Sometimes factoids just slap you in the face and
wake you up to reality—and opportunities:
- 85 percent of women today claim brands still
don’t understand them, and most are annoyed
by brand messages, according to marketing
- 79 percent of American men say they can
barely recognize themselves in advertisements,
according to agency Leo Burnett.
Isn’t it remarkable that the millions of dollars spent
on market research end up resulting in advertising
and marketing campaigns that, in the main, don’t
resonate with either sex?
New data in 2007 from TiVo analyzed second-by-second viewership patterns by an anonymous
sample of 20,000 TiVo units. Two months of the
data showed that some of the least-skipped ad campaigns
were direct-response commercials for products
such as sporting goods, exercise equipment and Air
Isn’t it amazing that infomercials are a preference
for TiVo TV ad watchers?
Here are the top five reasons given when IKEA
polled consumers about why they’d want to work
- 68 percent—to avoid having to use a
- 54 percent—many living expenses become
- 43 percent—to avoid feeling fatter than
others in the office
- 37 percent—ability to nap during the day
- 26 percent—control of the thermostat
and office cleanliness
Who would guess that germ-o-phobia would be
such a strong contender?
In the same survey, 16 percent of men, but
only 4 percent of women, mentioned spending more time with their kids as a reason. It’s surprising—and perhaps enlightening—that 96 percent
of the women polled didn’t even mention working
at home because of the chance to spend more time
with their children. And 23 percent of all respondents
said they’d work at home to avoid mandatory
office birthday celebrations.
HITTING THE SWEET SPOT
A more nuanced view of people as consumers in
both their personal and professional roles is clearly
necessary for all of us in the marketing game.
Unfulfilled needs are everywhere. So much
that triggers response is counterintuitive or goes
against assumptions. At times, knowing a key fact
about a group can make a world of difference, like …
- baby-boomer women see themselves as about
17 years younger than their actual age …
- teen males hold tremendous power in family
purchases because of their web-researching
skills, or …
- recommendations by someone in their company
or by industry peers influence corporate
executives more than other marketing or
Customer focus is supposed to be the sine qua
non of everything we do. Knowing where the customer
stands is critical because, as everybody keeps
repeating, the customer is more empowered, more
But go back to the first statistics in the article,
and you see proof most organizations aren’t focusing
enough on the customer. They might talk about how
important the customer is, but the culture of most
companies, big and small, is organization-centric—they still focus too much on themselves. If major
brands keep missing the boat by relying on superficial
clichés, then there’s big opportunity for the rest
of us to resonate with businesses and consumers with
more relevant and creative work.
Let’s keep those antennae out and those factoids
coming, because our customers are changing faster than the companies we work for and our clients.
Plus everyone could use having preconceived notions
shaken up now and again.
Here’s what you can take to the bank: The more
compelling the emotional truths that your work possesses,
be it b-to-b or b-to-c, the higher the response
your creative work will get.