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Let the consumer be the guide

Today everything is media but we do not control the dialogue, the consumer does. We need to know who today's consumers are as people and when and where we can find them in the mood to welcome a brand message.
It requires a new way of thinking. We need to get inside the consumer's mind, understanding their lives and identifying the moments when they will connect with various brands. We call this 'inside out' thinking.

Jan Callebaut (Managing Director of Synovate Censydiam™), hosted a seminar in Cape Town in December 2005 in which he discussed how Censydiam™ uses human psychology to explain human behaviour and how this can be quantified.

Some Marketing Truths:

  • Consumers have needs, the brands that best satisfy these needs will be most successful
  • Marketing is all about communicating to the consumer that Brand X satisfies their needs better than any other brand
  • Communication happens every time a consumer encounters the brand, these are consumer "Touchpoints" e.g. advertising, web sites, packaging, product, concept, sponsorships, promotions, price
  • Research should be about identifying relevant consumer needs and seeing how well each "Touchpoint" reinforces that the brand satisfies relevant consumer needs
  • Most research ignores the psychology of human emotion.

    As a marketer it's crucial to know who buys what. And when, and where they'll buy it. But it's a researcher's ability to understand why consumers do what they do in the context of the occasions they encounter that will allow the marketer to create comprehensive strategies to maximize return on investment. We all need to understand how to be invited in.

    Products and brands do not have emotional value: people give emotional value to products and brands, and these emotions are deeply ingrained in our common humanity. Marketing is not about markets: it is about minds. Successful marketing depends on this knowledge of how consumers think and requires research that investigates the true behaviour of the consumer.

    Censydiam™ is different from standard research as it is based on a well accepted model of human psychology which links people's behaviour to their underlying psychology. This approach is applied to both qualitative and quantitative applications truly linking the two disciplines at the most fundamental level. So the factors that differentiate Censydiam™ from the rest are that it operates at a much deeper level than standard research ensuring that consumers are understood at the level at which they make decisions: the subconscious.

    Motivations... the fundamental human desires that drive our behaviour.

    Eight motivations form the basis of our model of the subconscious mind. We use the model to better understand consumers, brands and communication between the two. Once we understand the motivation that drives consumers to buy a particular brand we can use it to develop a relevant communication strategy.

    We acknowledge that everyone's psychology is different, but they can be grouped into segments with broadly similar needs. A frequently asked question is: Are the segments always the same? This is particularly relevant in the multi-racial, multi-cultural South Africa - home to consumers with widely diverse economic status.

    Censydiam™ takes into account that each market is different and each model is modified to according to the nature of the market and cultural context in which it is set. This also answers the questions about "a one size fits all approach", which is clearly not true. While people's underlying psychology may be the same across markets or countries, the way they express their needs will be different.

    In a world beset with media messages, the old question "How can I break through?" will no longer do. We need a new question - "How can we be invited in?"

    The answer to this question will be found if we let the consumer be our guide.

    With a multitude of brands all vying to communicate with the same consumer base it is essential for Marketers to not only know who the consumers are, but to understand their behaviour. The Censydiam model of human motivation allows us to understand and explain this human behaviour.
  • 9 Jan 2006 09:44


    V Aston
    PR let down-
    I heard the interview on Cape Talk, and feel that many of the questions were circumvented. I came away feeling that the interviewee had little idea of what was going on. As a potential client of yours, i was left with a bitter taste in my mouth and have since approached alternative suppliers. Being in the PR/Media industry, it further underscores the importance of having a competent and knowledgeable public interface.
    Posted on 18 Jan 2006 18:11