Q.E.D. is Latin for Quod Erat Demonstrandum – what was meant to be demonstrated has been demonstrated.
Mathematicians mark the end of successful proofs with these letters to indicate they have accomplished their original objective – proven that the hypothesized relationship exists. During graduate school, I remember the triumph and relief that came with solving the problem – knitting together the seemingly disparate set of assumptions into a solid, often surprising, new relationship.
As a marketer, I have succeeded by applying this same style of deduction and reasoning to marketing challenges. Given a system of variables – brand benefits, core messaging, target consumers, retailers, need-states, competitors, objectives, benchmarks – we search for that sweet spot where all of the pieces come together to create a new, stronger relationship – greater awareness, deeper loyalty, larger share of voice.
The social media space is a particularly interesting challenge because there are so many variables, and so few proven results. The system itself is evolving constantly with new technologies, innovations, and resulting shifts in consumer behavior.
We’ve witnessed a complete shift in the consumption of media, as unsettling and exciting to traditional marketers as the discovery of irrational numbers was to Pythagorus or uncountable infinity was to Cantor (she says sliding the glasses up her nose and chortling…let’s hope we fair better than Cantor, right!). Like logicians faced with a new set of Axioms, it’s time to roll up our sleeves, sharpen our pencils, and figure out the methodologies that work, and the truths we can discover about this new social system.
This latest challenge will make it all the sweeter when we have those Q.E.D. moments!
From A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful (as a Babel fish) could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The arguement goes something like this:
‘I refuse to prove I exist,‘ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’‘
But,’ says Man, ‘the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguements, you don’t. QED.’
‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
‘Oh, that was easy,’ says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
Most leading theologians claim that this arguement is a load of dingo’s kidneys, but that didn’t stop Oolan Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God.