Episode 190: Jason Burnham Telepathy and Thinking Style Targeting
Love the psychology of marketing?
Here's a new concept for targeting customers with information in their personal "thinking style."
Based on the work of John Furey of MindTime, Jason Burnham, along with the Catalyst SF folks, have founded a new technology company in the digital media space to create targeted content that suits an individuals' learning and communication style.
Are you a past, present, future or blended thinker? Take the free quiz at http://mindtimemaps.com and find out.
Soon marketers may be providing imagery, messaging and content experiences based on how you view the world from your personal Mind Time Map.
Jason believes the marketing principles we've been using to drive ad campaigns for decades has been inefficient and he has a better way.
If you currently use audience segmentation, listen to this new model.
Note: Jason mentioned that Toyota.com catered to Future Thinkers, Nissan.com catered to Present Thinkers, and Ford.com catered to Future Thinkers. He meant to say that Ford catered to Past Thinkers.
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and on today’s show you’re going to get to meet Jason Burnham. Now Jason and I have probably known each other for 15, 16 years now. We were some of the founding people in the digital marketing industry. He’s been founder of Mass Transit Interactive. He’s sold his company to Horizon. He’s started another consulting firm in the digital industry called Burnham Marketing, and now he’s on to a new thing that – not that what he did in the past didn’t have legs mind you – but what he’s doing now is very interesting to me. I got involved with this concept. His new company is called Telepathy. Love the name. And I got involved in this concept when I was, I interviewed a man named John Furey at AdTech New York for a keynote, and John has come up with this way of categorizing people, kind of like Meyers Briggs but easier, based on how you view the world as a past, present or future thinker, and how you can relate to people and communicate to individuals based on their Mind Time Map. Now you can go take this free survey. It’s like 18 questions, takes just a minute or two at mindtimemaps.com, and you can see what your Mind Time Map is. Jason has started an organization leveraging that concept for targeting people at a way that at an emotional level makes a lot more sense to them. And we’re going to talk about how he’s using this new concept for understanding all humans in the digital marketing arena. So lets welcome Jason onto the show today. I think you’re really going to like this, and I would recommend that you also listen to my interview with John Furey if this interests you. So welcome Jason.
Jason Burnham: Hi Susan, how are you?
Susan Bratton: I am great darling. Thank you so much for being on the show. I don’t think you’ve ever been on DishyMix before.
Jason Burnham: Actually I have.
Susan Bratton: You have?
Jason Burnham: It’s just been a very long time.
Susan Bratton: It has been.
Jason Burnham: Yes.
Susan Bratton: Well it could’ve been like three or four or five or even six years ago now.
Jason Burnham: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: You know, I’ve been doing it for so long, so I can’t tell sometimes. The lines blur for me between my friends that I have conversations with and people I had, my friends that I had conversations with on my show, you know what I mean?
Jason Burnham: Absolutely, yeah.
Susan Bratton: So why don’t you give us a level set on what you’re doing with this new company Telepathy. You just take the floor and take as long as you want to really explain it to us.
Jason Burnham: Sure, absolutely. So you mentioned Mind Time, and you know, essentially Mind Time over the past 20 years has really developed the model for understand how people think and how they approach decision-making. Sow while you have companies in the marketplace that leverage a lot of different types of data, such as behavioral and geographic and demographic and psychographic and media consumption – the list really goes on and on and on – you’ll find that they’re really good at telling you the who, what, when and where about people, right. So you have demographic and psychograpic data that will tell you, you know, will paint a pretty good picture about who a person is or who a consumer may be, and you can use different types of contextual targeting and conversational targeting and even behavioral profiles to understand what people are looking for, and then you can use media consumption habits, you know, geographical data as well as retargeting to identify where somebody may actually be in order to reach those people. And then you could use purchase data to know when somebody actually makes a purchase or takes some sort of action. Now what current psychographic and behavioral data does not provide is telling you how and why consumers behave the way that they do, which is where we’re trying to go that last mile and be able to provide that type of information. Now the different thinking styles that you have referenced early on, and which I’m going to explain a little bit further about what the difference is between a past, present and future thinker, the reality is that thinking styles don’t change. Where you have all of this other data that is currently being deployed in the marketplace, you constantly have to go out and find that data over and over and over again, where once you’ve identified with somebody’s thinking style is that stays with you forever. Your thinking style pretty much gets developed between the ages of four and six years old and sticks with you through the rest of your life unless you really are making a conscious change to try to change your thinking perspective. So what we focus in on is understanding how consumers think, what they really believe, how they actually make a decision and ultimately what will actually motivate them. So now what we’ve created really is a new foundation for persona development that all other data sets can actually layer on top of. The different thinking styles – past, present and future – are really the three primary forces that all of us pull from. Each one of us pull from three different thinking styles. However, each one of us typically focus and concentrate in on