I hope you have a dirty mind?

I have this mental image that people who have been brainwashed have these pristine, unblemished and lily-white brains. And the contrarians and thinkers and entrepreneurs out there have dirty minds; brain-UNwashed, so to speak.

Since my job involves shopper marketing strategies for the retail supply chain, we keep an eye on the latest developments. I came across a white paper (graphic below) that distinguishes between the various trip types.


I applied the filter question (last week’s post) and ask myself: So What?

Whilst I can think of a few things you could do to improve productivity/ performance using the insights of this table; I doubt whether any of those would actually pay its way in effort and cost.

What must a supermarket manager do differently to accommodate the ‘Dill-In shopper’ spending $50 and the Pantry Stocking customer spending between $30 and $80? (For instance.)

My guess is that, because we are able to measure and research in increasing details (bar codes have a lot to answer for), we tend to do it.

But like the dog that chases the passing bus – and catches it – we are a bit befuddled with what comes afterwards.

Managers generally (marketers specifically) are often seduced by numbers – and more importantly, by habits. Do you recognise any of these scenarios in your organisation?

  • Someone slaves over a weekly report that hardly anybody reads because someone asked for it sometime ago, and it never stopped.
  • A meeting that happens regularly, way beyond its use-by-date.
  • You measure KPIs but you don’t really know why and you never see anyone use them.
  • You know your demographics of the target market, but other than simply knowing it, it has no practical value as far as you can see.
  • A research report is commissioned, and out of the 30 page report (not counting the appendices) and a 90-slide presentation; you walk away with two sound-bites about ‘the market’ that somehow then becomes cast in stone.
  • Someone once read somewhere that 90% of customers make impulse purchases and everyone believes that despite the fact that nobody has seen or even knows whether that it is true.
  • Some once said that only 7% of meaning is conveyed by the actual words and 93% by your body language – and you still believe that.
  • You read somewhere that prices should have 9c endings because people will buy more and you still believe that.

A dirty mind is NOT seduced by thin-sliced statistics. A dirty mind will be sceptical and insist on seeing the proof.  (The last 3 statistics quoted above are all spurious and have been misconstrued to the point of becoming urban legends over time.)

Just because it looks impressive, does not mean that is.

Just because it sounds plausible, does not mean that it is.


Ganador: Frontline business development programs for the retail supply chain.


PS: If you help me gather some info by taking a very short survey (4 questions, 4 clicks) I will report back here on a pretty important topic. The survey is HERE. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. (Australian based respondents only please, because it is unique/ relevant to Australia only.) Some time in the future I will share the findings here.

The Masterchef Performance Equation

The bullsh*t detector question & 15 interesting facts

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