#10. UNCUT: How to get & keep ‘momentum’ in your business w/ Mike Berland

BONUS: special ‘uncut’ episode.

How to get & keep ‘momentum’ in your business: Interview with Mike Berland

Guest Bios:

Mike Berland (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-berland-a3968012/)– founder & CEO and image consultant, director at the Decode M (https://www.decode-m.com/) 

What to listen for:

5.09       “I always knew that I wanted to be a King maker and not a King”.

9.03       Mike’s new book is called “Maximum momentum – how to get it and how to keep it”.

13.19    The story of Crocs shoes as a winner in the pandemic

15.06    “True momentum requires continuous transformation”.

17.46    Momentum is agnostic to the size of your business

18.48    Data is important for small business because it helps theme understand the future

23.01    Practical ways small business can access useful data

25.06    Removed Facebook data/targeting capability will return

27.39    The risks of quantum computing and data

31.43    NERD UNDER PRESSURE – recurring segment ‘disrupt yourself’

32.45    The power of ‘polarisation’ for marketers

34.00    NERD SUPER POWER – recurring segment

43.21    2020 presidential election insights

 46.00   THE NERDOMETER – recurring segment

Resources & links:

  1. Rise of the Robots https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_the_Robots_(book)
  2. The Singularity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity#:~:text=The%20technological%20singularity%E2%80%94also%2C%20simply,unforeseeable%20changes%20to%20human%20civilization.

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Transcript
Darren Moffatt:ting insight into the current:Background Audio:

I love data. You need to have systems need to have structure. You're going to get softer pieces. Susie is unstoppable. We kind of hit a point where we were like, we needed my belief around yourself with people who are smarter than you and Richard and you.

Darren Moffatt:

This is nerds of business. Well, hi there. And welcome to another episode of the nerds of business podcast. Today. We've got something really special for you. Uh, we are really nerding out. We're going heavily into the data. It's a deep dive, like never before into nerdiness here at Nerds of Business. And, uh, we've got an amazing guest all the way from New York city in America. Um, Mike Berland, who is the founder and CEO of a firm called Decode M so they're a research and analytics firm and, uh, they've had some really big clients, both in politics, uh, but of course all across, uh, business and enterprise, uh, mostly in North America. Um, Mike, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me New York nerds in the look. You know, I really been waiting for this interview because, uh, it's the, uh, it's the very Apogee of nerdiness. I think this chat, but sort of, uh, uh, completely, uh, nerding out on data. So there's a lot to talk about. Um, and I'm, I'm really keen to hear your story. Your, your bio describes you as a data and analytics guru, um, for those listeners hearing about you and your firm Decode M for the first time today. What exactly does that mean? You know, what, what do you do, uh, in, in, in your day to day work life?

Mike Berland:

Well, um, we actually take data in all its different forms. We decode it and help our, our clients turn it into momentum, momentum for the growth of their business to, um, help them exceed their goals, to reach new markets. But, you know, what's interesting, Darren, I started as a political pollster. So the first data I decoded was for politicians who wanted to get elected to office. Oh, right. Okay. Down in politics is the ultimate momentum because the politicians who win have momentum on election day and politicians who get the momentum to soon, uh, peak out and lose, and those who get it too late. So I became a specialist at timing momentum to hit on election day.

Darren Moffatt:

Oh, that's so interesting. I mean, I I'm, I'm a, I I've got two businesses here in Australia and I'm a, uh, a big believer in momentum. I'm often talking to my teams about, you know, you can feel it when you're losing it, you know, that's the thing in your stomach. It does. Yeah. And you can also feel it when you've got it. Uh, and so, uh, it is, um, you've got to manage it when you don't have it. It's a problem, you know, you're going backwards. You're maybe starting to go into the red. Uh, I'm really interested about that journey. I mean, you started in politics, maybe tell us a bit more about that and how that kind of morphed into, um, working for businesses and, uh, into your, into your current business at decode M

Mike Berland:

I always knew that I wanted to be a King maker and not a King. And what does that mean? It means I can make her, helps the King get elected and keeps and keeps him in office whispers into his ear. It gives them advice, but ultimately I knew that the King ultimately gets to Thrones and shot. And so rather than be the King, I would be the King maker. And I could have many Kings that I could work for over my career. And it was an early insight when I was 16 years old.

