Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Interesting Marketing Stuff

Some interesting marketing research is discussed here, brought to you by Marginal Revolution. This is also discussed at the Social Econ Blog.

While there is some truly interesting stuff in there, when it comes to marketing, the best stuff is always the ridiculous. Here is my favorite part:
Underhill has found that the time shoppers spend in a store is the most important factor in determining how much they will buy. In an electronics store, for example, non-buyers spent five minutes and six seconds, while buyers spent nine minutes and 29 seconds. Much of his advice to retailers is how to get customers to shop longer.
Marketing is a fascinating "science." On the one hand, they do discover fascinating stuff about how people behave. On the other hand, they find that buyers spend more time in a store than non-buyers, and conclude that getting people to spend more time in the store will result in more buyers. Reverse causality, anyone?

The truly great thing about marketing is that everyone agrees that marketing is important- that is, every non-trivial firm has a significant marketing department, but these firms really don't investigate whether or not they increase sales enough to justify their cost. Of course, the question answers itself if their conclusion is that sales will go up if we can just keep non-buyers in the store for an extra four minutes and 23 seconds.


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