31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2009
I have read Gerald Zaltman's work over the years. Sometimes he has made real important contributions. This time I am afraid to say that he promises something he does not deliver.
His (their) "metaphor" approach is supposed to be the subject of the book. But instead of sharing how to go about uncovering metaphors, the authors spend their time reverse engineering commercials and providing ex-post-facto explanations that justify the "theory" of deep metaphors. Qualitative market researchers have been asking consumers for metaphors since I can remember. For about 30 years I have asked consumers to tell me "what is it like to" do something, etc. Consumers do respond with metaphors that can be very useful. So, what is so proprietary about this approach? To be fair the book offers a taxonomy of metaphors. But the taxonomy does little to help the marketer actually connect with the consumer (unless you buy their consulting services). Because metaphors work in-context, and in-culture, not in a vacuum. The authors attempt to erase the importance of culture by claiming that understanding universals is enough. That contributes to marketing misconceptions instead of advancing the discipline.
I would like to caution readers that this approach to attract clients to their practice is unlikely to advance our understanding of consumer behavior. Post-hoc rationalizations can be interesting, but anyone can explain past events. The problem is predicting them.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Let me start by saying I think that Gerald Zaltman is a marketing genius and I love all of his work including this book.
His detailed explanation of the deep myths that are effective in advertising and creating stories that sell is impressive. His research is clearly deep and insightful. But, he doesn't give a clear path to illiciting metaphors in your own group (he uses his proprietary process, Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique) and he gives more information about that in his previous book "How Customers Think." He also doesn't give a clear outline of how marketers might implement his findings in their own work. I'd like to have seen more specific examples around how you can apply these techniques in the stories you create.
This book deserves deep study though for the metaphors he idendifies and the motivating examples he uses to demonstrate each metaphor. With a little thought, creattivity and experimentation you'll be able to figure out how to apply them to your own creative and to your strategies.
The book is very easy to read and understand and in typical Zaltman fashion he makes very detailed research easy to understand and read. This along with his previous book should be on your regular research shelf. I realize I'm being a little picky about my criticism of this book but I'm so used to walking away feeling like I have new immediately implementable tools and this time I felt great but like he'd left some of his magic out and I missed it.
Get this book, you'll be very happy you did.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2008
By way of full disclosure, I was a graduate assistant for Jerry Zaltman when he was a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Naturally, I've followed Jerry's many publications for these past 20 years and have never found the time I've invested in reading his latest ideas less than incredibly worthwhile.
Interestingly, I bought this book based solely on the title and my expectation that it would be full of new ideas and insights about how using metaphors in marketing tactics would influence consumer behavior. While this book does cover material related to that sort of thing, it really covers so much more. The first two chapters on thinking deeply, "Workable Wondering" and focusing on consumer similarities set the stage for how to take the insights and ideas from the next 7 chapters (one per each deep metaphor) and incorporate them into your own thinking. The last chapter ties things together and presents a number of ideas for how Deep Metaphors may influence a number of marketing strategies and tactics.
This book is written to stimulate your thinking about how Deep Metaphors apply in many areas of marketing and consumer behavior. It doesn't present a list of "to dos" or lay out a plan of action that you should follow. Instead, you'll find yourself seeing what you, your consumers and your competitors do in a new light.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2008
On the treadmill of front-line marketing, it's easy to get caught up in the never-ending lists and deadlines, rather than stepping back to think more broadly and deeply about who we really are, who we're trying to reach and what we're really trying to accomplish.
As I read the Zaltmans' Marketing Metaphoria, it felt like a sudden holiday getaway that whisked me away from my lists and deadlines and into a calmer, almost meditative place. Readable and engaging, this book helped me step back and reflect on the great metaphors that make humans tick. The Zaltmans' genius is in not only identifying these metaphors, but also helping the reader understand their relevance in marketing and communication strategy. The book does a beautiful job illustrating how "deep metaphors" are the story elements and images that create meaning and purpose in people's lives. With many great examples they also illustrate how insightful marketers can use these deep metaphors to create meaning and purpose for companies, brands and products in people's lives.
Like any great holiday getaway, at the end I was not only refreshed and rejuvenated, but I was changed for the better. This book's vivid examples and passion for the subject make it irresistible for marketing professionals to look for themselves, their customers, brands and companies amongst the metaphors - and to begin "deep thinking" about their work.
