Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Research Groupthink.

I recently sat in on a research group. There'd already been home testing and diary writing. Now there was a discussion about what the product/service category meant to the assembled group and, lastly, there was an element of further testing. It was a long, informed and opinionated session. And then they left the building and went home.

The research company will, no doubt, host other groups, write reports and make presentations that the client will digest, consider and have meetings about. But these engaged, informed and interested users will probably hear nothing more.

What a missed opportunity. One I've seen repeated by innumerable businesses employing a variety of external agencies throughout the process of product development and market research that make no attempt to leverage the enthusiasm of the potential customers they ultimately view solely as "participants".

Just think what might be unleashed by sending them a trial subscription or samples and discounts once their project finally gets to market. They're invested, they're interested and they're primed to promote and yet nothing happens because of the increasing compartmentalisation of marketing and its separation from product development.

Or, perhaps, the enthusing of a handful of people is not seen as a sufficiently grand gesture to feature on the marketing plan. A marketing plan that will pay lip-service to the importance of "lighting lots of small fires" but will ignore what's right in front of its face.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Refutational Marketing.

When I saw this indicator board on the Tube some months ago, I immediately assumed it was faulty and sure enough (as you can see) a train arrived in three minutes. But, in those three minutes, it was amazing how many others passengers (not tourist) surprisingly took it at face value and left to make other journey arrangements.

People believe what they believe. They do so based on their world experience, and yet the majority of marketers focus on positive proclamations about their product or service in the hope that this will change their mind. But to supplant an existing worldview, you need to do more than provide an alternative, you need to undermine their status quo.

People are arguably more intrigued by persuasive arguments that are at odds with their beliefs (especially about trivial stuff like brands). So don't make nebulous claims, debunk received wisdom. Refute people's prejudices. You may be selling products or services, but bundled therein is your expertise and it's that which people really buy.