Star Wars, Story and Market Research

Dec 10 2012 Published by neilgains under storytelling

Every market researcher dreams of the ideal client, the successful project and the satisfaction of truly understanding the client’s customers to inform a successful business strategy. What could possibly get in the way of this?

An evil empire has descended over market research, which can be summarized in the Edward Tufte quotation, “Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.” Read more »

No responses yet

Meanings in Time (Introduction to Semiotics Part 5)

May 31 2012 Published by neilgains under semiotics

The times they are a changin’

I’ve been busily preparing myself for the new James Bond film later this year, by spending each weekend rewatching one of the films (in order). What has struck me most while watching them is how the portrayal of the central character and his relationships to others (especially women) has changed over time, despite the consistency in the plot structures (which is where I left off in the last article). Read more »

No responses yet

7 Reasons to Use Storytelling in Research

Oct 31 2011 Published by neilgains under storytelling

“The point of a story can penetrate far deeper than the point of any bullet.”  - Laurence Nault

Getting to the point

There are seven basic plots in storytelling as we have seen over the last few weeks. These plots form the backbone of myths, fairy tales, novels and movies, and also of advertising, brand stories and how we can all communicate in business, including market researchers telling the story of their data. Here are seven reasons why stories will help you communicate ideas more effectively, helping you to build your story and helping your audience to remember the point of it all. Read more »

No responses yet

Getting Emotional in Advertising

Aug 25 2011 Published by neilgains under emotion

“Who are you going to believe: me or your own eyes?”  - Groucho Marx

In About Face, Dan Hill makes a clear and compelling argument for the use of emotion in advertising and it’s power to drive changes in behaviour. The book is full of useful examples and anecdotes and some statistics too. In one study by Omnicom, emotional engagement with customers resulted in 20% higher return on investment than mere awareness in advertising.  In another review by Pringle and Field (based on 880 case studies from the UK’s Institute of Practitioners Advertising Effectiveness Awards), ‘soft sell’ ads that inspire strong emotional responses in their audience make more money (almost twice as much as ‘hard sell’ ads with more fact-based and rational arguments). And more emotional ads also reduced price sensitivity, created greater differentiation and were more important in more mature markets. Read more »

2 responses so far

Connecting with Customers

Jun 20 2011 Published by neilgains under business

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”  - Chinese proverb

Connecting the dots

The tremendous advances in brain science (along with changes in the media landscape) mean we need to rethink how we engage customers, taking on board some of the lessons of neuroscience and behavioural economics, and sometimes going back to ancient wisdoms which preceded the rise of rational approaches to consumer behaviour, especially in the West.  The truth is that most of our decision making is unconscious, emotional and highly context dependent (especially social context). Read more »

No responses yet

Listening to the World Go By

May 04 2011 Published by neilgains under insight

Questions, questions

After watching the world go by for a while, you may still have some unanswered questions which means it may be time to start a conversation with your customers.  Although more than 90% of communication is non-verbal, there is a huge amount to be learnt from listening to consumers (and asking the occasional question), especially when this is done in the right way. Read more »

No responses yet

The ABC and D of Human Behaviour (Consumer Understanding #13)

Mar 22 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

Over the past two weeks we have learnt 12 key insights into what makes us who we are, based on the latest understanding from neuroscience, behavioural economics, psychology, biology and the social sciences.  They can be summarised in three (or perhaps four) key themes, but first let’s review the 12 lessons of human behaviour. Read more »

No responses yet

Connecting the Dots (Consumer Understanding #10)

Mar 19 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

As we have seen previously, the basis of new memories are new physical connections in the brain.  The more elaborate the connections, the more meaning they have, and the more specific the context, the stronger and more long lasting is the memory. Read more »

No responses yet

Metaphor and Meaning (Consumer Understanding #9)

Mar 18 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

Sensory thinking

The senses inform much of our language, as the dominant source of our experiences.  We all use words related to different senses to express ourselves (I can see your point, I hear you, I was touched by a thought), and some theories (eg NLP) claim that we have different preferences for the sensory modalities (I hear what you’re saying vs I see what you’re saying).  Thus, the senses truly help us to create our everyday expressions. Read more »

No responses yet

Live Wires and Getting Connected (Consumer Understanding #3)

Mar 12 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

We are all ‘live wires’

How does the brain make connections?  Brain scans show areas of our brain ‘lighting up’ when we make decisions (although beware that more activity doesn’t make the decision more important).  But what is really going on?  There is a huge amount of activity (electrical and chemical) going on within our brains.   Read more »

No responses yet

Next »