When asked what we want, most of us struggle to break free from the chains of practicality. This default mental setting provides a defence against disappointment, but also a limit to progress.
For example, if you ask marketers what customer insights they would like, the likely response is a better version – more complete, accurate, timely, granular – of what they already have. But if asked for an idealised list – no constraints – then the list would look very different. The dream for any marketer would be to know at any given moment what each customer wants to feel or be, what they think they need to do or own to achieve that objective, how they plan to act so as to make it happen, how much they are prepared to spend, how far are they prepared to search or travel, etc. Think of the type of insights you would get if you had sensors reading the thoughts, perceptions, hopes, fears, ideals and ideas in every potential customer’s head.
Far fetched? Less than you might think thanks to digital technology.
We already have a sensor semi-permanently attached to our fingertips in the form of a smartphone; and increasingly ones attached to our wrists or faces in the form of smart watches and smart glasses. (As a result mobile operators will take an increasing share of the customer insight value chain from traditional market research techniques, possibly even creating the next giant of the analytics industry in the process if one of the leaders successfully emulates what Tesco achieved.)
Equally, via social media people have the opportunity to express their happiness and frustration (and other emotions) as they are experiencing them while sharing what they are experiencing via photos or live streaming.
Finally, there is gamification. Social gaming sites provide a real live environment for testing ideas with target customer groups to yield instinctive responses (those that dictate purchase behaviour for many products) rather than the considered responses that survey-based research typically yields. Gamification techniques can also be used within surveys to increase both response levels and quality.
How gamification can help businesses glean insights from the final frontier of unstructured data – the contents of our heads – is the subject of a further article on insight advantage… coming soon.
What do you think? Leave a reply below or contact me by email.