I am proud to say that I have a Market Research background. For a few years in London I worked as a Researcher for Millward Brown (working with great brands and even better people).
I find this research background of great value almost every day. When dissecting client data, attending focus groups, performing secondary research, gathering insights…
Research is extremely important no doubt and clients rely heavily on it to make difficult (or compromising) consumer decisions. In our creative agency we also rely on research (qualitative, ethnographic, but also quantitative thanks to BrandAsset Valuator) to find truths about our brands that will help shape strategy and fuel creativity.
But research´s image (I find) is devalued and unfairly perceived as outdated and un-sexy, which sometimes leads to a certain “ugly duckling complex” within Research agencies (when in fact their role is an important one if done correctly).
This limits not only their involvement with some of their clients but also their ability to capture and retain talent.
That is what stood out for me when I visited Brain Juicer´s web: Immediately it doesn´t feel like a research company at all. It’s another animal entirely.
Their positioning away from the “traditional” research image and their establishment into a more creative, vibrant and technological research hub is a very interesting one (and is helping them secure the position as one of the fastest growing research agencies in the UK).
Recently I watched a presentation from the Brainjuicers at Invention Fest that blended neuroscience with marketing research and effectiveness.
Through a series of definitions of parts of the brain (which I will not delve into!) they arrived at the following conclusion: “We don’t think as much as we think we do”. In essence this means that emotions (and not rational processes) are the ones that mostly govern our decisions.
So what does this mean for Marketing?
Well, for one it means that raw emotional advertising (this they contrasted using IPA data) is much more effective.
In fact, when researching into more exact description of emotions (and according to Brainjuicer) “Awe-inspiring” is the adjective that best boosts effectiveness in advertising.
From here they turned to one of my favorite ads to further make their point about emotions being a powerful driver (beyond conventional pre-conceptions).
I remember watching this ad by agency Fallon and feeling uplifted (and I also remember the FT stating the uplift in sales which I have recovered for you below).
You can imagine when this was pre-tested (IF this was pre-tested) that it most definitely flopped in every copy testing measure (especially as it was probably done in an un-finished and un- edited form).
That is why research is such an important tool. We need to master it so we can know when to follow it blindly or when to completely ignore it and go with our gut feelings.
In Jon Steel’s famous book “Truth, Lies and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning” he mentions that one of his clients had a sign that read “Guts is cheaper than Research”.
With companies like Brainjuicer redefining the traditional research landscape the virtue will be found in a healthy combo of Guts & Research.
Thanks for reading,
Take care amigos,