I read a blog from a friend of mine the other day about the difference between targets and rewards (Dan Young, Targets and Rewards and knowing the difference). He makes a great point that we get mixed up between targets and rewards and spend our time chasing (and measuring) the rewards – such as market share and penetration – rather than focusing on the targets – delivering excellent products and selling them well – that will ultimately bring us the rewards that we desire.
It occurred to me that this is also true of our consumers’ actions and emotions. We spend much of our time, effort and budget tracking and trying to understand our consumers’ actions with very little understanding of the unconscious emotions that drive those actions and how our products, services and communications affect our consumers’ emotionally.
I was debriefing to a client the other day who had all the data available on what their consumers did, when, how often etc. but it was halfway through the debrief when he suddenly lit up and said “Now I get it… now I see why… and I understand what I can do to affect my consumers’ behaviour!”