June 18th, 2012
Marketers Tap Not-So-Secret Research Weapon: Hypnosis
By Beth Snyder Bulik
Say “hypnosis” to most people and they are likely to think of Vegas shows where people embarrass themselves by clucking like a chicken.
But to Hal Goldberg, hypnosis is more than a stereotype. It’s the best way he knows to tap into people’s real feelings about products and brands. And he’s done it for almost 40 years, first as a researcher at various ad agencies including Leo Burnett and Bozell, and since 1995 as an independent consultant at his own firm, Qualitative and Quantitative Research. His mission is to find, via hypnosis, the initial “imprints” that brands make on consumers and use those imprints to build marketing strategies, create new product lines, add fresh insight for agency pitches or simply reaffirm brand connections.
His focus groups are prescreened first by phone and then in person. About 70% to 80% of phone respondents agree to be hypnotized, and only about one in 1,000 leave the focus group room when asked again if they’re willing to be hypnotized, Mr. Goldberg said.