As I crawled around the M25 on my way home last week, several news items on the radio caused me to question the way statistics are interpreted and reported in the public domain.
Recently a client came to us with a range of 58 different concepts for evaluation. This presented many tricky issues for the design of the research, and lead to a lively discussion with my colleagues regarding how many concepts a respondent could evaluate meaningfully in one survey, and how this compared to the decision making process in real life purchase situations. This in turn got me thinking about a couple of articles I had read recently about how increasing choice for consumers is creating an interesting effect. First was an article from Harvard Business Review. Its authors argued that the notion of the purchase funnel has in some instances been sidelined by other effects, most notably the purchase ‘tunnel’. This “tunnel” describes how consumers avoid the cognitive effort of careful consideration, and instead make simple choices based on the “easiest option”. Second was an old article I had read in The Economist, which talked about the ‘tyranny of choice’.
We are often asked, just what are “Advanced Analytics”? In response to this, I usually begin by saying that what they’re not are web-based techniques that measure social media traffic etc. This has become almost an industry within itself over the last few years, and confusingly is referred to generally as “Analytics”. So it’s important to make this distinction.