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David Allison

Consumer Behavior Expert, Marketing Advisor & Valuegraphics Data Pioneer

David Allison’s pioneering values-based research resulting in Valuegraphics changes the way you see the world, and uses big data to prove the most effective methods for motivating your audience and stakeholder groups. Valuegraphics is the first big data tool that can detect what a target audience really wants, and what messages will motivate them most. It analyzes almost 1/2 million surveys about shared values, wants, needs and expectations from North America, China, and the remainder of the world coming onstream soon. For every speech or workshop, David will use this proprietary database to create a Custom Valuegraphics Profile for a target audience your organization or industry would like to influence more effectively. He will reveal these bespoke research results on stage,and provide statistically accurate insights for attendees to use to their immediate competitive advantage.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Every keynote speech David delivers is entirely customized, based on insights from 75,000 Valuegraphics surveys on what your specific target audience really wants, and the messages that will motivate them most.

How to Activate ANY Audience in a Post-Demographic World
Valuegraphics is the new science of shared values, using big data to detect what your audience really wants, and the messages that will motivate them most. David will explain what the Valuegraphics Database reveals about the audience for your specific product, service, brand or industry. He will give you concrete steps to implement this powerful information, and how to motivate your audience to do what you want them to do. Delegates attending this presentation will learn how to be far more influential at activating the audiences they need to reach – as much as eight times more effectively than ever before.

Financial | Online and Off: What Motivates Bank Customers the Most?
Valuegraphics Profiles reveal intriguing differences between online bank customers and those who visit bank branches in person, including motivations that the industry is largely unaware of. How can a brick & mortar bank attract more profitable customers? How can an online bank win-over traditional clients? Leave this session ready to engage with customers at a whole new level, with deep data insights about what they are looking for, what values you can leverage, and how you can motivate them to choose your products and services more often. As with every speech, David can speak broadly to the Valuegraphics for the industry, or go deep into a particular product, service or brand.

Marketing | This Changes Things: Rethinking Marketing 101
Thanks to the flattening forces of technology we have entered the post-demographic era: stereotypes based on age, gender, income, marital status and more can no longer be relied on to profile and understand target audience behaviour. This is an enormous shift for anyone involved in any form of consumer engagement, and it’s so new that it has yet to be worked into the curriculum in business schools or marketing programs. With deep data from the Valuegraphics Database, attendees will leave this session with eyes-wide-open about the end of demographic stereotypes and how counterproductive they can be. They will also learn how to use shared values to profile the audiences they need to reach with as much as eight times greater effectiveness. After all, what we value determines what we do, so knowing the values your target audience shares means you know how to motivate more people more often. This presentation can also be tailored to include custom information for any product, service, brand or industry.

Human Resources | Are You the One That I Want? Matching Employer and Employee Values
Daily, it seems, there are new books launched about what employers want, and new seminars announced about how to attract the best talent. How can there be so much information and so little progress made? We believe it’s all about values; because what we value determines what we do, and how we see the world. Employers need to know the values of the Job-seekers they are courting, and how to engage with the different Valuegraphics Profiles we’ve extrapolated from the database of 75,000 surveys. Job-seekers should be armed with the same insights: what do decision-makers value, want, need and expect? What motivates them to make the choices they do? This presentation can be tailored to focus on either side of this matchmaking exercise, but for employers and job-seekers alike, knowing about both sides of the equation would be a significant advantage.

David also offers customized presentations on cannabis, real-estate, luxury, retail and more. View a full list of his presentations here.

Platform Plus

Customized Valuegraphics Workshop
After a keynote presentation (3 hour workshop), or as a stand-alone engagement (4hour workshop), David will bring his 25 years of workshop facilitation skills to your organization, and lead your team through a Valuegraphics Workshop specifically designed for the objectives and goals of your company, industry or organization. Your team will be refreshed, focused on what your stakeholder groups and target audiences really want, and the messages that will motivate them the most. Before the session is over you will have a roadmap in hand to implement powerful Valuegraphics insights and achieve your organizational goals. There are three tangible outcomes. Valuegraphics guidelines for your organization will multiply the effectiveness of your planning, design and marketing communication efforts as much as eight times over.

  • David is one of our favorite speakers to book for business conferences. Each time he speaks, the feedback from delegates is excellent.  They enjoy his energetic and fun delivery, but more importantly leave with information that asks them to look at the world in a different way.  Pushing people out of their normal day-to-day thinking is a part of what educational events such as ours strive to do, and David helps us meet those objectives regardless of the size or makeup of the audience.

    - Director, Conference Management & Marketing | Global Exhibitions | INFORMA EXHIBITIONS
  • Innovation is central to everything we do, so choosing David to speak about Valuegraphics at our first ever Canada/USA all-staff conference was a perfect fit. There's nothing more innovative or necessary than discarding ageist ideas in the boardroom: at a time when generational change is on every corporate agenda, having science and data about how to proceed is crucial. Our internal shared values and those of our customers must be a priority, and David's research makes values a useful tool for meeting business objectives. He's a great speaker too! The whole room was excited and interested in thinking big new thoughts! - President & CEO, Intracorp North America
  • David Allison sees and hears the patterns in the noise — and is then able to tell us what the real signal is. He's a born storyteller and people love him.