Darren Moffatt:

Wow. That is incredible. You, you, you must have been a very interesting individual in the school yard. Uh, if you, you sort of in the school yard as the King maker, uh, you're the very popular or very lonely I would imagine.

Mike Berland:

Well, I lost two elections. That's what happened. And so I realized that, and so the maker never loses the King loses

Darren Moffatt:

Hmm. Oh jeez that is, that's a very interesting insight there. We could go down that rabbit hole a bit more. We might return to that a little later. I mean, what, what is it, what is it about your psychology, for instance, that draws you to that role? Is it the fact that you you're, you're seeing further, uh, the, the lack of ego relatively speaking,

Mike Berland:get into, um, into, you know,:Darren Moffatt:

Wow. So you, that's a really good point. Um, so you're essentially saying if I understand correctly, that really, I mean, data's already always been there. You can always, you could always go and get it if it wasn't available, but the rise of the tech giants and the social media platforms have really opened the world of data right up. Yeah.

Mike Berland:were more data sets available:Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Well, um, that in itself is a fascinating question. And we'll get to that in a minute before we get to that, how businesses can leverage that this is potentially a nice segue into, uh, your book, your new book. Uh, you've, you've written, uh, a couple of books previous to this one, and you've just released a book called "Maximum momentum - how to get it and how to keep it". Um, I guess I'd start with the why question, Mike, why did you write this book?

Mike Berland:

I wrote the book actually for the things that we're talking about momentum was used. So, um, whimsically by everyone, you had momentum, your boss from, at w got to get your momentum, the Mo the big Mo like everybody was talking about it, and yet they talked about it in an emotional nonspecific way. And I'm like, hold on. When I was in high school, physics momentum was, was, you could calculate it. It was mass times velocity. Well, why does a momentum have to be an emotional, why can't, why is it just what we feel in our gut? Why can't we quantify it? So I sought to quantify momentum using on metrics to quantify mass and to quantify velocity. And I turned momentum into a cultural metric called M factor.

Darren Moffatt:

Oh, wow. Okay. And so when did, when did you have that insight, or when did you, when did you come up with that?

Mike Berland:

Um, I have been working on it actually for five or six years. This idea of momentum was so important to me and the quantification. It actually took a number of years to get the right data set, because you couldn't calculate data on survey questions. You had to calculate momentum on existing data sets. And then I had to write proprietary algorithms to really deal with the velocity. It's easy to measure mass, but velocity, uh, how things are, how fast things are moving was, was actually quite difficult. And so that's where I put most of my effort. And then, you know, as anything, you have to test it for a year to make sure it's working.

Darren Moffatt:

And so is this, uh, this is the, I guess the point of difference that you bring to your clients? Uh, I would imagine, uh, when it comes to data analytics, um, is it, is this, this is the key, um, competitive advantage that you've developed. Yeah.

Mike Berland:

Yes. Our, our M factor can, can look back at what your momentum was for the past year. And then we can, nobody has a crystal ball obviously, but you can then look forward for the next three months and see what is likely to happen. And so to quantify momentum, and then to be able to compare it against any a brand can compare, um, uh, to a person, to a celebrity became very important. Great. And

Darren Moffatt:ave captured momentum, uh, in:Mike Berland:

Well, um, the number one brands that are thriving obviously are the tech brands, the one, one right now, zoom, who would have ever touched heads. I mean, zoom, zoom is clearly a winner of the pandemic and the, uh, uh, social and business acceptance of video conferencing, a brand that you would not have expected to win. The pandemic has, which is Airbnb. You would have thought it was the end of Airbnb. And actually the world moved towards Airbnb because it gives you such control over your spaces. And then there's some local plans that we've been tracking, which I'll give you a fun one. I don't know if it exists in Australia. Do you have Crocs shoes in Australia, the plastic shoes that you sort of wear on your, on your feet?

