Doing research with kids is fun. There’s unique energy present and an unpredictable nature to it. But, it can go south fast. One 10 year old might be super chatty when the next only provides ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. Some kids are comfortable talking to strangers, others not so much. And the language we use as researchers might go over kids’ heads.

We’ve just wrapped remote qualitative interviews with kids and teens for a Fortune 100 athletic apparel company and a legacy skincare brand. Here are our top takeaways:

Age matters. Kids 6 and under don’t have the attention spans…


Some of them I learned the hard way, some I learned through less painful means like great bosses. Most of them were cemented once I stepped away from account management into a strategy & research role at Current Forward.

Unsplash.com ::: danielkcheung
  1. Don’t get too comfortable: Just like any relationship, there’s a tendency to put your best product forward in the first three months. Of course, you’ll settle into a routine and earn trust, but ALWAYS view a core component of your job as bringing new ideas and people to the table. …


This is the first edition of a (hopefully) monthly series that aims to expand my personal understanding of human behavior, and hopefully yours too. The filter is simply a-ha moments and commentary on human behavior from recent & ancient history that remind us there are elements of behavior we can look back on as relevant, even when the world looks completely different today.

I like to think of myself as a curious person first, and a marketer second so while the primary purpose of the below is to inform and provoke, I’ll also attempt to point out how we can…


We asked more than a hundred marketers to weigh in on the state of our industry. Here’s what is keeping them up at night…

You likely don’t need survey results to tell you that our peers in the marketing & advertising industry are unhappy. But how about a deeper understanding of why? Luckily, that’s the sort of thing we live for — whether it’s for our clients, or doing our part to try and make our industry a happier, more productive place to work. The latter is why we undertook an industry-wide survey to accompany the launch of our consultancy back in March. …


We asked more than a hundred marketers to weigh in on the state of our industry. Here’s what is keeping them up at night.

You likely don’t need survey results to tell you that our peers in the marketing & advertising industry are unhappy. But how about a deeper understanding of why? Luckily, that’s the sort of thing we live for — whether it’s for our clients, or doing our part to try and make our industry a happier, more productive place to work. The latter is why we undertook an industry-wide survey to accompany the launch of our consultancy back in March. …


If you’ve ever sworn off booze after a night of drinking, you’re obviously not alone. But what may be a little surprising is that many people are now sticking to that resolution. Often referred to as sober curious, the number of US adults choosing to explore life without alcohol is growing and brands should take note.

This moderation movement has had an impact on the beverage business. Non-alcoholic beer sales grew 3.9% last year while boozy beer sales grew just 0.2%. Brands are working to meet the demand for booze-free beverages. O’Doul’s cans got a hot new look and Heineken…


A former creative director explores the role of strategy through the pottery making process.

Last week, this article by Ed Tsue: “Why Your Creative Briefs Suck” made the rounds at Current Forward HQ. There was a lot we agreed with, and a couple of things we were left unconvinced about. But one thing we thought could use more examining was the roles that various relationships play in the creative process.

To best explain the process, our Head of Creative used a creative metaphor. (And you don’t need to be an expert in pottery to understand it.)

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

The clay = your client.

There are different kinds. Porcelain is soft, delicate and difficult to work with. …


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Assumptions

This “brief” focuses on (1) books (vs. other media types), and (2) that are about strategy or adjacent to strategy.

These books are assumed to be written by women (if we mis-gendered anyone, please let us know), though a comprehensive look at under-represented voices would take into account books by other genders, would consider race and ethnicity of the authors, and their respective backgrounds.

Not all of these books have been read by or are co-signed by us! (Though a lot have been.)

On Strategy


Photo by Werner Du plessis on Unsplash

Timesheets. The word alone sends shivers down all of our spines. We’re told they’re a necessary evil to keeping any profitable business humming. And that is in fact true, but they’re also the jumping off point for creating change in our industry. Why? Because timesheets are a reflection of what we’re spending our attention and energy on during working hours and beyond. They’re a source of insight into today’s marketing landscape and should be thoroughly examined because as we all know, time is a precious resource.

Look back at your last couple of timesheets and do your best to answer…


Current Forward Founder and CEO Kaitlin Maud polled members of Sweathead, a Facebook group for strategists, asking about strategy taboos. Her query led to an interesting and self-loathing collection of responses. We recapped the top five here.

Photo by KS KYUNG on Unsplash

1.Strategy isn’t creative
Research and observations might be highly analytical, but uncovering insights is an art. Translating the synthesis of all your findings into a meaningful and relevant path on which to execute upon is a creative act. Is it the same type of creative act as writing a tv spot or designing a web page? No. …

Current Forward

Current Forward is research & strategy consultancy committed to making insights actionable. HQ in ATX🌵, working with agency & in-house teams around the world.

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