    - Douglas Coupland | Artist, Author
  • Thank you for your help in connecting us with David Allison. The team found his speech informative and interesting and his delivery was excellent. David was very professional and made sure we knew of the logistics of his speech well in advance, which made our preparations for the day so much easier. - Vice President, Enterprise Resources & Innovation - QuadReal Property Group
  • David is a captivating and entertaining business speaker. His delivery of information and visual presentation engages our event attendees. We receive plenty of positive feedback. He has his own following, our last event with David was a sell-out, one of the largest responses we have ever had!

    - Director, Professional Development | Urban Development Institute
  • David knows how to engage an audience and keep them listening!

    - Minister of Justice, Attorney General of British Columbia
  • David applies energy and enthusiasm to all his interactions. He is a true professional, expressing genuine care and interest in creating forward thinking, tactful content that inspires and motivates attendees. Ingenuity, wit and spark contribute to his storytelling abilities; he truly shines on stage. Working with David was an absolute pleasure!

    - Event Manager Global Exhibitions, Informa Canada
  • David is certainly one of the best I have worked with: he is relaxed and passionate and makes sure everyone in the room is engaged.

    - Sam Sullivan, former Mayor of Vancouver, MLA for British Columbia
  • David spoke to our conference of private club marketing professionals from across North America, and he rocked the room. We had a ton of very positive feedback. He's dynamic, refreshing, and insightful. Fantastic speaker.

    - Director of Brand Experience & Marketing, The Vancouver Club
  • His thought provoking talk got me thinking about what my own core values and motivations are and opened my mind about a new way to view other people, rather than depending on the traditional and limited age-based demographic categorizations that are not ideal predictors of future behaviour. Delivered in his usual dynamic, enthusiastic and powerful speaking style, David captivated the room with his brilliant insights. I had several people come up to me at the end of his talk saying that he did a phenomenal job. I would definitely invite David back again to speak. - Executive Director, Urban Development Institute

Summary Profile

After a career spent developing ideas and concepts to engage stakeholders for several hundred organizations, David Allison recognized the need for a more scientific method to determine what really influences a target audience. He worked with a university-based social scientist for two years to build the Valuegraphics Database, guided by a basic principle of sociology, psychology and consumer behavior: what we value determines what we do. The result is Valuegraphics, the first big data tool that gives organizations and industries the data they need to motivate a target audience using core human values, an approach the statistics have shown is as much as eight times more effective than using outdated demographic stereotypes.

David’s passion for his work and his decades of experience in dozens of industry categories make his fast-paced and energizing TED-style keynote presentations fascinating from start to finish. One national event organizer referred to David as “the kind of speaker audiences could listen to all day.”

As the Principal Advisor at David Allison Inc., he uses Valuegraphics to show organizations across disciplines and departments how to use shared human values to engage audiences more effectively. He and Douglas Coupland are partners in Global Treefort Ltd., a global creativity think-tank working with large corporate brands. He also is the Director of Brand Strategy for Meyler Capital, an advisory group focused on the alternative investment industry, with offices in Vancouver and New York. It’s safe to say he is a trusted advisor and partner to complex organizations around the world, but his leadership background gives him an added perspective.

He launched, and ten years later sold, an award-winning marketing-communications firm, with clients throughout Canada, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean. He was VP Marketing for a resort advisory firm with 117 offices around the globe, and VP Marketing for a luxury brand with operations in cities across Canada. He has served as a director of the Urban Development Institute, the Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

“It took me a very long time – almost 30 years – to come to the defining moment in my career,” David says. He describes it as less of a flash, and more of a gradual realization from presenting concepts in hundreds of boardrooms, that all the creative work he and his teams were doing was based on a faulty system of demographic profiling.

“Nobody acts their age anymore, and labels like gender, income, and marital status don’t help us understand how people will respond in any situation. All these stereotypes are is a kind of business astrology; a way to convince ourselves that what we are doing is something more than just guesswork. But it’s not.”

He has devoted his energy and resources to ending our reliance on demographic stereotypes and replacing them with Valuegraphics Profiles. “Demographic profiling creates a world of products and ideas rooted in divisive categories like young or old, rich or poor, male or female,” he says. “Today more than ever, we need an accurate and effective system based on data, a system that brings us together around the things we believe in and the values we share.”

David is an accomplished keynote speaker at conferences across North America and has lectured at SFU, UBC, and BCIT. He also taught a full-slate of undergraduate and graduate marketing courses at the University of Calgary School of Business. He has won many accolades and awards, written three books on various market-motivation techniques, and was one of the first to recognize how social media would change the relationship between consumers and companies; publishing his first book, Sell the Truth, to help marketers gain an early advantage. His new book on Valuegraphics, We Are All The Same Age Now, provides the first big data response to post-demographic audience profiles for Canada and the USA.

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