Darren Moffatt:

Uh, we might do. Um, I'm, uh, I can't say I'm terribly F you, you, you I'm sure that you haven't noticed, but I'm not terribly fashion conscious Mike. So, um,

Mike Berland:

There's a, there's a brand of shoes that, um, every medical professional, uh, wears every, every person who works in a front liner, in a hospital. Yeah. They gave the shoes to all, to all the, they gave 640,000 shoes away. They did a number of collaboration. So this brand that's been around for 20 years and has gone through various points of stagnation is now the hottest brand in the country. Wow. And so there's so there's, so there's a lot of, um, a lot of brands that we see that adapted to the quantity and to add, to shelter it at home.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Look, I mean, it's definitely, the pandemic has move the market in, in, in such extreme and profound ways. And it's definitely, there's now a huge bias towards digital and tech. These, um, you know, as a student of momentum, uh, these companies already had, uh, quite a bit of momentum in place, but it's just accelerated, uh, in the consumer space, the end, and actually in the, in the, in the SME B2B space, the take up of the digital channel, we've noticed it ourselves, uh, in our digital marketing business here in Australia, we're, battening down the hatches, like probably lots of other businesses going, Oh my God, this is going to be terrible. And it's gone the other way, you know? Uh, it's just, yeah. So, um, but I'm staying on the topic of momentum, you know, what are the threats to momentum that leaders and entrepreneurs should be aware of? When, you know, when the businesses is potentially sidelined by something like a global pandemic, you know, protests and, and volatile elections, what should leaders look for?

Mike Berland:

Leaders are often very scared to change. And so true momentum requires continuous transformation. And so we see that there's five drivers of momentum, there's disruption, innovation, polarization, a sticky issues in social impact when things are going well for a businessman, they don't want to change it. They will, why'd it all the way up to the top. And that is death. You kind of, it's like leaving a party half an hour early so that you don't wait for the party to come down. You leave when you leave, when there was still a few minutes more to out to enjoy, and that's what business leaders need to do. They have to start the next transformation while they're riding the wave of the Chrome one.

Darren Moffatt:

Oh, okay. I'll, I'll pull you up there. Cause that's actually, that's a killer point. So your message to entrepreneurs and business people is that this is not a sort of a binary thing. Uh, this is you're, you're in a constant state of transformation that you need to be managing the cycle of momentum. Yup. Yeah.

Mike Berland:

The momentum is a very clear cycle of up. You take a step back, you go up higher, you take a step back, you go higher. If you're not willing to take a step back, you will not have momentum. You will go up and then you will come down. And the effort that's required once you start coming down is so hard. Versus if you took, when you had momentum, if you took the step back and went higher so much easier, because when you add momentum, people want to work with you. They want to buy your product. They want to, um, they give you permission to innovate. And if you fail, they'll forgive you when you don't have momentum, nobody wants to be around you.

Darren Moffatt:

The accuracy of that last time. And I can relate to that. You know, if you don't have momentum, you know, it's, uh, people can almost taste it or smell it. Um,

Mike Berland:

They know it, they can, they can feel it. They people want to be with winners. And not that winner momentum is no more accomplished a delusion, but they know when you have momentum and they know when you don't.

Darren Moffatt:

So I guess a lot of listeners will be really interested in your observations around the steps that entrepreneurs and business leaders can take to pick up the speed and reach that maximum momentum quickly, you know? Um, yeah. What can a typical sort of smaller, medium sized business do for that?

Mike Berland:

Uh, momentum is, uh, is agnostic to your size of your business. It's a, it, it, it doesn't have a moral compass. When you, when you worked for business, you have to look at what is that, um, disruption or that innovation that you're going to make. How are you going to polarize and create FOMO, fear of missing out? It doesn't matter if you're a one person office or a thousand person business, you have to, um, always be looking at that. And even in my business, we have to change continuously. Even the momentum guys have to continuously upgrade the momentum.

Darren Moffatt:

And, you know, as I said earlier, a lot of our listeners are small businesses or they're entrepreneurs. Um, and you know, I think in, in that cohort, there is to some extent, almost a, an idea that data's not for them, or it's a bit of relevant, or, you know, data's for enterprise sized businesses. Um, can you explain why data is important for all businesses of all sizes?

