Qualitative Research and Human Nature
I have listened to people talk about their lives, brands, ads and marketing ideas for 30+ years – in the advertising world and as the founder of RealityCheck. I’ve always been fascinated by human nature and how it always, always drives marketing – whether we realize it or not.
One thing I’ve learned is that before we can make big, human connections with people as brands we have to talk with the human part of them when doing qualitative research.
Here is a thought I wanted to share: Humans are Better for Business
Most marketing people – me included – throw around the word “consumer” dozens of times per day without really thinking about it. I think this is natural. We’re in a business environment and we spend a lot of time talking to other business people. I’m wishing we would start using words such as “people” instead of “consumers.” I make an effort to do this and it’s not easy. My commitment to this – by the way – is not coming from some ethical or altruistic point of view. I think focusing on humans is better for business than just focusing on consumers.
Because while it’s the consumer we feel we’re talking to, it’s the human connection that’s the most valuable. Why do you think people look so forward to watching the ads on the Super Bowl? I think it has a lot to do with seeing something so fantastically human that we can’t resist it. This is the time when advertisers will not be “selling” us product benefits and reasons to believe… they go on hiatus during those 3-4 hours. There is an implicit pact we as advertisers are making with viewers during this period… We’re all here to show or see compelling humanness on a huge stage. What a celebration! Advertisers that break this promise are immediately penalized. Look back over the top Super Bowl ads since it became this giant stage and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of compelling human drama played out with humor and poignancy.
The bottom line: Understand the human first and then translate that understanding into a business opportunity.