Emotional Intelligence in Market Research
When looking at successes attained in life, studies have found that those with average IQs often surpass their peers with higher IQs. Are IQ tests then not a good measure of success or is there something else at play in these situations? Following several years of research, it is now thought that emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in determining success and explains why those with lower IQs can potentially outperform their “more intelligent” peers.
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability of recognizing and managing one’s emotions, while also being able to recognize and manage the emotions of others. Principles embedded within the idea of emotional intelligence are –
- Self-awareness, which refers to the ability of recognizing one’s own emotions
- Managing emotions i.e. once emotions are recognized, handling them in an appropriate manner
- Motivating oneself, which refers to the ability to direct one’s emotions towards achieving a goal
- Recognizing emotions in others i.e. the ability to read and be aware of the emotions others are experiencing
- Managing relationships, which is dependent on managing the emotions of others
While emotional intelligence is an important predictor for workplace success in any field, current schools of thought also underline the importance of being emotionally intelligent when gathering and analysing data, especially when the end goal is drafting marketing strategies.
When gathering data, consideration should be placed on utilizing market research methodologies that are emotionally intelligent. It is important that surveys, interview guides, focus group guides and other similar materials are designed in a manner than not only probes the rational motivations and thought process of the target respondents but also attempts to glean the harder to attain emotional motivators and triggers. Gaining an understanding of the emotional aspects is especially important when utilizing qualitative research tools such as in-depth interviews and focus groups that aim to gather deeper and richer insight. Having interviewers and moderators that have the ability to be aware and read the emotions of the target respondents, provides a certain edge to the results gathered.
In the face of increased automation, using emotional intelligence when designing marketing strategies is anticipated to become even more important as it provides an area where we as humans can potentially distinguish ourselves from fully automated processes. With the increased utilization of technology, tools such as bots and platforms can technically be utilized to gather and analyse data, however the utilization of the analysed data and the ensuing actions are an important distinguisher, where the skill set of a consultant makes a difference. Having an emotionally intelligent team that can integrate results such as data driven persons with an understanding of the emotional triggers, wants and needs of those personas can play a crucial role in deciding whether a strategy will be successful or not.
A successful marketing strategy should provide value propositions that address both the rational and emotional motivators and triggers of its target audience and thus, a team’s ability to read its target audience’s emotions is an important indicator of success. Emotionally intelligent marketing campaigns aim to engage their target audience by delivering personalized content that resonates with the targets. Campaigns that show you know your customers, understand them, empathize with them and are willing to deliver what they want are most likely to succeed.