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Westcoast Direct Solutions on the Customer Data You're Missing

Image Posted 50 Nov 2015   by admin

At Westcoast Direct Solutions, we know that the corporate world spends a lot of money on market research these days. Just in the packaged goods industry, the average yearly budget is $7m on market research for large corporations. Most of the information gathering is focused on analyzing specific data about lifestyle, spending, education and activities, and similar metrics. However at Westcoast Direct Solutions, we believe there is some important information that many companies miss out on when gathering data.

Marketing Consultant Robert Bly came up with a simple formula to simplify the process of understanding your customer group: the BDF formula. BDF stands for Beliefs, Desires, and Feelings. The BDF formula boils the process of understanding customers into three simple questions:

  1. What do my prospects believe?
  2. What do my prospects desire?
  3. What do my prospects feel?

At Westcoast Direct Solutions, we believe these core questions are at the basis of how humans really operate and act, and that’s why they are so powerful as tools of understanding. Let’s face it, groups of people are not easily defined by what they do or consume. There is just too much variance.

Let’s take an example of a new business starting up that is trying to market to tech-savvy students. You could spend a lot of money on market research, and it would tell you many things. They are in the 18-24 age group. They spend a lot on app purchases and gadgets. They tend to stream video more than watch live television. But what does this really tell you about the person, that helps your brand message.

Now we can apply the BDF formula. From speaking to some students we might get the following:

  • Tech-savvy students believe that technology is important for communication. They believe in freedom of speech and that technology is a positive thing for the future.
  • Tech-savvy students desire information, communication, and social connectedness.
  • Tech-savvy students feel smarter than less technically-minded students, and older people.

Using this analysis, we now know more about the customer as a person. This means that we can work on delivering a message that really says something positive to this group.