Why I recommend ZMET
“Anyone who is present at the focus group surveys today sees that the research has been“ stolen ”by professional respondents, puppet moderators, and those who act on the principle of“ take care of your ass. ” We need new ways to attract consumers to the joint development and evaluation of marketing. Successful marketers will create new techniques that allow analysis and creation in collaboration not with random, but with specific consumers (Interview with Stephen Walker, February 19, 2004).
The cutting-edge thinkers of modern marketing: Jerry Zaltman, David Lewis, Douglas Atkin, Andrew Ehrenberg, Stephen Walker and Wendy Gordon, criticize the dependence of marketers on research through segmentation, focus groups and consumer research, as well as the tendency to ask questions in marketing research, the answers to which are obvious.
J. Zaltman, for example, argues that most research is “a superficial analysis of consumer concerns about what managers consider their opinions.” Saltman says that real revelations can be drawn not from the surface consciousness of the market, but from its subconscious. He believes that it is impossible to analyze the attractiveness of the brand and consumer choice in isolation from the social context: “Consumers do not make informed decisions. As it turns out, the choice is dictated by the subconscious and to a great extent depends on the social and physical environment in which consumers live.
As a rule, when faced with the task of building a strategy for a product or service, marketers start from market analysis, statistics, demographics, purchasing power, the state of the economy, the actions of competitors and …. their intuition. Although most often, they go along the path of finding solutions that the owner wants to hear from them. This is how strategies are born that satisfy only two sides – the owner and the marketer. At the same time, the main link in the construction of this strategy, the Consumer, is missed.
The most interesting thing is that most often, the consumer is considered as a subject – “wallet carrier”, i.e. a certain amount of average monthly income, which he will be obliged to spend on what the market or a specific manufacturer offers him. And here, in defense of their vision of estimated revenues, marketers most often include the results of quantitative surveys (that is, figures in support of their decision), or conclusions based on the results of one focus group. And at the same time, they are sure that they know exactly what the consumer needs, projecting their personal experience or ideas on it. Despite the fact that sometimes they have never seen this consumer in their faces and do not imagine how he thinks and why.
After all, a consumer is not only a “wallet owner”, it is a complex functional decision-making system based on complex processes of comparison, identification, recognition, generalization – in general, the main “consumer” is always the brain and a complex human psyche system.
“Let’s imagine how a person, according to the standard textbook of economics, should spend the morning. After he got up, he should solve the minimum optimization problem to have breakfast, namely, lay all possible types of yoghurts, cottage cheese, eggs, ham and everything else that they eat for breakfast, taking into account the differences in production, geography, and prices. After he calculates all this, he will be able to make the best decision: buy eggs (rather than avocados) in Moscow (and not in Singapore), in a particular store and at a specific price. There is a suspicion that if a person does not attract a couple of rules for such calculations – or, in other words, institutions – on this day he will not only have breakfast, but will not even have dinner. So how does he solve this problem?
Herbert Simon (Herbert Alexander Simon, an American scientist, one of the developers of the Newell-Simon hypothesis), argued that the decision is made as follows: when a person chooses a spouse, he does not put billions of the opposite sex into the computer. He does some random tests, sets a pattern, level of claims, and the first person who corresponds to this level becomes his spouse or spouse (well, and then, of course, marriage is made in heaven and all that jazz). In exactly the same way – by random tests and establishing the level of claims – the problem is solved, how to have breakfast or, for example, which costume to buy. Therefore, the provision on the limited rationality of people does not at all mean that they are stupid. It only means that people do not have the ability to process the entirety of information, but at the same time they have a simple algorithm to solve many different issues. ”