Market research is a myth. Philip Graves, one of the world’s leading experts in consumer behaviour, reveals why the findings obtained from most market research are completely unreliable. Whether it is company executives seeking to define their corporate strategy or politicians wanting to understand the electorate, the idea that questions answered on a questionnaire or discussed in a focus group can provide useful insights on which to base business decisions is the cause of product failures, political blunders and wasted billions.
Consumer.ology exposes some of the most expensive examples of research-driven thinking clouding judgement, experience and evidence – from New Coke to General Motors, from Mattel to the Millennium Dome – and instances of success through ignoring market research, such as Baileys and Dr Who. It also shows organisations the tools they should be using if they want to understand their customers.
Using his unique AFECT approach, a set of five criteria to evaluate the reliability of any consumer insight, Graves asserts that it’s time for a fresh approach that embraces this new understanding of human behaviour. Along the way, he reveals why the current practice of market research is a false science, why we often don’t buy what we say we will, and how to understand consumers better than they do themselves. After reading Consumer.ology business leaders and politicians will never look at market research in the same way again.
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