one of those three primary forces because it’s what’s most comfortable to us. So for example, a past thinker, they’re all about certainty. As a consumer they require a lot more information before they make a decision, the product or service that they’re looking to buy into requires a lot of credibility. They’re really big on avoiding risk, and they’re also very price conscious; whereas present thinkers are all about probability and how to best manage things within the present. They’re typically very practical and organized. They usually plan all of their purchases. They also are very big on comparing different features of competitive products. They also tend to follow trends and kind of go with what the masses are actually buying, so the most popular; whereas future thinkers are all about possibility. They’re typically much more impulsive and opportunistic. They’re a little bit more fickle and individualistic on the types of products that they are going to purchase, and these do tend to be more of your earlier adopters and really, really are the ones that are going to be more receptive to last minute types of deals or special offers that are being deployed in the market. So ultimately what we’re doing now is taking those three different thinking styles and building an understanding of each individual so that we know how to message to those people accordingly. And so we see that by applying this model to marketing and advertising, it could drive everything from product ideation and development, all the way through to creative messaging and web development and social strategy, as well as the types of sites you’re going to advertise on how you deal with your customer service because, you know, how you communicate to those high value prospects based on those thinking styles is going to be completely different, and ultimately will then drive all of your CRM and social initiatives as well.
Susan Bratton: So close that last mile for me. If I’m a brand and I want to move from things like, non-scalable things frankly like a lot of behavioral targeting and some of the other ways that we target ‘cause people come in and out of need states, etcetera. I want to do that. I want to figure out how to segment not only my customers, but my prospects using the Mind Time Map model. What do I do?
Jason Burnham: Sure. So the first step, and where we’re at right now with the products is really focused on the persona development audience segmentation side of the business. So I’ll give you a real world example. We recently just put together a proposal for a large automotive company. Now they’re coming out with several products next year and they’re trying to build a communication strategy and kind of bring those new vehicles to market. The first step in the process would be to find out what other vehicles they currently have out in the market that have a similar target audience to the new vehicles that they’re looking to release. So the first step would actually be to map their customer database or prospect database and understand what the concentration and distribution of those different thinking styles actually are.
Susan Bratton: So wait, how do you do that Jason? Do you make them take the Mind Time Map survey?
Jason Burnham: Yes. We do. However, the new survey we have out now is actually nine questions. I know you’re familiar with the survey that is 18 questions but we managed to get it down to nine questions, so it is a very short survey. It will take you approximately a minute to complete.
Susan Bratton: So you’re actually asking customers, existing customers under prospects to take a nine question survey?
Jason Burnham: That’s correct.
Susan Bratton: And then you segment them in your CRM system or whatever?
Jason Burnham: That’s correct. So we would ultimate segment those within the Mind Time platform and understanding what each of those things does actually are. Now keep in mind that we realize whenever you’re dealing with survey-based data not every single person is going to take the survey. We do, you know, ultimately all we really need is a statistically significant sample size, and then from there we can start to build look alike models with the existing people in the database that did not take the survey. They back out and then understand what those thinking styles actually are.
Susan Bratton: So how do you approach your customers? “Hey, I want you to take a survey so that I can, you know…”, what? I mean what’s the conversation you have with your customers? Where do you send them? What’s that experience? I mean I know you’re figuring it out now, but what’s your first best guess at this?
Jason Burnham: Well in terms of the customer experience – and this really goes for any general consumer in the marketplace – we’re very big on transparency. And as you can see what’s going on in the market now with all of the issues surrounding privacy, and consumers are becoming a lot more savvy, which is why the whole privacy issue has become really brought to the forefront, what we’re really big on is transparency. So having that transparent relationship between the marketer and the consumer. So we invite the consumer into the sales process and tell them, “Look, we’re trying to understand this information about you so that we can provide you information about our products and services in a way that is most comfortable for you and make you feel that we’re giving you the appropriate information in order for you to make an educated decision. Now in exchange for that understanding about you, we’re going to provide you with a level of awareness and a deeper understanding of about yourself.” So once you actually take the survey… It’s not about just having them take a survey, we take that data and go off and do whatever we want to do with it; it’s all about providing the value exchange and giving value back to the consumer. So when you actually take the Mind Time survey, we’ll also provide you with a full understanding about your thinking outlook, how you engage with the world, how you are within relationships, what your value system’s like, how you are in a leadership role and even what your resistances actually are. So we’re providing this consumer, this person a much deeper understanding about themselves in exchange for that information so that we can provide better service to them.
