11 February 2019

Claimed vs actual behaviour

“I always brush my teeth for 2 minutes”

A lie.

“I never buy my children junk food”

Also a lie.

“I will definitely buy this brand”

The biggest lie of them all.

And the scary thing is, everybody does it. Everybody lies.

Whether they mean to or not.

Professor Zaltman concluded 95% of the rationale behind consumer behaviour to be unconscious. So it’s not necessarily that consumers are lying to be spiteful or to save face, it’s far more likely that they just don’t know what it is that they actually do.

And as market researchers, that leaves us in somewhat of a pickle. A pickle that’s called ‘claimed vs. actual behaviour’. That is, distinguishing between what consumers say they do versus what they actually do.

So here’s the the trick, the truth is rarely in what we say. It lies in what we do.

As we’ve already said, everybody lies.

But every body shows the truth. So it is through observing the consumer that we get closest to that truth. Observing the real-life contexts, the non-verbal cues and the triggers.

Gone is the flawed reliance upon consumers post-rationalising their subconscious decisions from memory.

Gone are the business decisions based on lies.

And gone are the excuses for not doing it.

The meteoric rise of the smartphone gifts you front row seats to observing your consumers’ behaviours without even having to being there.

Respondents recording their behaviours at the time, in the place and with the people that they would normally be with is as close-to-true as it comes.

All you have to do is sit back and watch.

Want to know more? Visit Watch me Think  on stand AV16 at the Insight Show. 

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