Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Agnostic vs. Cognostic

What is a word?

In the late 1800's Thomas Huxley coined the term 'agnostic' to reflect his world view that certain things, e.g. deities,  are not known or even knowable.  The inability to demonstrate a conclusion or premise is the basis of the term which translates to 'without knowledge'.  

In marketing and technology the term agnostic has moved closer to 'independent' - like 'platform agnostic.'   Unfortunately this has transcended into 'media agnostic' -- which is an unfortunate turn of phrase.  It would suggest we either don't know how to prove media works or are indifferent to it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   One of the major advantages we have with clients is we can offer expertise not in one or two channels but in a wide variety of channels.   This provides the opportunity to  think in pan-media (earned, owned and paid) terms - the heavy lifting of strategic thinking. 

Both Omniture (adobe) and Google provide platforms for multi-channel funnels.  The latter typically focuses on website conversions; the former has a better opportunity to figure out content consumption 'out there'.   Generally, any captured event is an interaction.  It is up to the business do define what matters and what doesn't.  This is a market where interest is flowing:  iJento is a start up and Alltop – Top Web Analytics News lists all kinds of news in the space.  Some enterprising youngster will take Flow Visualization and apply it across a wide set of properties rather than just one the traffic to one site. 

So, in the spirit of inventing words I had come up with the term 'cognostic' four years ago to reflect that media planning is done with knowledge.   Not only do we know how it works, but we have the ability to understand how consumers use various mediums in their decision journey.  

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