Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Step Closer to Minority Report

Interactive advertising in stores using RFID that respond to what the shopper is buying being us a little closer to the memorable scenes in Minority Report where the ads change after scanning Tom Cruise's retina.

Not long before we get "shoppers who bought x also bought y" in the store....

The End of Consumerism

Well, I know that is a dramatic overstatement. But this is a blog....

What I think we can see however is something of a shift in values in the West. We always do in a recession. These are usually fairly superficial and would hardly constitute a challenge to consumerism as an ideology. Since the second world war it has become assumed that consumerism is some kind of natural state and that the best organized societies are those that place consumer satisfaction at the centre of all their major institutions.

This is already being challenged by the climate crisis and concern for the environment. A global recession and credit crunch will contribute to that challenge. We already see signs such as the "simplicity movement".

But the key here is demographics. The baby boomers undermined many social institutions and ideologies. But they championed consumerism with its emphasis on individualism and choice. They are being forced to reject it as they age and their income shrinks and of course they will eventually start dying. What we will see is how the millenials' values will be shaped by the coming austerity. That could be the key to a significant shift in Western social values.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Shopper Insights Research: The Good and the Really Rather Bad

First the good stuff: OgilvyAction have conducted a comprehensive study on in store decision making. They clearly have some good insights from this. It is being pitched as refuting the now urban legend "70% of decisions are made at point of sale" claim that came from the 1995 POPAI study done by Meyers Research.

Actually it doesn't refute it at all. It says that 72% of decisions are made at the point of sale. It simply cuts that figure a little finer - breaking it into brand switching, brand decisions, category impulse purchase etc. This clearly makes sense. The 70% figure was always very woolly. You could argue that 100% of decisions are made at point of sale. The other point that the OglivyAction research makes is that it varies by category. Another rather obvious point that needed making.

And this research was done Old Skool. They asked people what they intended to buy when they went in and asked them what they bought when they went out. No broken beams, RFID and video-mining. Nice.

Now the bad stuff: TNS did a survey in Canada and asked people how important a bunch of things were when they bought products - including price and corporate reputation. And guess what? Corporate reputation is nearly as important as price! Wow! I guess that explains why Wal-Mart is so unsuccessful and why Fair Trade and sustainable products have such huge market share in Canada. C'mon guys - this is the kind of stuff that gives market research a reputation for being ...well....useless.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nielsen, Mindset Media Bundle Psychographic Data Into Homescan Panel

Interesting stuff here from Nielsen linking psychographic profiles to Homescan panel data in the US.

Note the faint praise from the digital media fella. They need more guidance than this. But he is right that it will give creative insights and could be useful for in-store - if the segments that Mindset Media have created can be tied to shopper experience needs....which I am sure they can.

I have to say that as someone who was raised with a distaste for Nielsen's monopolistic arrogance and lack of innovation, they seem to be doing a lot of new things ....