Susan Bratton: And have you done it yet? And how has the feedback been from customers? Because I know customers are very wary about giving any personal information. You know, there are very few brands that have a level of relationship where… it just takes so much to engender trust with your customers. You can be like totally consistent and positive and bringing value, and nonetheless it’s very difficult. So have you done it yet and how’s it going? Or what’s your plan to crisis manage it if it doesn’t go well?
Jason Burnham: Sure. So I would say there’s a couple of answers to that question. So in terms of telepathy, we have not yet [inaudible]. I mean really just launched…
Susan Bratton: Right, you’re new.
Jason Burnham: Yeah, we’re very new and we’re just kind of starting to get out there and educating people about this new model. But Mind Time has been using this model for years from the organizational development side of the business, and you know, in terms of people answering the surveys accurately in terms of people participating in it, they see great value in it. I think it has more to do with the education to the consumer and the value that they’re going to receive for this information. And again, you know, we feel that in a survey like this where people are actually going to receive value from it, we expect that the different response and completion rates are going to be much greater than even some of your more generic marketing studies that are actually deployed in the marketplace today. And because we don’t need to have every single person take the survey, we feel that, you know, we will be able to get to the scale that we need. Now the other side where we’re looking to really evolve to over the course of the next six months to a year, is really building out our cognitive targeting products where we plan on developing different types of applications and games that will deploy ourselves into the marketplace in order to get people to take the survey, have a much more fun experience with it, share it with friends, share it with family, and then at that point be able to build our own data set that we would then be able to sell through similar to like a [inaudible].
Susan Bratton: I like it. I really, really like it. What kind of – I know you explained that the past thinkers like data points and certainty and the present thinkers like going with the, you know, crowd sourced opinions and, you know, what it’s going to do for me right now, and the future thinkers like where it’s going to take them and what it’s going to create for them. How does that kind of experience manifest in a marketing message? So if I’m an automotive and I have a new car, and I know that that, lets just call it a luxury - lets call it what I like, I like luxury convertibles. So it’s a new luxury convertible. It’s appealing to men and women, and of course it’s appealing to past, present and future thinkers, and we’re keeping this simple ‘cause obviously there are past/present blended and future/present blended…
Jason Burnham: Absolutely.
Susan Bratton: you know, there are blends as well. Pretty much you always have a little bit of each of those in you; you just have a lead preference for where you start the process of thinking about anything. So lets just take that luxury convertible, and how would you communicate as a marketer to just the simple three, past, present and future, in a way that would increase sales?
Jason Burnham: Sure.
Susan Bratton: Is that the right question Jason? Am I asking you the question there, ‘cause I feel like…
Jason Burnham: No, that’s a great question.
Susan Bratton: Is there a better way to ask it or is that the right thing?
Jason Burnham: No, that’s a great question.
Susan Bratton: Okay.
Jason Burnham: So, well let me first start by saying that there are even different verbs, nouns and adjectives that are going to resonate differently with each of the three thinking styles. So even from a messaging standpoint, whatever your call to action is, whatever the product benefits you’re trying to communicate to the different thinking styles is going to be tremendously different. And even images that you use are going to resonate differently with the different thinking styles. Now what we look at – and not just the terminologies and the words are going to be used – but backing this out into different brain attributes, so using your sports car as an example. Now if we’re going into the marketplace in terms of different messaging and we’re trying to communicate to the different thinking styles, from a past thinker thinking perspective things like ‘safe’ and, you know, their consumer report rating are going to be very important attributes to a past thinker. Present thinkers are all going to be about reliability. They’re more utilitarian. And you’ll find that things like a car being sturdy and affordable are going to resonate both past and present thinking, right. Now for future thinkers it’s all about how stylish it is. Is it innovative? What’s unique about it? Is it limited where they’re not making too many of this particular model? Present and future thinkers will both resonate towards comfortability. And then you have certain attributes like the fact that the car may be technologically advanced, which would actually resonate with all three thinking styles.
