I lived in Rennes in Brittany back in another life. I still get news alerts from the local paper because it makes me feel connected.
There was a strange incident over the weekend. Rail traffic was halted on Saturday morning because of a bomb alert.
The French tend to take that kind of thing seriously, as do most others, and they shut the station down. A couple of hours and some inconvenienced passengers later, everything was open again.
What happened next is interesting. They found the guy that pulled the hoax – mobile phone technology makes you easy to trace.
It seems the perpetrator was afraid he might miss his train. Leaving earlier might have been a better tactic.
It gets worse.
He’s a 46-year old Breton called Erwan Hercouet – not sure you could get more Breton than that – and he told police that “he didn’t measure the consequences of his actions”.
His actions could get him two years at the pleasure of the President of the Republic, to mistranslate an English phrase, and a 30,000 euro fine.
Oh, and he worked for the SNCF.
He’s a mayor in a small village commune of Chapelle-aux-Filtzméens near Saint-Malo. Not for much longer I suspect.
I’m telling you this because we don’t always measure the consequences of our actions.
Our actions are impulsive and sometimes unforeseeable.
Our buying habits are often based on whims, not needs but wants. Even the most reasoned of people buy one product over another because they “want” it.
So how do you tap into those wants? There’s so much noise out there that it can be daunting.
There’s no point in shouting louder because there’s every chance it would cost you a fortune and it might not even work.
No, my friend, you’ll need to be a bit more cunning than that.
The best way to find out why people want stuff is to ask them.
Ask them what?
Well, I appeared on a real bona fide radio business programme on Friday to talk about this. I kick in about minute 15 – although you should probably listen to the rest too!
Your marketing results are intrinsically linked to the quality of the questions you ask and to not presuming you know all the answers.
If you want to know more about the questions to ask, click here to set up a call.