Mike Berland:

Because the data helps you understand that future data, data, people always use data to look backwards, but that's not how I use data. I use data to tell me about the future. Um, whatever the data that's already happened is interesting, but it's more interesting as I look to predict it. And so, um, in any business, you have to use data to understand, uh, what's going to work in the future. Who's our target, how are we going to, and then create a plan and how we're going to get there using the momentum drivers.

Darren Moffatt:

So to continue on that theme, uh, let's run a hypothetical. You know, I, um, someone's a small business, you know, they they've got limited resources then, but maybe they've got a team of five or 10 ha ha. What's a concrete example of how they can leverage data to get that momentum. Like what, what kind of data would they look at? Um, and, and what would they do?

Mike Berland:

Well, we look at, we look at our M factor, which is a measure of cultural relevant to look at the forces that are going to impact their business. Where are the opportunities and the white spaces going to be. So you have to, you have to use data to understand how is your target audience or your target market changing, what are their needs wants and desires, and that's all out there. You don't have to buy that data. You just have to, um, you just have to look for it. So I'll give you an example in the home sheltering or the covert that we went through, it was very, um, obvious to one of our, um, uh, competitors to one of our clients, that it was going to be a time of extreme comfort that people were going to have to be, uh, they were going to be stuck at home and they needed to be comfortable there.

Mike Berland:

And whether it's with pads, echo on their chairs, or if, uh, if it's things that go around their neck or if there's something that keeps their back shape, but there is, can be a huge market for comfort. We had another, uh, our client was focused on sweet. Now sleep is a good business sleep. Isn't isn't as an evergreen market, we'll always going to be looking to enhance our sleep, but there was a market opportunity for comfort all day long, not just comfortable. Okay. So one, so the competitor grabs, it, sees the opportunity, understand that people are looking for things they've never looked for. Like, I'm sure I never thought about getting a seat cushion at home because I was going to be sitting at my kitchen table on my ass, on a zoom call all day, never even occurred to me, but it happened and I'm still there. So, um, so that creates an opportunity with what are the forces people weren't going into the office. They weren't equipped. Here's an opportunity also that you could, um, easily observe and, and sort out and then see data and understand what the opportunities and create a, the opportunity.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. Yep. Fantastic. And for your work, you know, inside your business, what are the main data sources that you, you know, you, you usually, or, or more often than not turn to

Mike Berland:

Well, um, we use four different types of data sets all the time. First of all, I'm a pollster. So we obviously use market research. We use, uh, social media conversation, uh, data. We also use CRM that our clients, uh, Mike, so Salesforce data, uh, can be extremely helpful. And then we, we use behavioral data and, and we bring in four different data sources all the time to help, you know, make decisions, not overly relying on one, like as a Pulser. I know that market research data is, uh, good at answering the why's, but not always good at identifying the what's. Uh, I, you know, I know that, um, uh, Salesforce data can often help you prioritize your segments, but can answer, but, but can answer, uh, you know, what the future looks like. So the, all of these have to come together and then you can get a very good answer.

Darren Moffatt:

Excellent. And so to sort of take that down again to the smaller businesses with less resources, I mean, obviously bigger businesses that have got more resources or enterprise level ventures, great potential clients for, for you and Decode M, but let's just strip it right down to the smaller business for a minute. Yeah. Uh, what I'm taking from that, correct me if I'm wrong, is that where businesses can look for data is they can run their own surveys. Um, yeah. They can, they can look in their CRM. Um, yeah. Yeah. So they can, they can, they can get, run some reports, extract some data, get some insights from there. Um, I know from the work that we do here at web buzz, they can, uh, I can also look at, um, uh, Google ads, you know, so you can run it again.

Mike Berland:

That's the best data in the world. And Google trends Google at that, that data is basically free. You're if you're not collecting CRM data, you're not serious. Like you, you need, you need to have some of that. And those are two data sources that should be just at your fingertips without any additional expenditure.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep, exactly. Yeah. Uh, and, and what about Facebook data? Um,

Mike Berland:

I'm Facebook, Dave, you're bright. You're buying there and they're giving you data. Absolutely. Um, it's, I mean, Facebook is so wonderful in its ability to be targeted. I mean, I was at Facebook in the early days when they were coming up with some of that and, um, they know everything about you, they can really pinpoint. And so yes, that data is excellent. What do you think

Darren Moffatt:

Just on a related side note for a minute, I mean, um, in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, uh, Facebook removed a lot of, uh, the, um, the, particularly the third party kind of dead Dem demographic data, um, and from, um, advertising and marketing perspective that has, um, you know, I mean, Facebook's obviously is still incredibly powerful, but some of that really amazing, um, targeting and profiling has, has been stripped out of it. Yeah. But what do you make of that?

