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:
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:
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.