Researching actual behaviour can dispel consumer stereotypes

It’s well known that in surveys and questionnaires some people lie. It’s also no big surprise that people often say what they think they should, rather than what they actually think.    

Mindi Chahal

Looking at what people are really doing rather than what people perceive their behaviour to be often proves to be more fruitful in terms of market research, especially when it comes proving or dispelling stereotypes. 

A study out today that analyses the actual online content viewed by 6.4 million Britons during July and August shows some interesting reinforcements and challenges to music fan stereotypes. 

The research, by Exponential, reveals that electric cars are the most-over indexing cars of interest to rap and hip-hop fans, who are 8.6 times more likely to be interested in them than the average person online. 

Surprisingly, for a group often associated with culture, the most over-indexing dining experience among jazz fans is fast food and they are 49 times more likely to be interested in this than average. 

In addition, the study shows that classical music and pop fans tend to be more entrepreneurial, being 255 times and 7.5 times more likely, respectively, to be interested in small business loans than the average person online. 

Exponential’s European strategic relations director Niki Stoker gives a few examples about the implications of understand behaviour. 

She says: “Just as fast food outlets play jazz, for example, retailers stocking back-to-school products should be playing more pop and folk to tap into the interests of their shoppers. Car manufacturers should be using dance music or events to help promote their convertible models while Brazilian tour operators would do well to target classical music enthusiasts.”

Analysing actual behaviour is also coming through in marketing campaigns as brands begin to base strategy on what consumers are doing rather than the perceptions of consumer behaviour.  

Hewlett Packard just announced a social media strategy focusing on the power of relevance and the natural behaviour of its audience using behavioural insight. 

This kind of approach and the data that comes from it will be beneficial for the industry to keep up-to-date and for brands to continue to be in line with the real needs and wants of consumers. 

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