 we will have Myrthe Hilkens, journalist and former politician, on the Spot. She will be interviewed by Bert Bakker. More information will follow soon!