Researching implicit memory: The quest for research precision

Ali Perry and Phil Sutcliffe

Companies can gain direct, practical plans to drive growth by embracing precision research that recognises the difference between stated intent and actual behaviour.

For decades, marketers have leveraged qualitative and quantitative research to understand consumer truth. People have historically been happy to define themselves in collective terms – and those of us who study them have been happy to understand them in the same way: by social class, demographics, age, gender, income level, and other shared characteristics. Businesses view markets and opportunities in terms of what consumers might have in common rather than the individual traits that set them apart. But human behaviour has never been an exact science, so this arguably comforting aggregate view is actually quite dangerous for any business that seeks to efficiently commercialise its growth opportunities or, for that matter, to identify real and actionable opportunities to begin with. Without a clear understanding of individual decision-making, much research will simply lead marketers astray.