Managerial Intuition vs. Consumer Research

Consumer behavior is important for any marketer to understand. When conducting consumer research, keep these questions in mind: Why do people buy my product? When do they buy my product and where? How much are people willing to spend and how long until they purchase from me again? All of these questions can be answered by conducting thorough research and analyzing the data. However, as marketers, we see a shift from marketing managers using their own judgements, which is called managerial intuition, to a more data-driven approach of consumer research.

Scientific Methods for Predicting Consumer Behavior

The best approach is to throw out managerial intuition which are judgments made by an educated guess of who an audience is and how they will behave. It’s time to start looking at consumer data to understand patterns and trends, and to make better decisions about your brand and products going forward.

Below are several ways to use a more scientific approach to understanding consumer buying behaviors for your products.

  • A/B Testing – Create different product messages, package design, etc. and test it out on 100 consumers and see which performs the best.
  • Attitude Measurement – Use an attitude scale and survey a pool of your consumers to understand their attitudes toward your product category and purchasing your product.
  • Brand Meaning – Do a brand study to understand the perception of your brand identity from either a sample of your consumers or to the general public. Understanding the emotional appeal of your brand will give you ammunition for future marketing efforts.

The So-What

Stop the struggle between managerial intuition and data-driven decision making. Consumer behavior can be scientific and now you have ways to use these scientific approaches for better predicting how consumers will behave. Managerial Intuition is an old school approach and keeps you as a marketer from fully understanding your audience base and they can best be served.

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