Adding Insights: The Value of the Subconscious

Premier Value Provider, Inc. (PVPI) President Dr. Marshall Valencia was tapped to be the keynote speaker at the Analytics 2018 held last September 19, 2018 at the SMX Convention Center Aura, SM Aura Premier. Analytics 2018 tackles the rapidly changing landscape of marketing, with companies focusing more and more on data analytics to drive their marketing objectives. As a social psychologist by heart, Dr. Marshall talked about the advances of market research methodologies entitled “Analytics for Implicit Market Attitudes: Capturing What People Can’t Say, Won’t Say”.

What we won’t say

Human beings are naturally motivated to always present themselves in a positive light, this is what we call social desirability and this is one of the obstacles researchers face. People often opt for a generic and safe answer when probed about their buying behaviors. An example of this is when people are asked why they are fond of signature items despite the hefty price tag. Most people would say it’s because the quality or maybe even their ‘reward’ for all the hard work they have done. Dr. Marshall explains that this is only the first layer of reasoning and that there is an underlying and more pressing reason why people have this compulsion.

What we can’t say

Dr. Marshall explains that human beings have pre-programmed scripts in our brains and with the right trigger mechanism, we automatically go into a series of mindless actions. The same is true in choosing what brand we prefer to buy. We are not aware of our deeply-seated subconscious biases and attitudes towards certain products and these are important insights traditional FGDs, interviews, and surveys cannot capture. In the recent years, technologies and methodologies used by neuroscientists and social cognitive scientists are being used in market research.

Knowing these limitations, Dr. Marshall highlights the importance of having both traditional (explicit) and subconscious (implicit) methodologies to understand the bigger picture of the target market’s needs and wants. We are now entering an age where these technologies and methodologies are becoming more accessible to marketing professionals and they should use this to anchor their business decisions on more accurate and predictive data.

#marketing #analytics #marketresearch #implicitmarketresearch

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