Tech Ads - Just Filled up with Consumer Opinions

by Sunanda K. Chavan on Friday 11 March 2011, 1:09 PM | Category: Marketing| View: 1306 views


When you watch TV commercial and sometimes ponder over the facts that they deliver. Are not that useful or the ones you want to know which are essential. Do you feel these ads are vague and many times irrelevant? It is not that the ad is uninteresting. It is often seen that the tech ads featured on television lack facts because they depict what consumers think of them and pursue their interest accordingly. Statements like "we have more coverage" or "we have fewer dropped calls" or "they have more dropped calls." You know the kind. How does one discern opinion from fact? Facts and opinions are different, and they truly are!

Consumer Reports, All Wrong on AT&T

Amazed to see a Consumer Reports statement to the effect that AT&T was the worst wireless carrier scoring lowest in virtually every respect. We were amazed because this was at odds with the CLEI findings; which showed AT&T as rated #1, with the national wireless brands ranked as follows:

1. ATT Wireless

2. Verizon Wireless

3. Sprint PCS

4. T-Mobile

Also there's been a lot of talk about the power of the hardware driving wireless carrier selection and loyalty. The iPhone being made available on the Verizon network was supposed to create a massive and long-anticipated "anti-loyalty" paradigm shift, with AT&T folks, unwilling to give up their phones, now free to run to another carrier.

Satisfaction Ain't Loyalty

Well, first they're only talking about satisfaction and not loyalty. There are lots of satisfaction measures out there. Consumer Reports isn't the only one, but they all suffer from the same limitations: to be reflective of the real marketplace you need to measure the degree of consonance - or alternatively, the gap - between expectations and performance. Satisfaction metrics usually don't measure expectations the way real loyalty measures do because it's difficult to translate real consumer expectations to a 1-to-7 scale. So we do it by fusing emotional and rational aspects of the category via a psychological questionnaire that tell us how consumers are going to behave. Satisfaction measures tell you what happened last time. They're lagging-indicators. And sticking within the category, it's worth remembering that there are an awful lot of iPhone users out there who used to be some other brand's "satisfied" customer. Also, Consumer Reports relied only on their own subscribers' overall satisfaction, so to be fair you have to call it a lagging-indicator among a really limited group of customers. And the survey was conducted in September 2010, 7 months ago, so to be really accurate you'd have to call it a limited, lagging, lagging-indicator study. The voice and texting scores were based on the week previous to the survey being conducted so add another "lagging" to the list. To be fair, at the very, very end of the article, in very, very tiny type, Consumer Reports states, "respondents might not reflect the general U.S. population." You think? So basically it's some group's opinion of the wireless services that you really can't generalize to wireless customers - unless you're a subscriber to Consumer Reports. Author Aldous Huxley astutely wrote, "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." We would add or because they get printed in a magazine or advertised on TV.  And a word of warning to those competitive brands that may feel a touch of complacency as they read Consumer Reports rankings: AT&T Wireless was #1 in the 2010 CLEI too. Beware of misleading metrics that simply don't connect!


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