Mike Berland:

Well, I mean, first of all, uh, privacy rules over and above everything. So I think that's, that's the first principle, which is privacy data is important and do no harm. Um, second it's, uh, it's a shame that we can't use the power of the data. Um, it will come back by Facebook has to get some, uh, some Stanton, further standards in place and have more control, but ultimately, uh, we'll be able to, once we get it in a more, um, uh, authentic and, and validated way, consumers don't mind getting highly targeted at they like it because it like, everybody's like, um, like for instance, everybody loves Google and everybody hates Facebook. Who knows. I mean, this is like for as long as I've been doing research, why they find the Google ad data so incredibly helpful to their day to day life, they say, Google knows me and Facebook. Um, over the years has become a little bit more clumsy. So as we get better, as Facebook gets better, and I think they will, because they're a huge machine, um, you know, the bar is now set. Can you make the data interesting when you find those marketing companies who know how to use the Facebook platform or know how to use the Google platform, squat that's gold and you don't pay more money for that? You just get better, uh, results.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. Oh, that's, uh, that's very interesting. So your view is that that a lot of that data that's been stripped we'll eventually come back.

Mike Berland:

I think I, yes, as to come back the right way again, um, the Facebook has gone through a number of transformations. Um, but people find value, a Google knowing everything about you. They liked the ads. They liked the other products. Facebook just has to find that utility. Yep. I think it's good. Like if you asked me, are we better off in a world where I know everything about you and I can help you live a better life on your terms? Absolutely. So everybody doesn't have to opt into it, but for those of us who want to, we're absolutely going to get the opportunity. But the powerful thing is it has to be my choice that you can't just take my data. I have to give you permission. And when they give you permission. Okay. I know, I know what that comes with. And younger generations, gen Z millennials, they're very comfortable sharing their data.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Um, I'd agree with that. The younger generations are, as a rule are very comfortable with it. Um, but that topic sort of segues again, quite nicely into another question I have for you. Um, so, and it relates to the role of, uh, quantum computing, um, and how data is handled in the future. I'm talking about, I think called the singularity, um, which no doubt you're familiar with. So we might just back up a little bit and explain that to listeners. Before I ask the full question. Um, the singularity is a, um, is a theory, um, put forward by, um, very often the top tech thinkers, uh, particularly on the West coast of America that, um, it's that moment in time where, uh, computers gain consciousness and, um, potentially with the rise of, um, quantum computing, um, the, uh, the humans start to lose control a habit of, uh, how all this stuff works and, you know, the so called rise of the robots and so on. So, um, you work in, in, in, in the data space, uh, you're obviously on, you know, uh, in, in that world of data and tech and so on. I mean, what's your view on this is a singularity, something that, um, uh, you think we can see in our lifetime, uh, do you think we'll see, uh, there's, so-called rise of the robots.

Mike Berland:

It won't be, you know, our vision of our lives being taken over. It will be living our life on our terms and things seem to work better together. I like people always ask me about technology. Is it good that our refrigerator can speak to our oven can speak to our dishwasher, could speak to the car. I'm sure if you, if you, it that's the light that you want, but we're, we're evolving towards that. I don't know what the end state is. I had, I will mention doesn't get there, but do see, do I see a world of continuous automation to enhance our lives so that things that we want to be better or more automated are and things that we don't, uh, are not for sure. Um, do I ever feel like we're going to lose control? No, I think that, um, but I do, but I do see the world going there and for the most part, I think it's great. Um, some things are kind of scary.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. And look, I'm personally, um, I'm, I'm not a big fan of these devices that, um, you know, the smart assistants like Alexa and, um, and, and because they're listening, they're always listening. Yeah.

Mike Berland:

Oh, he's listening. You have to wait. Exactly.

