Several years ago I read How Customers Think. Rereading it now and I find Gerald Zaltman is full of marketing insights. Yet the next action step is vague. It is difficult to put into practice without professional help. In an effort to make it actionable on a budget, here is an actionable synopsis.
A few of the core themes of the book are (and my apologies to the author if I don’t get this right).
- 95 percent of all cognition occurs in the subconscious mind (link to interview)
- verify stated belief against actual behavior
- measure latency response for thoughts and/or bias (also a theme in the Tipping Point)
- metaphors tap into thought stored as images as well as imagination
- from metaphors you can develop concensus maps from a small sample size (12 to 30 people!)
- one-on-one interviews are superior to focus groups
- research participants are asked to gather 8 to 10 pictures that reflect their thoughts or feelings on a subject *before* the interview