Susan Bratton: Thank you. I really like that. And I like the way it moves beyond persona marketing, which is made up stuff, right. I mean I think that’s the problem with personas is that they’re an amalgum of, you know, potential person, you know, a place holder for reality, where this is the reality of a persons way of consuming information.
Jason Burnham: Right.
Susan Bratton: I like that.
Jason Burnham: Absolutely.
Susan Bratton: So your situation is at Telepathy you have, what, licensed the engine from the Mind Time construct and now you’re going in and applying it to marketing?
Jason Burnham: That’s correct, yeah. So we’ve licensed the Mind Time platform, but what Telepathy really is is the commercialization of Mind Time. ‘Cause Telepathy’s a joint venture between Burnham Marketing, Mind Time, as well as Catalyst SF. So all of us have a vested interest in the company, and the real goal of Telepathy is being able to leverage the Mind Time model and start to build applications and tools deployed for marketing and advertising.
Susan Bratton: And so when you say applications and tools, give us an example of applications and tools, like from a technology perspective. Are you going to build something that works on, you know, whatever system? Or tell me how that works.
Jason Burnham: Well, you know, I mean going back to, for example, the consumer application. So we are going to be developing different consumer applications and games that we’re going to use to build a database.
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah, that makes sense.
Jason Burnham: So ultimately then, Telepathy, we’re going to build our own database of consumer thinking styles that we can then be able to resell as part of a marketing or advertising campaign.
Susan Bratton: Got that. Okay, so you’re building a database just like the behavioral targeting companies did…
Jason Burnham: Right.
Susan Bratton: You’re building a database.
Jason Burnham: Yes.
Susan Bratton: And?
Jason Burnham: We’re building the database and then also once we actually get funding – should put that out there, we are actively looking for funding…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that was my next question, so we’ll talk about that. Yeah, I want to get to that. Thank you.
Jason Burnham: Yes. So, you know, once we receive funding, you know, one of the next stages of product development, we’ll actually be able to build this knowledgebase off of the Mind Time model. So where we stand right now, we can map a particular audience but we have to provide consultative services to analyze and really interpret that data for companies and help educate them on what that data means and how they should best use that as part of their marketing strategy. We are going to get to a point where we build a knowledgebase that we would then be able to license out to different agencies, different marketers, media providers or what have you, where you can go in and based on doing these surveys and understanding what the thinking styles are and once you understand what your target thinking style actually is you’ll be able to go into the knowledgebase and it will provide you best practices for creative development, web development, you know, product ideation, you know, different types of sites or media mix that you should incorporate based on that thinking style. So it provides you with more of the best practices and guidelines for marketing and advertising to each thinking self.
Susan Bratton: Thank you for that. And that makes perfect sense. Who are the biggest data and targeting companies in the digital marketing space right now?
Jason Burnham: The biggest?
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Jason Burnham: Well, I mean if you had to go biggest…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Jason Burnham: you can go Google, you know…
Susan Bratton: Okay. Keep going, Google. Who else?
Jason Burnham: Google, I mean I think some of the newer ones now, Blue Kai, Target Info. Gosh, I’m trying to think. You put me on the spot Susan. Off the top of my head it’s difficult for me to kind of run down the list. But I do have a list somewhere.
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah, that’s no problem. That was fine. That was a good example. I know what you mean when you’re focused on doing an interview sometimes, you know, it’s hard to recall those kind of details. It’s no worry at all. So Google, Blue Tai, Target Info; I was thinking also what about people like Nielsen? I mean they’re not doing the same thing, but they care about addressable, you know, customers, right?
Jason Burnham: Right. So yes, and actually the syndicated research companies, like Comscore, like Nielsen, Insight Express, GMS Insights, they are all potential partners of ours. We have actually been in conversations with all of them for the most part, actually with the exception of we have not spoken with Nielsen yet. But yes, the idea is that we would love to form partnerships with all of the research and data providers out there where we can start to layer on different thinking styles and cross tabulate it with the other data sets that they have available. I mean how great would it be to be able to go into Comscore as a media planner and be able to say, “I’m interested in targeting women between the ages of 25 and 54 who earn this type of income and who are present future thinkers”, and then be able to get a list of sites that have the highest concentration of that audience? And then from there you can create messaging and target messaging to those people. That’s ultimately the level where we want to get at, and we do see applications for Telepathy and ultimately the Mind Time platform across pretty much every, you know, sector of our industry in one way, shape or form. And that’s why we’ve really positioned ourselves as more of a marketing communications framework and less of just another behavioral targeting type of technology in the marketplace.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that makes sense. Building the knowledgebase makes a big difference too. I would imagine that Google and Blue Kai and Comscore and Target Info and all of those companies would be your richest resource as investors, that they would like to get a small or a large stake in this concept because it is in fact revolutionary.
