TM Nuts 'n Bolts - Book Club
By Paul Barbagallo
Diary of a Consumer Mind-Reader
In his new book "How Customers Think: Essential Insights Into the Mind of the Market," marketing expert Gerald Zaltman offers this advice to managers baffled by consumer behavior: dig deeper.
Zaltman, a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, argues that when it comes to getting into the minds of consumers, marketers have only scratched the surface. Ninety-five percent of all thought—including what we really think about products and what will influence our decisions to buy—happens in the unconscious mind, beyond our own awareness, Zaltman says.
Conventional marketing research tools such as focus groups and surveys only access the 5 percent of surface-level information that consumers are aware of and can easily articulate, according to Zaltman, which leaves the vast majority of thoughts, emotions and behaviors untapped.
In "How Customers Think," Zaltman introduces new techniques, including "metaphor elicitation," "response latency" and "neuroimaging," that penetrate the subconscious and unearth the gold mine of valuable information hidden inside consumers' minds.
Zaltman's academic rigor is combined with real-world results of companies including Hallmark, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble and General Motors to offer accessible insights and tools for digging deeper into what he calls "the mind of the market."
"How Customers Think: Essential Insights Into the Mind of the Market" ($29.95 Hardcover, Harvard Business School Press) can be purchased at http://harvardbusiness-online.hbsp.harvard.edu.