Understanding choice is key to marketing
To make marketing more effective, so that you can improve the return on your marketing investment, you have to understand how you are best able to influence and direct choice and then use this to guide your corporate strategy development process.
However most decision and choice making is hidden. Even the individual themselves do not now how they make decisions. The reason is that when we make decisions, we feel first. And what we feel is based on pre-primed messages, learning and experiences. At a simple level, thought is just the post-rationalisation of the decision, not the decision point itself.
Imagine hitting a tennis ball for instance - your body responds automatically to the senses and feel of the pattern of the ball flight, then hit. If you had to think it would be too slow. When we respond to brands or prices we feel first then think. We provide Market research that looks at the decision itself, not just at the think after thought.
How you need to understand choice
All decisions are made through patterns that are formed in response to stimulus. There may be feedback from thought to these patterns, but feeling and emotion are the main drivers. Without emotions we become unable to decide.
Choice involves reaction to stimulus (sometimes thousands of items) and is best looked at by investigating stimulus-response chains using quantitative techniques such as conjoint analysis, hierarchy studies and experimentation, or qualitative emotional patterning research. Online research in particular makes choice tests and analysis easy to carry out and the benefit is that you get market models at the end to guide your ROI decisions. Choice also involves understanding competition and competitive factors, and looking at how customer relationships are formed and using this to drive forward business strategies.
Unless well-designed, conventional quantitative and qualitative market research can focus too much on the post-rationalised thought processes and miss the underlying choice-drivers. Good research is particularly useful for things like market metrics, brand equity , pricing and segmentation work.