If We Only Knew the Truth …

By | 2016-11-04T16:58:02+00:00 September 11, 2013|Insights, Marketing, Right Hemisphere, Viewpoints|
Malcolm MacKenzie

Malcolm MacKenzie, SVP, Consumer Strategist

Tales From the Right Hemisphere, the blog that plugs into the right brain and connects the emotional and intuitive actions that result in decisions.

If we only knew the truth…

That’s what insights are all about, getting to the deeper meaning, the truth, behind human actions and interactions. Why do people do what they do?

We can ask, but the problem with asking is that the answers we get are most often lies. Not lies in the sense of being purposefully misled. But lies because the answer is automatically filtered so that it represents our best selves, our aspirational persona, who we want to be instead of who we really are.

Aspirational Lying

Did you really like that movie?

Carlos Gomez-Uribe, VP of product innovation and personalization algorithms at Netflix, was recently interviewed by Wired magazine.  He was asked about the user movie ratings on Netflix:

“We know that many of the ratings (user provided) are aspirational rather than reflecting your daily activity. A lot of people tell us they often watch foreign movies or documentaries. But in practice that doesn’t happen much. Testing has shown that the ratings aren’t super-useful, while what you’re actually playing is.”

This is aspirational lying. We project the impression we want to make—watcher of foreign films and documentaries instead of who we are—watcher of Hot Tub Time Machine. We do this because of how we want others to see us.

Wishful Blindness

What did you really do?

We can also be very good at self-delusion, which is the same as Wishful Blindness. We see things the way we want them to be instead of the way they are. We recently did a Learning Tour with a group of diabetes sufferers.

During the group they all spoke of how they managed their diets, took their medicine, and exercised regularly. A Learning Tour takes place over three hours. We provide snacks and drinks including a
variety of fruit, cookies, sodas, and water. At the end of the tour most of the soda and all of the cookies were gone.

They saw themselves as staying on top of their diabetes, even though most of the group made choices that did not match the choices they said they made. They saw what they wanted to see.

As marketers, how do we get past our target’s strong desire to protect their public persona and get to the truth of why they do what they do?

Join us as we plug into our right brains and search out the emotional intuitive connections that result in action.

Did you find any new truths today?

Let me know, I’m here.


About the Author:

Malcolm MacKenzie
SVP, Strategic Planning and Customer Insights

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