Darren Moffatt:

Okay. No privacy. There's no privacy. Uh, and, uh, but I think that the thing that people maybe aren't so aware of is your smart is always listening as well. Um, so yeah, like it's, uh, the fact that you get ads for free after you, after you've been talking about a fridge with your wife, uh, it's no coincidence. Um, anyway, that's another

Mike Berland:

In the hide. So like, if, if Alexa wants to listen to me, sing in the shower, enjoy it. Yep.

Darren Moffatt:

Okay. I'm Mike from de-code M the data science, uh, guru analytics guru. Uh, we now come to a segment code

Mike Berland:

Under pressure.

Darren Moffatt:

Okay. So a nerd under pressure. This is your you're the data analytics nerd today, Mike. And, um, we're asking for one killer hack or tip, you could give to business owners for how to use data to increase profits. I'm going to give you five seconds thinking time, you know, it's time to start Okay. Over to you.

Mike Berland:

The number one hack I would give is don't be scared to disrupt and to be polarizing, oftentimes business people want to please everybody in today's world, you've got to choose your audience and you have to go for it. The best thing a business owner can do is disrupt yourself.

Darren Moffatt:

Wow. But that is, that is, that is really a killer hack. So disrupt yourself. So in a sense, what you're really saying there, that, I mean, that, that takes a lot of, um, requires a lot of ability to be self analytical and, and to step outside of yourself and see where you are in reality at all times. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Berland:

It's really hard to disrupt yourself because, but we know that that's the, we knew that that's the momentum driver and we know that polarizing leads to an emotional engagement with your, with your customers. It doesn't matter if you're the most B2B, you still have to be polarizing because that says why us? Why choose me?

Darren Moffatt:

Okay. So let's just go further down that particular topic. That's, that's highly interesting polarization. Just, I know what it is, but how give, give us an example of how a business owner can, can leverage that polarization say in a marketing campaign, on Facebook or something. Yeah.

Mike Berland:

Well, people always think that polarizing is bad. They think of it as, I don't want it to be polarizing. Cause I don't want this on one side or the other, but in marketing, we know that it's really great to be polarizing so that your customers know that you're a brand for them and the target who you true do. You don't want know that you're not for them. And so is emotional engagement and that is the key to success of any brand B2B B to C. It doesn't matter.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. Yep. Fantastic. No, that's, that's a great insight. Thanks for that, Mike

Mike Berland:

Totally works. But I, by the way, I live by this and so like disrupting my own business. I pisses my employees off all the time, because they're saying what you said this, and now we're doing that. I'm like, did you read the book? Like we're, we've got to continuously transform.

Darren Moffatt:

There's no stopping. There's no, there's no coasting. There's no coasting.

Mike Berland:

There's no C and D because do you know what our clients will find somebody else?

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. No, that's, that's exactly right. Okay, Mike, um, we now come to a nother, uh, recurring segment cold. So, uh, yes, a lot of work went into that. Um, so this is where we ask you, um, Mike Berland of decode M uh, the, uh, data science guru, um, as a, as a business person, a business owner. Um, what did you, what's your superpower? What do you think you bring to the world, to your clients, to staff? Um, what's that one really killer skill that you've got that adds a lot of value.

Mike Berland:

I have an ability to take a massive amount of data and to synthesize it into three things that you should know, three, I am the data, literally since I was a kid comes off the page and then three numbers come out and I can tell you the news you can use, you can use of any dataset, 10,000 numbers. I can look through it and know the numbers. It takes me no time. I, I think it must be the skill that a musician has when they can listen to a song once and just play it. I can look at a dataset and within minutes tell you exactly what you need to know.

Darren Moffatt:

So that's, uh, that's amazing, frankly, but when, so when did you start to sort of clock that you had this ability and that it was a bit special?