Jason Burnham: Yes.
Susan Bratton: How much money are you looking to raise? Whatever you can share. How can the DishMix listeners who are interested in this connect with you and support you in your fundraising?
Jason Burnham: Sure. We do have a friends and family program that we have right now where we have managed to raise some money. So really anybody, even on a personal level, can invest. Although, from, you know, we are looking to go to market and raise approximately $5 million. And that’s really all we’re looking to fund at this point. We really don’t need much more than that, but in order to really develop all the products that we do want to develop and get them to market quickly, $5 million is what we are looking to raise.
Susan Bratton: And what’s the minimum investment that you’re looking for?
Jason Burnham: For Angel Investments or independent investors, I mean we can go as low as $5000, $10,000.
Susan Bratton: Okay, so there are people who if they’re really interested in getting involved in this they could get involved.
Jason Burnham: Absolutely.
Susan Bratton: Okay.
Jason Burnham: Absolutely.
Susan Bratton: All right, great. All right, so this is what you’re going to do for the next ten or fifteen years Jason. It’s going to take you that long to build this business, right?
Jason Burnham: I hope not. Ten or fifteen years? We’re hoping to do it within four or five.
Susan Bratton: Well then lets go eight and cut it down the middle…
Jason Burnham: Okay.
Susan Bratton: because I think four or five is pretty short, you know. It takes years to build these kind of databases and to get the apps out on the marketplace and to build that knowledgebase and to actually have, you know, enough case studies that you have measurable, you know, quantifiable increases in purchase – not purchase intent but purchase – based on targeting information to customers in the way that they like to receive it. So, you know, it’s good though. I mean this is, you needed a new interesting thing and I think this is fascinating. I love Telepathy. I think it’s a brilliant idea and I can’t wait to see some of the early results that you’re getting. I’m really looking forward to that.
Jason Burnham: I’ll be sure to share them with you when we get them.
Susan Bratton: What kind of companies are perfect partners for you right now? This is like, this is DishyMix. This is the Jason Burnham Telepathy wishlist show, right. What do you want for investors, how much money do you need, what customers would you like darling? Just ask and you shall have it. But what is the perfect customer? I know automotive is always like a go-to for any pioneering stuff because they’ve got high end goods, they need to be very efficient in their marketing, so automotive makes a lot of sense to me. What are some other brands or categories that are the real juicy ones you’d like to get your hands on first and develop some deep partnerships with?
Jason Burnham: I would say that rather than a category, I mean I threw automotive out there because that’s currently a project that we’re engaged in, but the reality is any category or any vertical the model can be applied to. Although I would say that the ideal client for us would be a company that is trying to be very innovative, is willing to make changes to the way that they have been operating because a lot of the research that Mind Time has already done was very eye opening even for us in terms of how it contradicts a lot of even the best practices that marketers are doing right now. And I would also then add that any company that’s survey type of data or panel based research to drive a lot of their marketing decisions, those would really be the ideal candidates for us, because the product that we have today because it is all survey based and it would require us to deploy the survey and/or to map those thinking styles, a company that is willing and able to deploy the surveys would really be an ideal partner for us. But in terms of the product, service or industry vertical that really has no, there’s no one that’s going to, you know, be a better suited for us than another.
Susan Bratton: You need some past/future thinker clients. You need people who like to use data but they have an appetite for early adoption.
Jason Burnham: Yes. That’s very good.
Susan Bratton: Isn’t that good. I know…
Jason Burnham: You can tell you’ve been spending time with the model.
Susan Bratton: Yeah. I read John’s book, I got to have him on the show, I got to interview him at AdTech. I’m constantly posting the Mind Time maps link everywhere, because I think people really enjoy that kind of information about themselves. Go back to the thing you just said about how once you get into the data, there are some counterintuitive things that you found out about the way that we’ve been marketing versus using the Mind Time Map context that we realize we’re doing it all wrong?
