Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Suggest the Convertible Station Wagon

Wikipedia describes “gut feeling” thusly: “A gut feeling, or gut reaction, is a visceral emotional reaction to something, and often one of uneasiness. Gut feelings are generally regarded as not modulated by conscious thought.”

If you’re in marketing or sales, what do you really want to know about your customers? You probably want their gut reactions to your product or service. Oftentimes gut reactions drive what is being said online. Savvy marketers track their products, services, and brands via the Internet. This is one of the reasons that social networking sites such as Twitter are of such interest. You can’t control what they say, but you can be aware of what is being said about your product or brand and you can react to it.

But what if you want to learn about gut reactions in a more controlled manner? I have found that the best way to research gut reactions is to use pictographs to duplicate the buying or usage scenario. Respondents tell you their reactions with their own gut feelings. As they look at the pictographs they tell a story without leading questions from the researcher. They often get emotional and may be impulsive. You may hear “Hey, I’ve got to have that!” Conversely, you may hear “Yuk, no way!” As a marketer, wouldn’t that be nice to know?

I remember a car salesman telling me, “We get them in with the convertible and then sell them the station wagon.” I admit that this is a bit cynical but it does demonstrate that emotion plays a large part in motivating the purchasing process. I wonder why no one has thought of the convertible-station wagon? E-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com.

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