Why it matters

New technologies offer extremely powerful ways to analyze consumer data, but cannot totally replace real-life observation as a means for generating insight. In-person study can also help identify the behavioral traits and quirks that cannot be captured by digital datasets.


  • Marketers should not rely on self-reported consumer information or digital data alone, but instead personally observe consumer behavior in context.
  • Brand custodians ought to consider using tools like video cameras as a way to get a powerful qualitative insight into customer habits.
  • It is essential for brand teams to be knowledgeable about the cultural factors at work in different geographies where their brands are sold.

With toilet-paper robots, razors for people who need assistance to shave, and digital skin-sensing tools, Procter & Gamble offered a formidable presence at CES 2020, an event held by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).