The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Hunters and Gatherers

Going shopping with Carmen makes me just a little bit crazy.  My basic attitude is (1) Figure out what I want to buy, and (2) Go find it.  When she says, “I want to go shopping,” despite years of experience upon which to base the realization that it is a futile question, nevertheless I always ask, “What are you shopping FOR?”

It has been, and will always be, totally impossible to get a straight answer to this question, however logical and pertinent it seems to me.  To her, it makes no sense whatsoever.

Carmen once told me, in response to my ill-advised yet totally reasonable question, “What do you think about (whatever),” that we’d have to talk it over for a bit because she didn’t know what she thought, and wouldn’t know what she thought until she heard herself SAY it!

It’s a totally different way of doing business from what I’m comfortable with, but it seems to work for Carmen and others of her general type.  I call this type “Gatherers.”
It is the same way with shopping.  Carmen will not know what she is shopping for until she SEES it.  That, for her, is the whole purpose of shopping . . . . to discover what it is she wants.

This, I think, throws a big monkey wrench in the carefully crafted marketing strategies aimed at Hunters, like me, because it totally neglects the entire Gatherer mentality.

Perhaps Internet marketers can take a lesson from brick-and-mortar retailers, with their emphasis on merchandising displays, window dressing, and moving everything around periodically.

Gatherers like to browse.

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Written by Tom Fox

01/02/2007 at 1:46 pm

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