Jason Burnham: Right. So I mean a couple of things I’ve mentioned in passing, and that’s the different words that are being used within different types of messaging, right. So the different verbs, the nouns and adjectives that you use in all of your messaging, whether it be on your website, within your advertising, within your social networks, all of that is going to be driven by understanding who the thinking style you’re communicating with is. And same thing with the different images. And what was really interesting about the exercise we went through for the automotive category was that – and again, these companies are not familiar with the model but it was very interesting to see how different creative strategies played out. So for example, if you go to Toyota.com, Toyota’s website is actually really geared toward future thinkers. Nissan’s website is geared toward present thinkers. And Ford’s website is geared toward future thinkers. Now that’s not to say that the customers or the high value prospects of each of those brands are those respective thinking styles. It just coincidentally that’s how they’ve been designed. It may not necessarily be right. Now what’s also interesting is all of the principles that we’ve used in looking at direct response versus branding. And this is actually going to be I think a very controversial topic of discussion for a lot of people, but what we’ve uncovered is that past thinkers require actually much lower levels of frequency than, say, future thinkers, right. Past thinkers require less frequency but they require much deeper information about a particular product before they make a buying decision, whereas future thinkers are all about the opportunity. So these are the ones that are responding to more of your direct response types of messaging. However, they require much higher levels of frequency than past thinkers. And typically will require much different types of information than a past thinker. And when you look at the guiding principles of direct response today, I mean and it’s simplest forms, lower frequency low cost for direct response, higher frequency higher cost for brand building. That’s not necessarily true. It just means that you’re narrowing your potential pool of prospects and speaking only to one particular thinking style and ostracizing everybody else.
Susan Bratton: Go back to the part where you said that Toyota, Nissan, there was one other car brand, where their websites were more oriented toward one of the three thinking styles. Do you have that anywhere, you know, like in a PowerPoint or something that we could see – I’m so visual. Here’s what I would like: I would like a slide that had a capture of the website and little arrows that showed me why this was a past website or why this one was a present website. Do you have anything like that?
Jason Burnham: Oh man, now you’re tapping into what we’re charging as part of our consulting services.
Susan Bratton: Is that right? Okay, that’s good. See, these are my softball questions apparently.
Jason Burnham: But no, you know, I mean based on how I’ve really described it, I’m more than happy to kind of show those examples, yes, if you’d actually want to post it. I mean it would really just be a matter of pouring the screenshots of each of the homepages of those three different web pages. It’s probably a little bit more extensive in terms of listing out the different attributes, but we’d be more than happy to do that.
Susan Bratton: Well I don’t want to give you extra work, but I just think that’s a very powerful, for me, of all the things that you’ve said besides just the kind of overarching, you know, concept of Mind Time Mapping – past, present, future – I liked how definitive you were when you explained that and it would take a persons understanding to the next level to actually be able to see those examples.
Jason Burnham: Sure.
Susan Bratton: Whether, if you do it, I’d like to have it. I’ll put it on the DishyMix blog, I’ll put it on the DishyMix Facebook page, I’ll do all that so everyone can have access to it. That would be great.
Jason Burnham: No problem.
Susan Bratton: So another thing that was kind of swirling around in my mind, these are things that I’ve been learning about recently. One is that I’ve been talking to, I interviewed Joseph Carabis about semiotics and imagery and how different images, that different kinds of people, different segments are emotionally attached to different kinds of images. And that’s very similar to what you’re saying in the Mind Time, you know. Past like to see like a picture of a, you know, a doctor, you know, nine out of ten doctors recommend, you know, data. And a future wants to see like the vision of, you know, you driving down the highway with a hot girl in this luxury convertible, like you’re painting the picture of the future, you know. And the people in the middle I guess they just want to be happy, right.
Jason Burnham: Well yeah, they want to make sure that it’s easy on their day to day.
Susan Bratton: Easy on their day to day, there you go. And so I’m thinking about what Joseph Carabis is doing and also I’ve got an interview coming up with Duncan Berry from Biology, and he’s doing all this work around emotional contagents and what it is that people connect to emotionally with regard to semiotics, which are symbols and badges and brands and things like that and images and photos, pictures and illustrations. And then I’ve been thinking about Sally Hogshead. She’s a person that I recently interviewed. She wrote that book Fascinate: Your Seven Triggers To Captivation and Persuasion. She has a neat survey. Have you done, do you know what your captivation score is, your F score?
Jason Burnham: No, I haven’t done it. I have not done it.
