Monthly Archives: December 2009

Market Research Saved My Life Again

As I mentioned last time, I’ve only once found an impromptu use for my understanding of consumer behaviour and consumer psychology, and I certainly never anticipated that a situation might arise where market research might make a difference between life and death. But that just shows how little I know. Recently, the UK government has announced that 10% of hospital (NHS Trust) funding will be dependent on patient satisfaction levels.  To put that in financial terms, that could mean around £10billion of expenditure will be dependent on patient satisfaction. And here’s the thing.  This is, in my opinion, the most profoundly stupid example of using market research that I have ever encountered: it’s going to result in lives being lost. Let’s go back a few years, before any of us had heard of MRSA or any of the other so-called super-bugs that are resistant to antibiotics and kill people. How […]

Market Research Saved My Life!

Be honest, how many of you thought you would ever read that as a headline? As someone who has worked in and around what is generally known as “market research” for twenty years I was always slightly disappointed that I didn’t have a job that might be called upon dramatically. “Help!!! Is there a market researcher on the plane?” Is not a phrase I ever expected to hear. As a brief aside, I was once able to put my consumer behaviour skills to good use with strangers: I was taking a train with a friend and a number had been cancelled, resulting in the sorts of over-crowding that’s not permitted for the transportation of any other mammal. We’d failed to get on two trains and watched two passengers almost come to blows as one attempted to compress an over-crowded carriage. When the third train arrived we saw a tiny space, […]

What Tiger Woods ‘Transgressions’ Tell Us About Market Research and Consumer Behaviour

There’s no escaping the fact that Tiger Woods’ personal life has become very public in the last couple of  days. But what, you may well ask, could his “transgressions” possibly have to do with consumer behaviour or market research? The answer is in Tiger’s statement after his private life became monumentally public.  Here’s what he said on his website: “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.” Now none of us can say whether this is what Tiger Woods really feels, or whether this is just the best thing he can think to say in the position he has found himself.  But for the purposes of this post, let’s take Tiger at his word. He has not been true to his values. Market research is frequently preoccupied with […]