CNO Chief NeuroScience Officer


Who is a CNO, a Chief NeuroScience Officer? 

How many corporations have a CNO, a Chief NeuroScience Officer?  As of today only ONE.

A CNO is not a fMRI or EEG operator, not a marketer–but what then?  Like any other dicipline the most common thing that is required to be successful is to be a…storyteller.

Chief NeuroScience Officer (CNO)

Chief NeuroScience Officer (CNO)


A CNO is responsible to tracking stories and numbers inside and outside of the enterprise and understanding the alignment needed to serve CUSTOMER PERSONAE.

In this Financial Crisis markets have changed, though stories are common to sellers and buyers.

In the diagram above notice that content (stories) influences processes and processes influence action.





If we want to serve our clients then ALIGNMENT of  Persona to our strategy is the objective and the STORY LENS is the tool.  A Persona represents buyers and our Strategy aligns our assets for profitable sales. 

  • A Persona mask helps us serve buyer needs ->ANALYTICS or numbers keep us on track.
  • A Strategy aligns our Enterprise assets to sell to Personae ->STORIES guide us.

BALANCE occurs where Description meets Perspective when using two common tools:

  • STRATEGY where Description trumps Prescription–>Clients know their business best
  • ANALYTICS where Perspective trumps Precision   –>Clients change so quickly that Precision kills.



Wii Music Brains Apple!

Apple has reworked the Music distribution business model by controlling the ‘ears’ and the software ‘APPS’ or application business model by controlling the ‘eyes’.  Now comes the ‘BRAIN’ with GAMES or rather the brain on music?

But why would Apple combine music and gaming?  Wii Music.

Engagement, social interaction, fund.  Wii Music.  Up until now the Apple products, in my opinion are about the Lone Ranger.  Wii blew by them.

Will Apple catch up?  NO WAY!  🙂



Once Upon a Market

Once upon a time a market, bazzaar or souk was a place where people traded, bought and sold goods.  Today many markets are needed to support intereactions which eventually result in the exchange of goods and money and any company or person that doesn’t re-define what they consider to be a market runs a very high risk of failure.

Consider the product and brand of Brittany WOMANIZER where many markets working together in order to determine success or failure.  Markets of industry opinion, news or rumour content, music and markets of communities that impact the success or failure of any product or brand.

Gone are the days where one buyer and one seller meet and exchange goods for money in one place, at one time and in one context.  This is true even when buying and selling on the web with a shopping basket and for those who need to know we work with to identify market success patterns and how to align buyers and sellers.



Marketing Poison “Our next release does more!”

Does your competition follow you around and say–‘we do that, that’s old news and it will be obsolete with our new release, next month’ ?

It sounds simple minded but this is an extremely effective marketing positioning technique and responding ‘sticks and stones’ will not lessen its effectiveness–it is Marketing Poison.  Your competition is attaching a poisonous story to your brand and if you don’t respond carefully with  a solid story behind your response you will lose the sale more often than not.  Worse than that the old client will be a standard bearer for the poisonous story to many others.  Consider this effective response to Marketing Poison:

1.  Ensure your products serve different Persona, not different Customers

2.  Synchronize your marketing stories to Personae served and your specific product values.

3.  Connect the dots between your company, your product and Personae that your serve.

Competitors will claim they provide the better value either today or ‘real soon now’ and only an educated customer will be able to cut through the Marketing Poison quickly and effectively.  To be even more effective at combating Marketing Poison find solid numbers to back up the your stories, though it is critical to remember that if you lead with numbers more often than not your competitor will find better numbers, I guarantee it.  The value of products can be determined, communicated and delivered to your customers with a simple tool called the Story Lens. Numbers are only one of five components, the others are story based.

One caveat, educating the customer around Persona and product value is an important part of marketing and selling BUT educating the customer as to why they need your product is poisonous and leads to my favourite quote–education KILLS…the teacher.  The difference is subtle but the result could be leathal.



Neuromarketing Beast Cripples Detroit

THE DETROIT NEWS Monday January 6, 2003
“Your car is the message. So Sexy beats Utilitarian.”
… This is where the future of cars is going in America. More reptilian sexy cars and trucks, not more boring, fuel efficient small anonymous vehicles. Why? The reptilian always wins.”

Does this sound like Neuromarketing?

Just like Detroit, some Neuromarketers seek ways to stimulate the Reptilian brain to make a person buy. The Japanese marketers, unlike the Detroit marketers, countered with a little bit of Reptilian and a lot of quality for the price.

Guess who won?
The Detroit three are looking for cash and a way out of commercial and social contracts.

Is Neuromarketing to blame?
Neuromarketing is measurement technique and like most measures it is backward facing. Neuromarketing looks at the past and assumes that it will repeat. It might have been used effectively to complement quality as it was used by the Japanese.

We can explore positive ways to explore and employ Neuromarketing here.



Persona Innovation & Creativity

Creativity and innovation are vogue right now as companies look for ways to weather the financial and economic storm and search for new ideas.  A Persona helps us start by understanding where we are and look at our old friends first.

1.  Build 2 Persona perspectives that reflect your best products and 2 that reflect market leading products.

2.  Identify the products and processes of the products your or your competitors are about to roll-out.

3.  Look at the 4 Personae and analyze if your company and customer expertise is close.

Why do we do this?

If the processes and stories served by the new producst, reflected by the 4 Personae, don’t match the expertise that we have today, then we must adjust.  This allows us to balance the product design or delivery or communication as we go to market.

Educating our own people is easier once we understand how their expertise compares with the demands of our customer Personae and the products we are about to deliver.



Combine Persona, Scenarios with Stories

Stories are the fuel that drive life and insight to where we are going is gained from understanding where we are and the stories that we can use to move forward.  Start with the Story Lens which will provide some context to working with stories and regardless whether you are a numbers person where numbers are the manifestation of stories or a story person you can benefit from understanding Personae and Scenarios.

Scenarios are groups of stories.  For numbers people stories are the numbers underneath financial forecasts and the core of the explanation of accounting variances.  For storytellers a scenario is a bucket of stories, not a workflow, interaction flow or even worse, sensitivity analysis.  Google Pierre Wack and SHELL and you will get the history of scenarios and why they are a little known tool. 

Now consider a persona mask that people wear or remove as needed, typically on stage, where each mask represents a group of stories and behaviours attributed to the wearer of the mask.

Stories are the common link between Scenarios and Persona.  Combining both provides a simple, clear and effective way to prepare for the future.  For those who want more and richer detail see the No 5 post.