October 13, 2008

Stop Listening To Consumers

From the website Broadcasting and Cable:
'A new frontier in advertising research is “listening” to consumers via the digital-media ether...Audience listening is a brave new world. “It’s a big opportunity for the research industry and broader marketing, as well,” '
Can we get one thing straight? Listening to consumers...
...is the biggest cliche in marketing
...is not a new idea
...is most often a waste of time
...rarely results in usable insights
...can be disastrously misleading
...is no substitute for imaginative thinking

Most consumer behavior is not mysterious or difficult to understand. Most consumers behave in ways that are perfectly obvious. Here it is in a nutshell:
  • One third buy because it's cheaper
  • One third buy because they believe it tastes (works, looks, smells) better
  • One third buy because they like the brand better
That's what you're usually going to learn from studying the consumer. No charge.

So quit wasting time and money on the endless quest for consumer insight and instead get to work on the important stuff -- how is your product better than the other guy's?

If you can imaginatively differentiate your product from the other guy's you won't have to go looking for consumers. They'll come looking for you.

No comments: