Attitudinal data analysis builds strong relationships

Your article “Classification maps draw on group culture” (MW 13 August) reported on the importance of personality when analysing consumer purchasing data. Although this study concentrated on business-toconsumer research, it can also be applied in a business-to-business context.

Businesses have a tendency to focus on the demographics of a company itself, but such characteristics don’t describe attitudinal trends within the decision makers of the business. By categorising the psychology and values of small business owners as a method of understanding purchasing decisions, businesses can gain a far deeper insight to drive customer retention and acquisition strategies.

Research has also confirmed that purchase decision-making for small business owners is far more akin to personal decision-making than it is to the formalised processes of larger organisations. It is likely that just one person will be involved in the final outcome, as opposed to a board of directors – and ultimately, the business owner will bring all of his personal preferences and brand references to the decision.

Purchasing behaviour and culture of small businesses is inextricably linked to the personality, attitudes and values of the people that own and manage those businesses.

By using attitudinal data analysis methods, businesses will be able to better understand why some of their clients and customers prefer certain brands to others. This will allow them to communicate more effectively and develop longer and more profitable relationships.

Simon Lawrence
Chief executive
Information Arts

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Your article on marketers looking to shave 9.5% from market research spend (MW 13 August) would suggest that clients are prioritising survey and sales data over qualitative approaches, specifically focus groups. If this is the case, then it is not surprising that fewer clients consider research companies as true partners that can deliver excellent results for their business.

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