In one week another semester begins. It reminds me of the advice I will give the students that first night, which dovetails nicely with the “observation” theme from yesterday’s post.
What I will tell the students, and what I offer today’s readers of Lairig Marketing, is this counsel: pick up your head and look around, all day long. Here are some ideas you can adopt for September.
Real Grocery Shopping
Go to a regular grocery store (not Whole Foods, not the corner bodega). Focus about 5% of your energy on your own shopping and the rest on things like these:
- What is the gender and age make-up of shoppers?
- How many have a smartphone out, scanning QR codes or price comparing on the Web?
- Look in their carts – are 25% of the goods private label?
- At the register, what type of coupon activity is there?
Look Wayyyy Up
For those in urban areas or with highway commutes, take in the billboard advertising for a change:
- What types of companies are advertising – are they the same as the ones on TV?
- How many ads use a true call to action? What kind?
- What percentage of billboards are the digital type?
Look Wayyyy Down
On the bus, subway, in the airport gate area, lunch room…wherever you can find people sitting down, see what they are doing to keep themselves occupied:
- How many have smartphones out and are not making calls?
- What percentage of those in question #1 are playing games? Angry Birds?
- How many are reading and what – Kindles, newspapers, magazines?
- How many iPads do you see?
What Am I Wearing
Really pay attention to what people are wearing (you can combine this one with the first and third examples above):
- How many are in suits/traditional business wear (male and female)?
- What are the top three types of shirts you see? Are men's shirttails in or out?
- What are the top three types of footwear you see?
- Compare all your observations to the fashion magazines…
The ideas in each of these are just starters, ways to get you to forget your own behavior and focus on everyone else. And to give you a better sense of “real world” activity that never, ever seems to jibe with the market research that inundates us with the final word on this or that marketing topic.