Josh Blacksmithby Josh Blacksmith

As some of you may recall, in 2014, Warren Buffet hosted an NCAA Men’s Basketball March Madness bracket challenge: If entrants were to make every pick correctly (63 games), they would win one billion dollars. It drew a massive number of entries, but Warren had little to fear – the odds of getting every pick right on a bracket are one in over nine quintillion.[1] So, yes, I’m saying “there’s a chance” you can go perfect, but it’s clearly not likely. Now, I believe I’m a very rational person, but every year after I build out my bracket, I step away believing mine is sure to be a winner (don’t we all?). This phenomenon is a cognitive bias known as illusory superiority, “whereby individuals overestimate their own qualities and abilities, relative to others.”[2] Of course, once the results start to hit, I quickly realize just how flawed my picking ability really is. My point is this: In marketing, much like in picking your March Madness brackets, we generally make predictions and assumptions based on the set of available data, but we can never be certain in anything we do until after we let the results play out. That’s the amazing thing about what we do every day – no one embraces failing fast as much as data driven marketers who realize it’s the only real way to uncover successful hypotheses.

Please don’t forget that there’s still time to get involved in our annual Tempo Awards leading up to the Tempo Gala on July 13:

  • Nominate friends and colleagues for one of four individual awards by March 24.
  • Submit your finest work into one of 23 categories by March 24.
  • Sign up to judge the best-of-the-best response marketing work of the last year in Chicago.
  • Choose from one of three levels of sponsorship for exposure to our membership and extended community at Chicago’s premier response marketing event.

To get started, simply visit We look forward to your involvement!

In this issue, Nicole Sprenger addresses generating online Word-of-Mouth referrals, which consumers crave as they make purchasing decisions. Phil Frost points out SEO mistakes that even experts are known to make. Gary Hennerberg and Carolyn Goodman respectively examine the consumer. And Prof. Susan Jones continues her tutorial on digital marketing strategy.

CADM always seeks adMarks content from members. See p. 11 for topic ideas and submission guidelines.

Thank you all for your continued support of the CADM and our passion for sparking ideas, business relationships and career growth. I look forward to seeing you at a CADM event soon!



P.S. Just a reminder that Premier members receive a 30% discount on Tempo entries and Tempo Gala registrations, so please consider upgrading your membership today.