David Allison is the creator of the Valuegraphics database, and as of recording this interview, he is closing in on his one-millionth in-depth survey making his dataset ironclad. Allison is the first person in history to have built a tool allowing us to precisely communicate and position our message in a way others are neurologically wired to hear and understand.
Why is it important to create a values database?
Demographics tell us what people are but not who they are. “But those folks who are similar from that perspective can be incredibly different in terms of who they are, what they are going to pay attention to, how you need to influence them, how you need to engage them, inspire them, motivate them, and what they’re looking for from you and from everything in their life.” says Allison. “Assuming people who are demographically similar are actually similar on the inside where it counts; that’s where we have been going wrong.”
Much of failed startups, wars, and broken relationships stem from bad communication resulting from misalignment and misunderstanding of others’ values. Allison believes the valuegraphics database is a great tool for marketers, allowing them to tap into new markets in a way not possible historically, but he also believes this can change the world. Currently, most marketers succeed through what Allison calls “accidental impact.”
Traditionally, we’ve relied on poor demographic data to understand groups. But demographic groups rarely agree on anything. What groups do agree? Groups identified by values.
What we value determines what we do.
Were Demographics Ever Accurate?
Allison says demographics were helpful historically. He gives an example of a village in medieval France. If you see a young group of men not from your town approaching you on horseback quickly, they are probably your enemy. Allison does say there are moments to use demographic data that are valuable, but if you want to understand how people make decisions, you need Valuegraphics.
Check out David Allison’s newest book
The Death of Demographics is available right now. If you want to understand your customer’s values and communicate to them like never before, this book is a must-read for 2023.