Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.
According to Nancy Dess, a professor of psychology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, “The tongue could be a window to the psyche.” A growing number of recent studies demonstrate a connection between taste perception and emotions/personality types. For example: After tasting either grapefruit juice or water, students in one study were asked to assess how they’d feel in certain situations — say, if someone kicked the back of their chair repeatedly at the movies. Results showed that the bitter-tasters would react with more hostility and irritation — imagining themselves threatening the annoying moviegoer if he didn’t stop — while water drinkers just ignored the bothersome behavior. Scientific proof that buying chocolates for your girlfriend is always a good idea.
The kind folks at Baymard Institute have conducted some year-long, large-scale usability studies of e-commerce websites. Their very helpful piece on Smashing Magazine shares the results of tests on mobile and desktop e-commerce shopping behaviors. If you're wondering whether your e-commerce site should be organized into pages or infinitely scroll, here's a nice resource for you. "Infinite Scrolling, Pagination Or “Load More” Buttons?"
Without consumers, brands fail. Nothing is more valuable to a brand than someone who financially supports them then spreads the word for free. To develop effective messaging, it is imperative to understand who the brand's customers are, and what they want. Here are 4 fun methods that anyone can use to learn about and better understand consumers: Find them on social media. This is the quickest and easiest way to learn about your consumer. What are they posting pictures of? Who are they talking to? What are they talking about? Take note of the language and tone they use, and how they describe and represent themselves. Read a magazine. No really. Go to the store, and pick up a magazine that the brand's target demographic reads. Before you open the cover, take a second to clear your mind. Pretend that you're an 18-year-old college freshman, or a golf enthusiast, or whomever your consumer is. Then, read what they read. Check out the pictures. Flip through the articles. Look over the ads. This will help you better understand what they care about and how different brands capture their attention. Watch TV or a movie. Though choosing an entertaining TV show or film is good choice, a documentary about the consumer is an even better one. If you go the entertainment route, as with the magazine exercise, you'll want to clear your head and pretend you're the consumer before you begin. Attend an event. Whether it's a Taylor Swift concert or hanging around their favorite store, going to an event or environment that your consumer enjoys is one of the best ways to submerge yourself in their world. When you're there, immerse yourself in their experience. Eat what they eat and drink what they drink. Strike up a conversation with the consumer and learn more about them. Take note of the event sponsors and their involvement. Any of these four activities will give you a glimpse into your consumer's world, and help you think of them as more than just consumers but as people. While these activities may not tell you more about purchase cycle, it will tell you about what entertains and excites them. Understanding these passion points will enable your brand to open up a deeper relationship with these individuals.
The other night I was watching some late night TV and I saw a commercial for a Big Spot Surveys promoting its website bigspot.com. While it is not the best commercial - it is not funny, not really visually interesting, nor is it especially well done - it got me thinking. Market research has really become big business ' from a consumer point of view. Having spent the majority of my career in the research business, I am very much aware of the professional focus group respondent and professional survey takers but I think that this Big Spot commercial really hammered home the point that participating in research has truly become a job for some people ' especially given the current economic climate. So what does this mean? It means that there are consumers who have become extremely savvy when it comes to research. They know what to say to get chosen to participate in the research, they understand what different brands are looking for, and they are looking to please the researchers so that they could get more 'work.'? All of this added up could mean that brands who take the right steps and conduct research might not be getting the answers that they are looking for. They might be getting a glossy, half version of what consumers really think and believe. The trouble is that many of the 'powers that be'? that require the numbers and stats, need to see respondents on the other side of the glass. So how do you get to that real answer? There are a couple of different ways. One way is to employ a more rigorous screening process to make sure that the consumers that participate are not the professional ones. Another way is to mix up the research methodologies that you use to get to the answers. For example, combine a more traditional online survey with a non-traditional research methodology such as an ethnographic study or observational research. Combining traditional and non-traditional research methodologies - benefits brands in two ways ' they can satisfy the higher ups and they can potentially uncover insights they haven't seen before. Non-traditional research can give you a glimpse into the consumer's real world. It allows you to get to know consumers without them knowing you are trying to get to know them. Today's consumers are savvy. They understand all our 'marketing'? tricks. They are onto us. And when it comes to research they have started to play our game. Some of them are playing better than us. As marketers and researchers we need to work harder to understand what they think, feel and believe. We need to dig deeper and find new ways to get into their world so we can find our answers and insights. We need to get a little bit more creative.