For anyone interested in more than just superficial communication, marketing, image or brand, this book will provide gratifying insights that change how you understand and craft the stories you tell.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2008
The Zaltmans' new book can truly be described as insightful. I know Jerry to be an astute and visionary commentator on consumer behavior. Anybody who has read "How Customers Think" will know that. What "Marketing Metaphoria" illustrates so well is that only by probing deep into the way people think about and view the world around them can one hope to connect with consumers in a visceral and enduring way. The book provides a framework for identifying such "implicit cognitive influences" (see back cover) - here in the form of deep matephors - and that is what makes it important reading.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2008
Another great book from Zaltman, with more excellent insights into the way people think.
I found it a more straightforward read than the excellent 'How Customers Think'. And it has an even blunter message for managers: "Start paying proper attention to how your customers really make their buying decisions, or miss out!"
As a metaphor elicitation specialist I was wowed by some of the fine detail, such as the description of the relationship between deep metaphor and emotion. But if most readers focus on the high-level message - the crucial importance of deep metaphor in guiding human behaviour - I'll be absolutely delighted!
If, like reviewer Dave Lakhani, you're disappointed by the book's lack of a detailed methodology for eliciting metaphors, why not check out a non-proprietary technique such as Clean Language? Though I suppose I would say that, wouldn't I... :-)
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2008
The Zaltmans' new book - "Marketing Metaphoria" - says it all!
Both Gerald and Lindsay Zaltman have provided us with a blueprint of understanding that is relevant to all product categories (globally!) and only needs one more "ingredient" to make it work for us - Deep Thinking!
In my almost 40 years in the profession of market research and market understanding, nothing has been clearer. We have tried detailed analyses of differences, numerous segmentation schemes....and countless other methods for helping our clients target their customers.
What all of us have missed was right in front of us - Deep Thinking about customers' lives, how they view their world, our world and the future.
As I read "Marketing Metaphoria", I was reminded of the graceful and precise lines of simple architecture. My husband, who is an architect, has always told me that designing a building with simple lines takes a great deal more work than a more complicated design.
That is what the Zaltmans have done for us. They have made it simple -- and if we don't read this book and really dive into our marketing plans with a "new approach" -- we are the ones to blame.
I urge every marketing professional to read this book and sit back and just "think" about it!
Patricia Mordigan Hawkins
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2008
As the author of "Metahorically Selling: how to use metaphors to sell, persuade, & explain anything to anyone," I highly recommend this book. It validates what I have been teaching people to do for years in my seminars, i.e., the most effective way to make a point, overcome an objection, remove confusion, position yourself or your products, win over a crowd, or close a deal is with metaphor and/or its cousin, analogy. "Deep Metaphors" emphasizes the human need to connect and nothing connects two people together more than that shared vision you as a communicator create with carefully crafted metaphors and analogies. This is a valuable read for anyone who communicates. Anne Miller. [..]
on June 27, 2012
The authors delve hard into giving the reader food for thought to assist the marketer into creating a successful communication with the consumers through the use of the following metaphors:
"1)Balance: Four types of balance could apply to category or brand: physical balance, emotional balance, social balance and moral balance.
2)Transformation is a viewing lens for evaluating our bodies, thoughts, feelings, social relationships, and interactions with the physical world.
3)Journey: is rooted in our awareness of time, evolution, progress, and maturation. The consumer often experiences himself or herself as on a journey and sometimes experiences others on a journey.
4)Container: involves physical, psychological, and social states and sometimes a combination of all three. Containers perform two basic functions: they keep things in and keep things out and they are pervasive.
5)Connection: Our sense of connecton with-and sometimes isolation from-family, friends, coworkers, religious institutions, political parties, teams, and even ourselves, emerged during evolution. We are a social species and our brains are wired for social connection.
6)Resource: as a deep metaphor is partly rooted in a basic need to acquire, as weel as in our needs to achieve and maintain physical and social well-being. In a very broad sense, all goods and services are seen as resources to help achieve importan conscious and unconscious goals.
7)Control: arises from a basic and largely unconscious motivation to control ourselves, others and the situations we encounter."
Here's another quote from the book: "Marketers must recognize the emergence of new thoughts and feelings and their associated deep metaphors (1)to understand what consumers mean by what they say and (2) to facilate the development of enduring and personally relevant stories about brands by consumers, be it through marketing communications, new product development, or other means."
This book falls under the deep thinking category and gives an interesting viewpoint on how to create effective marketing ideas.
on November 16, 2012
This book covers some areas of marketing that are rarely, if ever, talked about. I found myself taking notes and found the stories in the book to be very interesting. The authors have clearly done their homework on this topic and you'll come away with a lot of insights.
The only thing I wish they had done was layout better action steps. The information is great and if you know what to do with it then you'll be very glad you read this book.