Your shopping habits reveal even the most personal information — like when you’re going to have a baby.
|Scooped by Joachim Scholz, PhD|
This is a great article detailing different ways how companies do marketing research in practice - with astonishing results! The first part of the article describes how Target engages in some data mining of consumer habits in order to figure out who of their customers are in an early stage of their pregnancy. The idea is to capture these consumers early, while they are forming new habits.
While this is a great example of using secondary data, the article later discusses how P&G employed qualititative research methods (lead by a Harvard Business School professor - Susan Fournier, is that you?) to solve a problem for Febreze's. In their first campaign, P&G addressed people directly about the bad smells in their environment. This didn't work. From the article:
"The reason Febreze wasn’t selling, the marketers realized, was that people couldn’t detect most of the bad smells in their lives. If you live with nine cats, you become desensitized to their scents. If you smoke cigarettes, eventually you don’t smell smoke anymore. Even the strongest odors fade with constant exposure. That’s why Febreze was a failure. The product’s cue — the bad smells that were supposed to trigger daily use — was hidden from the people who needed it the most. And Febreze’s reward (an odorless home) was meaningless to someone who couldn’t smell offensive scents in the first place.
P.& G. employed a Harvard Business School professor to analyze Febreze’s ad campaigns. They collected hours of footage of people cleaning their homes and watched tape after tape, looking for clues that might help them connect Febreze to people’s daily habits. When that didn’t reveal anything, they went into the field and conducted more interviews. A breakthrough came when they visited a woman in a suburb near Scottsdale, Ariz., who was in her 40s with four children. Her house was clean, though not compulsively tidy, and didn’t appear to have any odor problems; there were no pets or smokers. To the surprise of everyone, she loved Febreze."