Susan Bratton: You’ll have to go to sallyhogshead.com/fscore, fascination score. She talks about how we make decisions about what to pay attention to based on our particular triggers and that those triggers are all kind of core limbic system triggers for security, for community, for arousal, for whatever, you know. Those are the ones. And I’m just trying to pull that all together in my mind. Like what’s happening now in marketing it seems to me is we’re starting to understand a lot more about peoples core motivations and at a neuro economic, neuro marketing level what motivates them to be interested in something and then what motivates them to take action based on imagery, semiotics and now you’re saying as well the place they live in the world in their mind. And I just love all this work. I don’t think that was a question for you other than I was relating to you the stuff that’s a swirl in my mind and if it triggered anything for you just based on what I said. I’d love to hear your response to it.
Jason Burnham: Sure, absolutely. So well the first thing is I actually, all of the work that all of these guys are doing from an emotional, you know, understanding of people I think is great. Now, you know, the one thing I would just point out is that your thinking style would even drive your emotional reaction to something. So even in the height of whatever your emotional response might be to a particular image or messaging, your thinking style is still driving that reaction, right. So it still kind of becomes that baseline. Now that doesn’t negate everything else that comes along with your emotional response to something or your emotional triggers. It’s just understanding that your thinking style is ultimately going to be driving that trigger or that response. Now I think as an industry, we’ve been this digital space from the beginning, I think we’ve done a great job at building new analytics tools and new types of targeting technologies. However, I feel that we took a wrong turn in the sense that we’ve really been so focused on just the mathematics and the algorithms of media, and we’ve taken the human element out of it, right. At the end of the day marketing is grounded in psychology. Marketing and advertising was built on the grounds of psychology, and I think we’ve really lost that. And I think we’re getting at a point now because, again, of the technological advances, we’re able to now bring psychology and understanding of human behavior back into the mix and allow that to start driving a lot more of the creativity in our marketing communications.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I like that. It makes sense to me. All right, so lets wrap up Telepathy now. We’ve talked about the idea and we’ve talked about your fundraising and we’ve talked about the kinds of customers that you’re looking for. Is there anything that you feel you want to say about this that I haven’t really covered with you?
Jason Burnham: You know, I think just kind of in closing on that is when you do start to look at Telepathy, look at it with a clear mind. Don’t go into Telepathy thinking this is another behavioral type of tool or technology or, you know, another type of data set that you can just kind of throw into the mix. We really are looking to change the game. I mean this a new way of looking at marketing. This is a new framework for consumer communications, right. And you need to go in there with that understanding and that open mind and really not be afraid to make some dramatic changes within your organization, as well as within your services and how you actually build your strategies, because the game will change with this understand.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that’s good. And I really applaud you for taking such a massive step forward and building such an interesting business. It definitely can be a game changer. And I wanted to ask you something else too. I asked you before when we were preparing for this interview, I had asked you to tell me what you felt your single most amazing personal gift or talent was. And actually it was not really even a gift or a talent, your answer was something that you had cultivated, and that was that you felt your ability to read people and adapt your communications skills in a way that the other person is comfortable with based on thinking styles was something that you felt really was a big part of maybe, you know, how you are in the world that’s really good. And what do you mean by that, by thinking styles, and how do you alter your communications?
Jason Burnham: Sure. So to give you an example, so I’m actually a future/present. I am actually dead on the line between future and present. I pretty much pull equally from present and future thinking. Now as a future thinker in terms of how that resonates in the workplace, future thinkers are very good at coming up with ideas – again, envisioning the possibility, they’re usually very innovative in the, you know, the types of ideas that they come up with, and typically you’ll find that future thinkers usually are either entrepreneurs, sales people, creative types, artists, because they’re very good at painting that picture for people, and you know, being able to communicate this vision that people ultimately then can picture themselves, you know, as past and present thinkers. Now present thinkers are really what makes the world go round, right. These are the integrators. These are the people that are very organized, they’re very good at building strategies. They’re good at, you know, taking an idea and mapping a plan from ideation into execution, right. And so I draw equally on those two forces of thinking and as a result its given me the ability to come up with ideas, but then also be able to have a plan of action of being able to bring those ideas to life.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I’m a present/near future, and I’m very much one of those integrator implementers and I enjoyed learning that about myself. So when you speak with someone how do you get the queues that tune you in to what kind of a thinking style they have so that you can modify yourself to make their life more easy to understand you?
Jason Burnham: Yes.
Susan Bratton: How do you go to that next level?