Mike Berland:

I think I was in, um, my, I was an intern, uh, my freshman year of, and everybody was struggling and all of a sudden I was getting higher and higher work because I was so good at it, which really turned out to be horrible because I ended up working all day and all night, one guy, we had a client in Bermuda and, uh, so one of the interns who couldn't, the data didn't come off the page, he got sent to Bermuda and I got locked up in an office for like 16 hours to do data analysis, but I, but that's when I,

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. And it's obviously Bermuda. Yeah. But you know, you've, you've built a pretty amazing career and, you know, several businesses along the way. So it definitely worked out. It's worked out, you've worked with some really big names as you alluded to in politics and business, you know, you've done some work with, uh, with the Clintons, uh, with Mike Bloomberg, tell us maybe a couple of sort of key success stories that you've had in the, in the world of politics that our listeners can relate to. And you know, how your data insights really move the dial for the client or the candidate?

Mike Berland:

Well, each candidate let's see with those three individuals, because everybody, I think even, even where you are down under, everybody knows something about bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and Mike Bloomberg, but they were three very different clients who required different insights. So for bill Clinton, um, he always had an issue that, um, he was a little bit too far left of, of the electorate and he was too progressive. And so the key to his reelection is how did we sort of triangulate between the left, the right and find that center. And bill Clinton made the center acceptable to both Republicans and to Democrats, anyone. And then the second issue is he always had very good public values, but his private values were a little bit questionable. I mean, ultimately he was impeached for an affair with an intern, but, but before that he had questionable business dealings.

Mike Berland:wn for her senatorial race in:Mike Berland:

And that wasn't my, my world. But what Mike, what made Mike unique is he loved data and the Bloomberg, the hope Bloomberg, uh, uh, uh, system is built on data. So the insight from Mike was there's only 4 million voters in New York. Why do we have to take a sample of them? Why do we have to pull them? We can actually analyze each and every voter and give them a probability of how likely they are to vote for you. And we can identify, we only, you only need, um, you know, uh, 1.2 million voters will vote. You need 600 to win. Let's find the 600 that have been about for you then. Uh, and then we had to position him, uh, why does New York need a business man and not a politician? So it was three very different uses. So Bloomberg was all segmentation and targeting. Hillary was all persuasion and getting people who didn't like her to vote for because they thought she'd be good. And for Clinton, it was repositioning them so that he could be an acceptable choice, uh, across party lines.

Darren Moffatt:

Well, I, you know, I seriously could talk about this stuff all day. Um, I, you know, as I've mentioned earlier, before the, uh, before we started recording, I'm a massive political junkie. I follow American politics very closely. Um, and so I can't resist. I, I do have a couple of questions for you relating to,

Mike Berland:

I got you. I had a feeling you would ask me, but I wasn't sure. And I, wasn't going to force you if you wanted to talk about the, you know, if it's, what's the weather doing today, I would have done that too.

Darren Moffatt:

No, you don't have to force me, Mike. I'm, I'm a willing participant. Uh, and so, uh, I've got a couple of questions, uh, the first one, and he's actually on Mike Bloomberg. So for someone that is obviously, um, so well resourced, uh, so data savvy, why was his primary campaign such a flop

Mike Berland:

Because voters aren't rational voters are, we know this, that voters are completely emotional. And, um, when he was on center stage, he did not appeal to them emotionally. Um, he, he was not prepared for the questions. He, uh, Elizabeth Warren really, uh, uh, asked him very hard questions and he gave flip answers. And that turns voters off Mike Bloomberg I'm paper is the most rational choice. Uh, he's running a big city. He knows how to run a business. He's a expert on, uh, with the John Hopkins school. He's an expert on endemic health. He is the most rational choice of any candidate. It was, but he was emotionally acceptable to voters, particularly democratic primary voters and his, and sending to answering the questions really straight. He disrespected, uh, Senator Warren and he disrespected the electorate. And there's no tolerance for that in the democratic party and the Republican party. I mean, with Donald Trump, you would say, well, wait a minute. He says all of those things, and he seems to be doing fine because they have different values.

