For example, the core motivations for losing weight probably are to look more attractive and feel better. But going below the surface of these motivations leads marketers to numerous attitudes, such as the desire to attract a spouse, play more sports, keep up with grandchildren, etc.
These attitudinal observations then can be applied to product development, contact touchpoint strategy, creative messaging and more.
"The old model for mass and direct marketing assumed it was consumers' job to self-select messages that were relevant," Smith asserts. In the new model, consumers are saying they're tired of filtering the advertising overload.
Point in fact: A recent Yankelovich study showed people were giving up some of their nightly sleep to gain back time in their day. It's not likely they're doing this to keep up with their e-mail inbox or direct mail pile.
"Time is consumers' most precious commodity, and they want marketers to help them make the most of it and not waste it," says Smith.
The Rise of Data Analysis
Eric Schmitt, senior analyst at Forrester Research, an independent technology research firm in Cambridge, Mass., sees at the macro level, three forces shaping data technology:
> media fragmentation, which offers direct marketers many channels to reach audiences, but also adds to the message clutter;
> proliferation of addressable media, based on mass marketers' continuing budgetary shift to more measurable, targetable contact channels; and
> interactivity, which allows marketers to learn more about customers, but also presents a huge data management challenge.
These developments have created a bigger landscape for direct marketers to cover, says Schmitt, which drives the need for a company's core skill sets to center around segmentation, modeling, integration, quantifying marketing impact and, most importantly, data hygiene.
Schmitt has coined this new way of thinking Left Brain Marketing, which emphasizes sophisticated audience analysis for marketing direction over media analysis. According to a technology report he wrote last year, titled "Left Brain Marketing," one of the probable outcomes of this new mind-set will be the pairing of creative professionals and statisticians to produce messaging strategies.