From Publishers Weekly
Harvard Business School professor Zaltman notes that despite enormous amounts of time and money dedicated to customer surveys and marketing, approximately 80% of all new products fail within six months or fall significantly short of their profit forecast. This shouldn't be surprising, he convincingly argues, since "a great mismatch exists between the way consumers experience and think about their world and the methods marketers use to collect this information." He calls for creative questioning that probes the unconscious values underlying consumers' reactions to products and marketing campaigns. Drawing on an impressive array of recent multidisciplinary research, Zaltman is especially provocative on the importance of memory, metaphor and storytelling in customers' decision making and the ways marketers might use these findings. Marketers worried about the scale and complexity of the surveys Zaltman advocates will breathe a sigh of relief as he outlines efficient methods to develop a set of shared values in a target market by creatively interviewing a small sample of customers. In fact, large vision and practical application go hand-in-hand for Zaltman. He may caution, rather abstractly, that successfully gauging the mind of the market depends on developing creative surveys and quality thinking about information gathered, but he also reminds readers to frame campaigns for a product in terms that vividly communicate its function and its emotional appeal for consumers. Zaltman's smart, practical analysis and many success stories will hold special appeal for those facing competitive markets, as well as for those rethinking more limited marketing approaches.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Any marketing professional will treasure this book." -- Denver Business Journal, December 8, 2003
"Anyone involved in market research should read this book: its where the practice is headed." -- brandchannel.com, August 6, 2003
"How Customers Think is exciting ... It advances provacative ideas ... for real learning and change." -- Fast Company Magazine, February 2003
"How Customers Think offers fresh insights into the consumer mind." -- Rajeev Kamineni, Marketing Update, October, 2003
"Its a handy and thought-provoking, if not essential, book for modern marketers." -- Harvey Schachter, Globe and Mail, May 7, 2003
"The book describes some important, recent knowledge about how customers think, feel, remember, and construct their realities." -- Marketing Management, July 8, 2003
"The book is informative and verbalizes part of my own philosophy, developed after 25 years in the product development field." -- Bill Clem, Business 2.0 Magazine, May 1, 2003