If, as Albert Camus wrote, “Life is the sum of all your choices,” it is marketing's goal to better understand how those choices are made. Decoding and influencing decision making lies at the core of all marketing efforts.
Yet marketing is only one of several professions that want to know how people choose one option over another. Responding to the need, countless psychologists, neurologists, sociologists, and anthropologists have written books and papers that attempt to decode the “who, what, how, and why” of decision making in its many permutations. And now, as we walk through our days with increasingly Internet-connected devices, a new generation of data scientists is building complex algorithms that promise to glean meaningful insight from our digital footprints. It is dizzying to consider what all of these approaches might someday reveal or how future innovations will affect our lives.
Lacking a crystal ball and humbled by the potential for rapid change, we hope to simplify this topic, providing practical guidance that every marketer, regardless of budget, can employ to gain insights into their customer's buying decisions and the people who make them.
The Most Important Nine Months of My Career
We'll begin with the simple approach that I first learned in 1986 when I took a job as an account executive at Regis McKenna, the marketing consultancy and public relations (PR) firm that Apple, Intel, and most of the successful ...