Corporations and big businesses spend Billions on advertisement, as we all know, it’s what they do before making these huge investments that many people might not be aware of. The most effective way of knowing how and what to advertise in the first place is, a comprehensive understanding of what the customer wants. How can they know what a customer wants other than to ask them? Well, this has become an industry in and of itself, research. Consumer research to be more specific and, this includes everything from surveys to market research to, what is known in the business as, customer intercepts.
There are host of different independent company’s who specialize in collecting this information for their powerful clientele or, a large company may have the means to handle this important work in-house with their own staff. Either way, this data and intelligence gathering is essential to formulate the most appropriate advertising strategy for a particular business. These guys are fully aware that you can only give a customer what they want if you know what it is they want. How many times are we invited to fill out a cute little customer survey cards when purchase something or asked to go on-line and take a survey for a chance to win some big prize? This is the golden information that will inevitably help determine how they will spend money to attract more customers. It’s OK… they just want to get to know you better.
What’s not OK, in most opinions, is the secret practice of collecting personal internet browsing trends with tracking cookies, without your knowledge or consent and, selling this information to selected marketers who can then target you with specific advertising. Not to name names but, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, or E-Bay sorta comes to mind as likely culprits.
Then there’s the ever popular Shopping Mall survey taker who wonders around like their stalking prey, it’s almost creepy watching how they such display bubbling personality’s to get you to talk. No harm done though, some of them even offer cash for going through the torture of answering a few questions. These tactics by the way, are prime examples of customer intercepts, live on the spot responses to carefully choreographed questions. Chances are, these guys are gonna be toting state of the art Wi-Fi Tablets sending real-time data for immediate analyses by the interested party. The reality is, business is so competitive that this sort of research is necessary.
By understanding the customers wants and needs better than the other guy, a business can then carry out the action necessary in giving them the advantage over their competitors. It is the consumer in the end who is the real victor, however, for if any company wants to make money, they must inevitably please the customer. Therefore, perhaps we the buying public should be more tolerable of such inquisitions, the answers we give might very well be reflected in the products and services we are offered.