The video “The science of selling” by Frontline seeks to highlight the role of market research in increasing product sales. The video begins by showing how surveys are used to assess consumer perception concerning particular products. It then introduces the concept of market research where the desires of consumers are investigated and once identified, used to increase sales.
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The video focuses on an influential marketing researcher called Clotaire Rapaille. This market research guru provides services to up to 50 of the fortune 100 companies and many influential advertising agencies. Rapaille’s first career was in psychiatry where he dealt with autistic children.
From here, he learned how to decode needs without the use of words. He contends that people have unconscious associations with the product they buy. Rapaille offers insights into the mind of the American consumer. His first declaration is that individuals are always purchasing items they do not need. Rapaille articulates his belief that every person has unconscious impulses and needs that drive him to make certain purchases.
In this video, Rapaille is addressing the “Luxury Marketing Council of America” with the aim of breaking the code of luxury. Rapaille’s first goal is to understand why consumers behave in the manner they do. Through a series of focus groups, Rapaille attempts to crack the code on luxury. This is done through a three-stage psychic journey beginning with reason, then emotions, then to the primal core where the purchasing decisions lie.
Rapaille’s goal is to discover what exists in the primal core of the individuals. He is searching for a trigger he refers to as “the reptilian hot button”, which is the thing that drives people to act in particular ways.
According to him, these primal urges always win. Rapaille uses the information provided by the focus group when they access their primal core as the key to unlocking the luxury products’ code. The video shows how Rapaille’s advice to SUV manufactures has helped increase their sales. By making bigger vehicles and including tinted windows, the SUV manufacturers appeal to the domination need of the consumer.
The video then reports on Song, an airline that is looking for new ways to increase its market share in the lifestyle brand. The brand is one year old but it is going through some troubles since the parent company, Delta, has decreased its marketing budget drastically.
The marketing team wants to make Song more noticeable to American consumers. The current marketing strategy is effective in reaching the target audience but the level of recall is very low. The song is facing stiff competition from JetBlue, an airline that has a higher marketing budget.
Song’s marketing team looks for new ways to advertise through unusual ways such as through nightclubs and even through books. However, the TV commercial for Song has to be successful for the airline to achieve its goals of increased sales. In the end, the TV commercial is a success but the financial troubles of the parent company, Delta, still pose a significant challenge to Song’s future.
The video concludes by going back to Rapaille’s focus group where the code for luxury has been discovered by. The diverse group of clients who include players in insurance, automobile, and fragrances feels that the code will give them a competitive edge over their competitors. While the code is not made public, all the clients are confident that it will increase competitiveness in the marketplace. Rapaille concludes by stating that good marketing, which takes into consideration the real need of the customers, always works.