That’s the book I’m reading this week… or to give it its full title: Invisible Touch: The Four Keys to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith.

the invisible touch modern marketingI’ve only read the first chapter so far but I’m into it – he’s discussing research and its limits. Fascinating stuff that really makes you think twice about statistical research – his recommended approach is:

Don’t research; listen.

Apparently laboratory situations are inherently flawed because people who know they are being observed change their behaviour- and their opinions – as the result of being observed. They don’t give answers that reflect their true opinions but give answers that reflect the best on them. Thinking about it, perhaps that’s why opinion polls can sometimes be very far from the actual outcome and focus groups result in some odd products being launched – KFC selling healthy, low calorie chicken for example.

What Beckwith says instead is that if you just talk to people and listen to what they say you will get to the truth of what they think – he calls it the second twenty minutes. What he means is the first 20 minutes are spent breaking the ice and then you get glimpses of the real person, they start to loosen up.

I’m looking forward to reading the next chapters; The Fallacies of Marketing, What is Satisfaction? The First Key: Price, The Second Key: Brand, the Third Key: Packaging and The Fourth Key: Relationships. I’ll let you know how it pans out!

Update: just finished the branding chapter and it could do with an update; there’s a feature about the might of the Yahoo! brand and no mention of Google. Although the Yahoo! stuff still stands it would be interesting to know Beckwith’s views on Google as a brand.

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