Looking past the ‘what’ to understand the ‘why’.

Our marketing landscape has shifted from a media-centric to a consumer-centric reality. This is not just more marketing jargon from another planner – it is simply what has unfolded over the last decade – like it or not. So it’s no new news that consumers are in control – seeing only what they want to see and ignoring what is not acutely relevant to them. But have we actually evolved our planning approach to engineering holistic experiences against these new rules of engagement? I don’t think we have.

Not for a second am I excluding myself from this generalization. Just yesterday I embarrassed myself by assuming that the majority of consumers generally mix gin with either tonic, dry lemon or juice. Milk didn’t crack my consideration set. I didn’t consider questioning this assumption because I was under time pressure to deliver and so defaulted to my general understanding. A mental library compiled by my personal passage through measurable time and the exposure I have gleaned along 11 years of planning. So casually mixing gin with milk was never added to this library, but what I was really guilty of was projecting my assumptions across people I only meet through research.

Admit it, at some point in your career you have also leaped to conclusions about people who you don’t truly understand. Frankly, I believe anyone who proclaims to have this layered and nuanced cultural mixing pot we call the consumer landscape of Mzanzi figured out, is guilty of this. As marketers it is our business to better understand people. At Quirk we believe this understanding is more a commitment to learning than an acquisition of knowledge. This is where the Now Project (produced by the Consumer Insights Agency) is so powerful. The incredible tool codifies our complex landscape into a navigable map of 11 congruent and interrelated archetypes plotted across life stage and socioeconomic class. The biggest differentiator being its emphasis emotional drivers and psychologic motivators.

This year we have been privileged to partner with the CIA to deliver a digital layer to the 2014 release of the Now Project. This is not just another consumer study. Nor is it a report on how different archetypes behave online. Thanks to the plethora of papers available to our reporting obsessed industry it’s easy to find quantitative data for online behaviour. What people are doing is no secret. ‘Why’ people are doing what they are doing, and how this could potentially evolve is what we are after. Real experience planning demands that we look past the cookie trails users leave and understand the reasons why these trails manifest themselves in the ways they do. So where the Now Project provides a rich view on key human motivators, our addition to the study offers a straw-man of how these core human drivers will manifest themselves in digital connectivity, technology (or devices), capability and behaviour for each of the 11 archetypes.

It’s not science, it’s a point of view to build on. What is certain is professing that we’re all about the user and planning holistic experiences around them, without accepting to be a scholar of the people who these experiences are for makes no sense. We’re challenging ourselves to better understand people and this collaboration really assists us on this journey.

As our relationship with technology continues to converge and becomes more intuitive we will express ourselves more naturally through digital infrastructure. We want to contribute to driving this evolution by creating solutions that are more relevant. This pursuit of relevance demands of us to understand the vast separation between groups that could be defined by the same demographics. Big thanks to the wonderful people over at the CIA for bringing us a step further along this journey.

How are you better understanding why users are doing what they’re doing?

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The CIA NOW Project’s Medley

Having immersed themselves in the chaotic market place of South Africa for twelve years now, The Consumer Insights Agency’s NOW Project gives marketers a chance to develop exceptional strategies and spot opportunities by using their SA Archetype studies and model.  Quirk is proud to have powered the NOW Project’s Digital plugin,  find out more about it in Scott Gray’s post here. Below is a short medley of the latest CIA NOW Project, have a watch and if you would like to find out how you can access the findings of the study, please contact info@quirk.biz.

 

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Worthwhile links

links links links! get ‘em while they’re hot..!

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More and more, we’re seeing companies looking for growth opportunities by chipping away at the value chains of completely unrelated verticals. I think that where a company’s technology infrastructures are geared to do as good a, if not better, job as the incumbent of another vertical, and their defining purpose is to make customers lives better, easier, or more productive it’s easy to see this becoming the norm. At the end of the day, the battle is more about acquiring the customer and less about the vertical itself.

Banks’ New Competitors: Starbucks, Google, and Alibaba

As the lines between industry sectors blur all around, financial services will take on new meaning in the minds of consumers – and perhaps very quickly. To be a profitable sector, banks cannot simply rely on providing accounts and access to funds. The future of the sector will depend on its ability to provide services that help customers save and better manage money in their everyday lives.

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Speaking of verticals and value chains, technology is impacting the way companies structure themselves to deal with customer experiences. Silos need to be broken and marketing, trade, customer care, and IT teams are going to start blurring into one unit called the Experience Department. Well okay, maybe not as drastic as that, but something close!

How We Transformed Marketing at Electrolux

Marketers are racing to create seamless customer experiences that make it easy for consumers to engage at every touchpoint as they navigate the “decision journey” and beyond. Despite this revolution, leading appliance makers have been slow to adapt to the ways people learn about and purchase appliances. Electrolux was no exception – until recently.

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If you’re in the business of Web design, from design, development, UX, or operations, this is the resource for you:

Dept. of Design Web Field Manual

“The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it.”
JAKOB NIELSEN

Damn right Jakob, you tell them..

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For the sleuthing UX geeks..

X to Close - The origin of the use of [x] in UI design

Clicking on [x] to close a feature has become an instinctual part of using a computer and a standard in web and software design. Although it may seem like the ubiquitous [x] has always been a part of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI), a quick jaunt through the history of GUIs reveals that this actually isn’t the case.

So where and when did the [x] first enter into the UI lexicon?

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The integration of virtual and physical worlds (through the Internet of Things / IoT) is a piping hot topic. Marketers, business leaders, and technologists need to get their heads around this as soon as they can..

Ten Ways Connected Devices Will Impact Every Organization

Here are ten ways IoT will affect companies, and how companies can respond:

1. DO OR DIE, THE MARKET EXPECTS IT.

2. MAKING PRODUCTS IS EASY, BUT PRODUCTION CHANGES TOO.

3. THE RACE TO OWN THE PLATFORM STARTS WITH A PRODUCT FOCUS.5. IOT IS AN ECOSYSTEM PLAY, AND ENABLES RELATIONSHIP GROWTH. IF YOU’RE IN THE CONSUMER BUSINESS, OWN THE HOME OR THE BODY.

6. ALTERNATIVE BUSINESS MODELS WILL EMERGE.

7. YOUR ORGANIZATION WILL NEED NEW SKILLS.

8. IN EMERGING MARKETS (AND BEYOND), MOBILE BECOMES THE DEFAULT INTERFACE.

9. EXISTING ASSETS OR INFRASTRUCTURE BECOME MORE VALUABLE WHEN THEY’RE CONNECTED.

10. MORE THAN ANYTHING, RECENT ADVANCEMENTS IN CONNECTIVITY, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ROBOTICS DEMAND A CHANGE IN STRATEGY.

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And finally, …

Fitness Trackers Show How Many People Woke Up During the Bay Area Quake

Jawbone Earthquake

 

The earthquake that struck Northern California early Sunday morning sent many local residents stumbling from their beds and scrambling for steady ground. How many? You can get good sense of all this nocturnal movement from an unexpected source: wearable fitness trackers that measure the sleeping patterns of the people who wear them.

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Thanks for watching.

Scott (@thescott)

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