The necessity to ground every marketing activity on a real consumer insight, has been one of the most discussed topics of the marketing world in the last 30 years.
Insight is without doubt the most crucial matter in marketing. However it is also the most abstract.
Even though the marketing world has not been able to achieve unanimity of opinion, the majority defines insight as an introversion, an introspection.
This definition of introversion is described as understanding sentiment and in the marketing world, analyzing sentiment in depth has become almost an obsession.
Today, the most important marketers in Turkey are constantly talking about sentiments.
Sentiment this, sentiment that.
Of course it matters to find an insight or a deep sentiment but in this world, where the customer makes 80% of the decisions on the brain’s auto-pilot, without thinking, and via shortcuts, activation will not be sufficient by itself.
It is inevitable that a customer, who makes decisions via shortcuts, will miss out on the sentiment that you are trying to sell.
What difference does it make selling sentiments to a brain that is shut?
Some products that we think are very good or some ad campaigns that we find marvellous, do not activate the customer.
That is why the marketing world is unjustly judged as disconnected from the general public.
The source of the problem is not the disconnection from the public. Even the most average marketer is not disconnected from the public.
The problem stems from the fact that the marketer is so much absorbed in the attitudinal insight that he cannot focus enough on the technologies which can activate the consumer.
It is important to look to the inside but it is more so not getting lost or stuck in the inside.
Those marketers who would not like to get stuck inside, need to invite a new player into the work flow: Technological Insight.
The marketer will be required to also come up with technological insights in order to deactivate the automatic pilot as he deciphers human sentiments for changing consumer attitudes (beliefs).
In fact, this change that is taking place in the marketer’s outlook on business, has long started in the world.
The CMO (Top Marketer) and the CIO (Top Tech Leader) have become the closest working buddies in the last five years.
According to the analysis that took place in the previous issue of HBR, Gartner, one of the prominent brain hunter companies in the world, foresees that the attributes of these to positions will be united in one single leader in the year 2017.
This means that the collaboration of the technology expert and the insight expert will not suffice, but leaders who possess both of these expertise will be sought.
So what will be the most important change in the world of marketing once the number of leaders who feature these two characteristics increases?
Chaos will subside.
Because the leaders who manage technology and sentiments together will discover “Choice Architecture”.
Thaler and Sunstein explain that the human brain has a “choice architecture” in their blockbuster book “Nudge”.
This system within the brain serves to protect it from getting tired.
However, current marketing models complicate products, shelves, and claims and exhaust the consumer.
Therefore, the first initiative of the new leaders will be to use technologies that simplify life while selecting brands/products and to eliminate chaos via actual field solutions and not via communication.
Let me conclude my article by sharing an example that is being told around the world these days.
Receiving a bank loan has become a very complicated process everywhere around the world.
All banks are showing great effort for communication. Communication is quite confusing.
Long contracts. Incomprehensible legal terms.
One has to be a finance guru in order to select the appropriate loan.
In the bank-consumer relation, it is the bank that holds the stronger position and the consumer that has the weaker one.
It is only when they borrow from friends and acquaintances that consumers do not grow away from the sentiment of equality. However, this is not possible when the institution steps in.
Grasping the gap in the market through this human insight, Prosper builds its business model with the technological insight.
Prosper builds a system for “borrowing/lending between peers” with its 2 million members.
Once you become a member of the system, it is quite easy to find a “friend” who will lend you money with favorable conditions.
Prosper starts off from the sentiment, sees the gap in choice architecture, and activates the audience with technology.
When you are writing the new product briefs, make sure you add the headline “Technological Insight” right after “Human Insight”.