I researched and wrote over 20 articles ranging from 2000-10,000 words exploring various marketing concepts from a fresh perspective: the mobile channel. The series, called Thought Bubbles by Rapide (the Moments of Truth company) goes to prospective clients and insiders at its conferences and events. Here’s a taste of one of the early ones.
Thought Bubble 2: Minding what Matters
The context in which customers talk about you is as important as what they say – and much marketing research, from focus groups to questionnaires, leads to unhelpful conclusions because it imposes an unnatural context. Reducing three common biases can help marketers increase the honesty, accuracy, and usefulness of information collected.
You’d expect art gallery curators to be good at framing. But if you thought that meant inserting canvasses into gilt-edged rectangles, you’d be wrong. “Framing” means much more: it’s the act of deciding what context to present the art in.
And with something as subjective and cultural as art, context matters. Graffiti on a Jerusalem wall shifts context when its tag belongs to outlaw artist Banksy. Outside of a Paris gallery, a masterpiece by Marcel DuChamp is just… a toilet. And your photographs of a supermarket’s tinned foods aisle will probably fetch less at auction than Warhol’s.
In marketing – an equally subjective and cultural area – we’re much less good at understanding context. From the aftersales checklist presented by a smiling rep, to the Comment Postcard optioning “Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, or Excellent” (see the bias there?) we constantly create a context that produces what’s most pleasant to hear.
And if you’re genuinely interested in what customers think – because you want to improve your services with it – that’s a problem.