How well do you know your consumer?

Ask and you will get very detailed answers.  And a whole lot of qualitative and quantitative data. Focus groups, DIs, analysis of a large representative sample of the target group.

Market Research Agencies just love these clients! and of course clients too love these agencies… After all most research is CYA.

How many actually live the consumer’s environment? How many use their outlets for extensive insight… and in some cases foresight into consumer trends?

At a Macdonald, how many of those relationship people are actually observing the behaviour… and behaviour is not keeping track of fast moving items… Its about consumer’s interaction with the food and with each other (and nothing can convince me that the pricing and advertising for Mac is a function of such observations)

FMCG – How many senior product and brand managers spend a day behind the counter of a grocery shop?

How many handset manufacturer’s spend their time in a coffee day or a Barista to understand the segment which is their core?

More for You or Reliance Fresh – How many days does the marketing team spend behind the counters or being CSAs?’

How many motorbike manufacturers have their product team hanging around at the hot spots or parking lots?

How many brand or prodcut managers from automobiles can actually claim to have first hand experience of the joy and delight that the consumer shows when taking the delivery of the car?

You will never know your consumer unless you spend time with them… or being part of their environment. And yes market research agencies have a very useful tool in ethnography and in some cases semiotics can work wonders… But end of the day… be the consumer… embed yourself in the environment… what you will learn will be lot more than any research can ever tell you.

Everything is simplistic and you would have heard and read before. But people tend to fall back on traditional methods because most organisations want numbers… want “authentic”, “verifiable” and “quantifiable” data.

Take that step… be different (its strange, actually going closer to the consumer… the raison d’etre for every marketing and advertising person is different in today’s world) trust your eyes… trust your ears… trust your senses.

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