Do You Speak Consumerese?

Do You Speak Consumerese?

How well do you know your audience? How well do you truly know what they need? My favorite way to illustrate this point is by using the example of the exterminator. What does the exterminator sell? From his standpoint he sells pest control. But what does he sell from the consumer’s standpoint?

If you ask a consumer and really listen to their answer you will discover that what an exterminator sells is peace of mind — not dead bugs. Most people purchase the services of an exterminator when they do NOT have a pest problem because they want to FEEL safe. They are not purchasing a product; they are purchasing an emotion — peace from nasty bugs in the night.

We don’t often think about our services from the consumer standpoint. We think about our audience — we are protective of them — “I know what my people need”, “This is the best solution for my audience”, but we rarely actually take the time to listen to our donors or customers to hear their side of the equation. When we do, we can construct our offerings in a way that makes sense to them, so that they fully understand what we offer, how we offer it, and how it is of unique benefit to them.

Listening to people takes a bit of skill. They are a wily and cautious group and often tell us what they think we want to hear. Sometimes we may need to extrapolate their real thoughts and feelings based on their body language, what they say, what they don’t say, how they express themselves. It’s a science that reveals much if you know how to interpret it. You can be a hero to your customers by offering them exactly what they are looking for, even when they didn’t even know how to ask for it!

How do we accomplish this? Consumer insight research is some of the most valuable and accessible research available to us today. Most often we think about focus group research and then we think of high budgets and onerous productions. In today’s research world, consumer insights are much easier and cost-effective to obtain. Interactive surveys and informal interviews are two of the best tools in our research arsenal.

Want to know more about cost-effective consumer insight research? It’s part of our passion for our client’s success. Give us a call, we’d love to talk to you about it!

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