“Those who speak loudest often have nothing to say.”
While many agree with this age-old adage by Lao Tsu, it’s often ignored by marketers. The loudest audience is easier to hear, so we listen and use their insights to define our marketing communications activations.
Partner Heart+Mind Strategies, however, is not satisfied with the vocal few. They’ve recently started a program to better understand and help organizations harness a group of Americans they’re calling, “Quiet Trendsetters.” While these individuals may be reserved, it doesn’t mean they aren’t influential. In fact, Heart+Mind Strategies has found that they’re quite persuasive within their communities.
“This group [of Quiet Trendsetters] largely keep their opinions to themselves but still make daily decisions about where to shop, what to buy, and who to support. We are finding that they have significant impact on the outcome of events, shape trends, and influence others, but they go largely unnoticed in research and in marketing communications activations,” says Mike Dabadie, Co-CEO and Managing Partner at Heart+Mind Strategies.
To learn about this population, Heart+Mind has established an online community with weekly topics including politics, travel, healthcare, general consumer behavior and the state of their communities.
But it’s not easy tapping into this group of people. Due to their modesty, they’re less likely to participate in surveys or other types of marketing research. To overcome this challenge, Heart+Mind has taken several steps to ensure they’re reaching the right people: targeting only those people whose opinions are not normally heard; using a multi-modal approach to reach and engage those who are not normally interviewed; using both deep qualitative and more projective quantitative data; and carefully structuring the research engagement to ensure participants feel comfortable expressing their views, even if they’re not popular.
The goal of this Quiet Trendsetters research is to identify market-shifting opportunities. Once a trend has reached mainstream news, the key opportunities for brands have already passed. Heart+Mind seeks insights before they become dominant, allowing organizations to be proactive rather than reactive to the marketplace.
“With input from these Quiet Trendsetter voices, we are able to more carefully calibrate the insights + strategy + activation advice we provide to clients, ensuring to chart a path knowing the full picture of the marketing landscape and appropriately calibrated messages,” says Dabadie.
If your agency is interested in understanding more about this Quiet Trendsetter group, please contact Eve Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate with Heart+Mind Strategies.