Rethinking Where Market Insights Lie

by | Apr 13, 2020

Using An Explanatory Research Model To Identify The Motivators Of Consumer Action

“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” This belief is so widely held that few people think twice about it. It is why big data is so coveted. This creates a dilemma for marketers. It assumes, first, we’re only interested in predicting (e.g., who will buy, what will they buy, when will they buy, where will they buy); and second, the consumer environment is static (i.e., yesterday’s circumstances under which we act are the same today). Humantel has challenged these two assumptions from the start: We need to explain not just predict, and the environment is more dynamic then we initially thought. Now, it is even more imperative for brands and marketers to take a different approach with the economy and consumer spending in flux.


Humantel Consumer Action Ecosystem



A Versatile Approach To Uncovering Market Insights

Humantel has created a research framework that maximizes the explanatory power of market insights AND maintains relevancy (and quite honestly, thrives) when situational factors surrounding consumer action are turned on its head. The belief system in which consumer sentiment is formed is fluid and evolves as new knowledge is acquired, new benefits and losses are realized, and personal values are put to the test. Today, brands need “why;” because the utility of yesterday’s “who,” “what,” “when,” and “where” has been undermined.

The foundation of the Humantel approach is a scientifically sound research model grounded in psychological theory that depicts the expected relationships among a class of determinants of consumer action and action intentions. In this rational-based approach to understanding consumer action, we identify the attitudes, emotions, and values that are primed for activation by a brand’s efforts to connect. This approach fosters ongoing inquiry and evolves our understanding of what it means to be human, taking customer-centric to a new level.

The insights derived from this approach identify brand opportunities for connecting with consumers on a human-to-human level through the lens of different lifestyles or categories (e.g., the world of sports, health and well-being, and at work). Our explanatory model has wider implications and greater strategic value than predictive models based solely on behavioral metrics. Brands are now positioned to agilely respond to changes in customer preferences at a pace that matches not only the abbreviated decision cycles of businesses but also at a time when there are dramatic shifts in market conditions.





Jessica Sterling is the Head of Research Methodology at Humantel. She has spent her 20 year career gathering and utilizing data-driven and evidence-based insights for business action. Most notably Jessica spent over 10 years as the Principal Client Research Analyst in IBM’s Corporate Market Intelligence.
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