Jason Burnham: So, well actually it’s funny. I’ve been very engaged with this model over the course of the past eight months or so, so I’m still learning myself. But what’s interesting is we’ve gone into meetings with John Furey, and John Furey can walk into somebody’s office and just by the décor know what the thinking style of that person is. So I’m not at that level yet; however, you know, in talking with people the one thing that, you know, that you do start to understand is even the types of questions people are actually asking, the depth of information that they’re requiring will ultimately then start to – and also how they’re actually even asking the questions can also give you some sense of what their thinking style is. So past thinkers, again, remember they’re all about credibility, they’re all about certainty. So they’re going ask a lot of very in depth questions that future thinkers are really, not that they don’t care about, but it’s not something that’s going to pop with them, you know. They’re going to think more big idea, you know, more picture, where past thinkers are really going to start getting, you know, what we would consider caught up in the weeds, right. You know, we always think of those people, “Oh, they get caught in the weeds.” It’s not that they get caught in the weeds, they’re just a past thinker and they require a lot more depth of information in order for them to feel comfortable with it. And present thinkers, as I said, are very organized and they’re very systematic. So even the conversation you have with a present thinker, and perhaps the questions that might come from a present thinker are very systematic in their approach. So you start to understand the different attributes of the different thinking styles in conversations with people. I’m at the point where maybe five, ten minutes in I can identify what their thinking style is, where like I said, John Furey, probably by how they’re dressed can know what their thinking styles are.
Susan Bratton: I know. He’s so fun and amazing. I just like him so much. And it’s funny, I was just thinking about the questions I asked you. I asked you, you know, what kind of funding you need, what kind of customers do you want, how are you rolling this out to the market; they were all present/near future questions. I just busted my own [inaudible]…
Jason Burnham: You were asking me about the algorithms behind, you know, my example and [inaudible]. Those should be all past thinking questions.
Susan Bratton: Yeah. Yeah. I did ask a few future ‘cause I’m a present/future, not a, I have like no past. I really don’t even give a shit what happened in the past. It’s not interesting to me. Now my husband on the other hand, Tim, he’s a past and he’s a far future. And so I think that’s one of the reasons we work so well together, you know. Do you still work with your ex-wife? Is she in Telepathy now or did she stay…?
Jason Burnham: Yes.
Susan Bratton: Oh.
Jason Burnham: So she’s in with Telepathy as well. She is actually a present/past thinker.
Susan Bratton: Okay, she’s a present/past and you’re a present/future.
Jason Burnham: Future/present, yes.
Susan Bratton: Future/present, yeah. So you’re a good blend too.
Jason Burnham: Yeah. Yeah, we compliment each other very well.
Susan Bratton: Well and I love…
Jason Burnham: But then you know, but sometimes, you know, you get the butting of the heads between the future and past ‘cause I might have ideas that I just want to kind of run with…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Jason Burnham: and she’ll stop me and say, “No, no, no, no, no, no. Hold on, hold on. What about this, this and this?” “Oh don’t work about this, this and this. We’ll get there”, you know. So we definitely, you know, it’s actually because – and again, it’s all about the awareness because now that we’re aware of what we need in terms of what our thinking styles are, it’s even opened up our communication that much greater, right. And that’s what we just see in terms of, you know, especially as we function in the business world, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about bringing thinking styles and that level of awareness to the masses because it will just help in how we communicate as a society with one another.
Susan Bratton: Exactly. Any awareness, any… This is consciousness raising, that’s what it is. And I’m all for that. Jason I really enjoyed having you on the show today. I’m so impressed with the concept of Telepathy. I’m so behind your success and, you know, I just want to let you know that if there’s anything else that I can ever do to support you, I just really like this whole idea. It’s just such a much more fundamental approach to giving your customer what they want from you, you know.
Jason Burnham: That’s what it’s all about.
Susan Bratton: It is, and I really like that. So thanks for coming on the show today, and keep us up to date. Lets get you back on in a year and hear how you’ve made some progress and what’s happening with you.
Jason Burnham: I appreciated it.
Susan Bratton: Beautiful. And I hope I’ll see you at an AdTech very soon.
Jason Burnham: Absolutely. Thank you so much.
Susan Bratton: All right, I’m your host, Susan Bratton. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Jason Burnham of Telepathy. Check out his site and also go to mindtimemaps.com to find out if you’re a past, present future or blended. I’ll see you next week, and thanks so much for tuning in. It’s my joy to do this for you and with you, so have a great day. Bye-bye.