Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Marketing Mayhem

Does anyone really know what someone else wants, needs or desires? If we do know, do we understand what they will do to obtain it in the face of competing priorities?

Marketing and research organisations conduct a business asking questions, constructing surveys and compiling reports.

Business, Government and others use such reports to make business or political decisions.

A business will invest in product development and allocate marketing resources in a particular direction.

Governments will devise a policy, implement or change a decision based on a number of factors, not least of which is how voters will respond.

I wonder if the tried and trusted methodology has run its race. Consumers, young consumers in particular have more choice and more independence than ever before. They feel less of a need to make what may be considered ‘traditional’ choices

For example, based on experience my experience, it makes sense for inexperienced drivers to have a safe and sound car at their disposal. One that has good vision and inbuilt safety features providing protection should a driving error occur and potential injury.

A survey may tell me that a young driver wants to survive a crash uninjured. They may even say it is their priority.

However, if given the option of a white Volvo, or a bright coloured Korean car deemed cool and fashionable, how many will take the Volvo?

Survey 23-year old’s about financial goals and somewhere up high on their list will be to save for a house. Banks can take such information and market to them. But the goal of a house may seem so far away, unless there is another motivation such as marriage. It is unlikely the 23-year-old will act to save funds to buy a house.

The survey results are accurate, the product promoted will be appropriate but the outcome is doubtful. And all parties have acted in good faith.

Is this why so many businesses fail? A fundamentally sound, well researched idea, service or product is launched and delivers a financial fail.

Likewise, how many success stories are little more than luck?

We have witnessed the monumental failures in America and Britain predicting voter behaviour based on research. The questions were asked, the answers provided but the intent was not researched for. Your priority is “x” but how will you vote?

We also live in the internet society and a social media whirlpool, where the firm intention today is influenced tomorrow by access to counter, and counter-counter arguments from seemingly credible sources.

The science of research based marketing may be a lost art, and a new form of research needed.

We live in changing times

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