Last year Harold Burson did an interview with Boston University Professor Don Wright in which he said that a critical fault in our field is that we provide “exquisite answers to the wrong problems.”
Intrigued by this phrase, I emailed the 97-year-old founder of Burson-Marsteller and asked him what he meant. He explained in the video below that client teams are sent in to an organization, ask a set of questions and deliver an exquisite creative campaign that, ultimately, does not solve the business problem because the right questions were never asked. He said that there should be much more formal research at the beginning of the process to get a legitimate view of what the affected people really feel about the issue. This rings painfully true to me.