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Day One Podcast: Insights Room 101

Episode 06: Anthony Tasgal 

On The Day One podcast – Insights Room 101, hosted by Hannah Mann, our guests describe three of their worst insight industry pet peeves and aims to lock one of them away forever in Room 101, much like the popular British TV show. Our guest on this episode is Anthony Tasgal aka – Tas, trainer, author, and strategist on all things marketing insights. Tas joins us on the Room 101 podcast to share what things in the industry he’d like to see banished in Room 101 forever. The main pet peeves tas describes are: “insights” itself as people currently understand them, jargony language, and the concept of “messaging.” Anthony provides meaningful criticism during our conversation, and we hope you enjoy it.

For his first insights irritation, Tas wants to get rid of “insights” altogether. This may come off as controversial, and he realises that, but it’s not that he thinks insights aren’t any good. Instead, Tas’s problem lies with the fact that “insights” means so many different things to different people that it can be hard to agree on what insights really are. He says insights are so popular now that it’s all that anyone wants: “give me a bunch of them,” they say. But what they don’t realise is that it’s not candy you can just hand out. You have to put in real work and ask the right questions to be able to get back meaningful insights about your company or industry. And Tas recognises that there isn’t really a solution to getting rid of insights, but he hopes we can re-organise our thoughts around them.

Tas’s second target is the bane of many in the corporate world: jargon. In his mind, jargon is rife in the marketing and insights world and all it does is stand in the way of communication. Jargon is a “barrier to storytelling,” Tas says. And part of the reason for this is that jargony words like “solutionize” and “bandwidth” actually don’t make you sound as smart as you’d like. And there’s more and more research all the time showing that it’s actually much harder to qualify ideas in simple terms. So to just say “I haven’t got the time” is going to do more in aiding your communications with people than when you try to adopt the management consulting jargon that’s all over. You will actually appear to be more intelligent than when you take on the pseudo-intelligence of corporate jargon. Tas does recognise that you could potentially swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction and dumb down the language too much, but it’s not likely that that will happen. The goal is to treat everyone like humans and reach them at their level. It’s not to talk down to them. You can meet them in the middle.

 Tas’s final banishment is the idea of “messaging” or “messaging architecture.” This is similar in kind to jargon, but the difference is that messaging floods the client’s mind with a bunch of useless information when you could actually “massage” them by making them feel good about what they’ve got to do. This difference is subtle because you’re still trying to coach and train and get people up to speed, but ultimately you will be able to communicate better if people are not routinely just blocking out all the messaging that you’re providing–things they’ve heard before. The goal is to get through the attention span and deliver something actually meaningful. And to do it simply.

Tas would also like to get rid of ageism in insights. He sees so much focus on the youth and social media and what they all bring to the table, but what really aids a company is a variety of perspectives and a diversity of experiences. It’s not that young people are golden, but they can add to the overall picture of a company’s professional scope, just like people from other walks of life can. Companies, in other words, should focus less on hiring bright young talent and focus more on how to represent people with all levels of experience and knowledge.

Tas and I both agree to banish “messaging” and “messaging architecture” forever. We both enjoyed the conversation, and we hope you do, too.

About Anthony Tasgal (Tas):

Anthony “Tas” Tasgal is the self-described man of many lanyards. Anthony is a marketing trainer, storyteller, ad planning strategist, author, and lecturer. He is passionate about human communication and how to make things simpler. When Anthony is not keynote speaking, he’s probably working on a new book or contributing to talk radio in the UK.

Relevant Links:Anthony’s LinkedIn.