Darren Moffatt:

They have different values. And so a couple of observations I'd make there. I mean, I think firstly, you work in data that humans aren't rational, uh, Mark marketing and branding is hugely emotional. So I'm sure that we'll get to that very interesting nexus between the data and the emotion. Um, I'm looking forward to, uh, delving into that in more detail in a minute. Um, but, uh, the other point I'd like to make is that, that, that line that you just said a moment ago around humans, aren't rational and that applies equally to business, you know? And so there's a lesson in that and I'm sure you spend a lot of your time interfacing with, um, your business clients, uh, around that, that look, you know, here's all the data, but you know, sometimes it's counterintuitive, um, which leads me to Donald Trump. Uh, so, you know, it's the elephant in the room. We, we, we spend a few minutes on this, uh, what's your take on the current lay of the land and, and, and, and the momentum, uh, cause the momentum seems to be shifting a little bit. It's a, it seems to be almost like a weekly or fortnightly proposition at the moment, but, but uh, if you look at the, uh, the trend line over the last four months, back to April, March, uh, Biden is consistently ahead.

Mike Berland:

Uh, yes. And Donald Trump perhaps had the worst June in July of any president in the history of the United States, maybe the worst June, July of any. I mean, I've seen some, most people be thrown out of office. If they, you know, in your country, they would throw him out office. For sure. They couldn't survive June and July. I mean, the country is facing such a pandemic. The economy's going to shed, he's making up stuff. Um, but the key to winning in politics is to have momentum on election day. And what happens before that, uh, um, matters. But it, um, it's really high. Imagine we know that momentum is, uh, uh, is, is a number of transformations that have to happen. So, uh, Biden's momentum has gone up and it's plateaued. So, um, uh, Trump's metric was high and it went way down and now it's starting to move up.

Mike Berland:

He's still, I mean, we never really know, but I think in my pollster days, I would say he's still trailing, but he has momentum and Biden is plateau, which is very bad for Joe by. And so what what's going on right now is, um, a couple of things, Jan, would, you might know about Americans, Americans are future looking people and are eternally optimistic. We have no ability to look backwards and we have no introspection, but it's just characteristics of being Americans. Why we got up, we got on the ship, we went to find, we always go West. We always feel we can get in our car and drive wherever we want, but it's just a comes with them being American. So Joe Biden is talking about the pandemic, which is, and all the mistakes that Donald Trump made, which is a hundred percent accurate and just been devastating for the country. But it's still looking back and dial. Trump is looking forward to the B opening, um, to getting rid of this. Um, there's a lot of, uh, rioting and looting going on as we were going through, um, uh, gender and social justice issues, gender, um, racial equality. So it's a very interesting time. And so we don't know what's happening, but Trump definitely has momentum, but he's, but his momentum is lower than by a long answer to an easy question.

Darren Moffatt:

So Mike, uh, uh, another recurring segment for new to business, uh, we put to tradition, we put all of our guests through what we call, the Nerdometer.

Mike Berland:

Oh, I love it.

Darren Moffatt:

It's the Nerdometer uh, TM, uh, and, uh, you know, you'll only find the Nerdometer on Nerds of Business and, and, uh, we, it's a pretty simple, um, uh, device. It's really where we're simply, uh, surveying, uh, our guests asking them on a scale of one to 10, how nerdy they are now. Um, Mike Berland, I've got to say, uh, it's been a delight talking with you so far. My take on you is that you are a very articulate urbane nerd, but nevertheless, quite nerdy. So, uh, what do you say? What's a, what's you're rating yourself self-rating for nerdiness out of 10

Mike Berland:

Oh 10 plus I mopped it I'm off the chart.

Darren Moffatt:

10 was off the chart. That's excellent.

Darren Moffatt:

I find that, that makes me so happy. We love it. When someone breaks the Nerdometer. That's awesome.

Mike Berland:

Yes, I would be, uh, I, you know, you have to own it for many years. I didn't own it. I own it now data because data is cool now, like, like the nerds one that analytics one computational, all that we're the winners.

Darren Moffatt:at? You know yes. And I think:Mike Berland:

No, I really enjoyed all of it. I think. Um, I appreciate it's, um, I've appreciated. I've been, um, another podcast, um, from, uh, I think the guy was Melbourne and, um, it's, it's interesting. Just how inquisitive and, um, how, um, your market is really leading in so many of these areas. And as I look at our M factor and one day, your market is, um, such on the leading edge, it's a commission of all this, all this sort of, uh, enablement of, uh, of what's going on in Asia, and then what's going down in the market. And so, uh, I just love the interaction, the intellectual give and take and, um, and the rapport and the people I developed. So thank you.

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