As market researchers we are constantly asking questions to get to the truth so we can make decisions and develop future strategies for our clients. However, time and time again clients do ask us, “how can you be sure that what people say is the truth?”
Saying one thing but doing another
Behavioural economics focuses on how we behave and not necessarily on what we say or think. The “economics” component of the title acknowledges that somewhere in our behaviour there are trade-offs and that decision making isn’t always rational. Therefore, through different questioning, statistical analysis and observations we can start to better understand why people behave the way they do, even if it is through inferring rather than asking direct questions.
How can B2B International help?
- Observing as well as asking – Observation was the first method used by market researchers to collect data in the 1930s. While it has been superseded in importance by interviews, there are nevertheless many opportunities where it can provide valuable insights. Indeed, B2B International has noted something of a revival in its use recently, especially with this growing trend towards behavioural economics.
- Asking questions intelligently – Behavioural economics isn’t just about observation; it is also about the way we ask questions. This can have a huge effect on the answers we receive. B2B International is adept at asking questions in different ways and tailoring our approach to the different audiences we reach. This is helped further by the wide array of statistical techniques we now have at our disposal.
- Using technology as an enabler – Marketers have long been aware that irrational decision making is common and that behaviour is an extremely important insight – arguably more important than opinion and attitudes. What is new, however, is the technology that is at our fingertips today and has certainly been an enabler in bringing behavioural economics to the fore as an invaluable tool in B2B International’s toolkit. Through the ubiquitous use of smartphones along with easy-to-use apps built to capture visual information and thoughts ‘in the moment’, the wealth of information that can be collected now is truly insightful and will help to answer the question “why are people acting like this?”