About 4 weeks ago, we conducted a survey for a client who explicitly requested a classic questionnaire despite our persuasion to do a non-conscious survey.
One of the questions in the classic questionnaire was “Where did you last see our brand?”. The vast majority of respondents answered “On TV“ “
About 5 weeks ago, a client who tested his ad with the adtracker method, contacted us and it showed that the ad was very well accepted, but the sales results were very bad.
Two days ago, Bob Hoffman shared in his newsletter the news that Coca Cola is shutting down the production of Coca Cola Energy products due to poor sales results. The quote that caught my eye is an explanation of how this product was launched in the first place:
“People told us they wanted an energy drink that tastes more like Coca-Cola than other traditional energy drinks, and we’re delivering.”
What do these three cases have in common?
In all three, the brand asked customers what they think and want….
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ASK CUSTOMERS?
For years, numerous studies have shown that about 80% of products that get the green light through focus groups or classic surveys to enter the market fail in the first year.
When we talk about the accuracy of traditional surveys, the numbers range from 30 to 75%.
On the other hand, neuromarketing research shows an accuracy of approximately 80 to 99%, depending on the methodology.
While there is ample data and empirical evidence that customer opinion is not a good benchmark for business planning, why do most brand managers still go in that direction?
There’s two reasons:
01) sunk cost fallacy – cognitive bias that shows that people do not like to give up something in which they have invested a lot of time and effort, they are even willing to invest more, hoping that the project will eventually succeed
02) status quo – remember that 80’s commercial? “Nobody got fired because they bought IBM?” Rare are those who will expose their own reputation (and perhaps their position in the company) to test something they don’t know. It is safer to stick to the beaten track, so if the results are bad, you can say “everybody else does it”.
The only problem, and the biggest one, is the following – what will happen when the results of the campaign are catastrophically bad, and you will not be able to hide from the Management the information that your customers lied to you in the survey and you trusted them despite the evidence…?
Behavioral marketing specialist, Google Growth Engine Ambassador (Adriatics) and founder of Promosapiens. Dalibor is a regular speaker at the international conferences: Shopper Brain (Netherlands), Dubai Lynx (UAE), Euroshop (Germany), Family Thinking Marketing Forum (Poland), Branding Conference (BiH), MEKST (Serbia), HOW Festival (Croatia), just to name a few… His lectures with the practical examples of behavioral marketing are regularly the highest rated among the audience.