DATA DOESN’T DICTATE BEHAVIOUR
One of my favourite films is The Third Man.
It features one my favourite film speeches, from Orson Welles.
If it came on TV I’d watch it without question.
I’d make sure I caught the very start.
I wouldn’t miss a minute.
And I’d think that was a great night’s TV.
I’d talk about it next day at the office.
Yup, I’d love it if they ever showed that film on the TV.
Funny thing though.
I’ve got that film on a DVD under the shelf the TV’s on.
I’ve had it there for years.
I keep meaning to watch it, but I never get around to it.
That doesn’t make any sense does it?
I thought I was just lazy.
But the other day I was talking to Gordon Smith, my art director partner.
Gordon asked if I’d seen Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels on telly the night before.
I said I caught a bit of it.
Gordon said he’d watched the whole thing, it was one of his favourite movies.
He said he watches it every time it comes on telly, he knows it off by heart.
Funny thing, he said.
He had the DVD sitting on the shelf under the telly.
So he could watch it any time he wanted.
He never bothered, but as soon as it came on TV he always watched it.
Tell me that isn’t strange.
But that’s the way people are: strange, idiosyncratic, eratic.
They don’t always conform to logic and certainly not to numbers.
The data would tell you there’s no point in showing those movies on TV in either of our houses, because we’ve got the DVDs.
So we’d hardly watch the same thing on telly would we?
A DVD is much more convenient, we can watch it whenever we want, pause, rewind, fast-forward.
Obviously everyone would prefer to watch a movie that way.
And if you asked anyone in focus groups, that’s exactly what they’d tell you.
So how come the facts don’t match the data?
Well here’s a thing, maybe there’s two kinds of TV.
Maybe there’s weekday TV and weekend TV.
Maybe it isn’t the technology that dictates to people.
Maybe it’s people that dictate to technology.
So on weekdays you come home knackered, flop in the chair and watch whatever’s on.
Maybe on weekends you’re not so tired, so maybe you take the time to open a bottle of wine and put on a DVD.
In the week you only get a few hours relaxation in the evening.
At the weekend you get two entire days off.
So maybe in the week logic loses out to lethargy.
Maybe the consumer dictates to the technology, instead of the other way round.
But most of the people in advertising want to be trendsetters and thought-leaders.
On the Technology Adoption Lifecycle Curve they are Innovators and Early Adopters.
They keep an eye out for anything innovative.
They are evangelists for it.
They want to be the first to buy any new technology.
To get there before anyone else is justification enough.
That’s not a problem, unless they think everyone is like them.
Because most people aren’t. Most people are in either the Early Majority or Late Majority segments.
They aren’t interested in technology for its own sake.
They are interested in their own lives.
They’re not interested in innovation unless they can see a way to use it in their lives.
So with the Innovators it’s technology first, life second.
But with most people it’s life first, technology second.
Most marketing people are Innovators or Early Adopters (16%).
But most consumers are Early or Late Majority (68%).
And there are over four times as many of them.
Maybe that’s why there is a definite split between the way marketing people see the world and the way the world really is.
And why the world doesn’t conform to data.