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Friday, 15 October 2010

Why monkeys are smarter than people

My friend Ian Ramsden is a very able direct marketer who lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

I was hoping to visit him last year to entertain the locals with voice and gesture, but they have even less money to spend on bad jokes there than here, so no dice.

Here is a story from his blog.

This morning, for the first time, I saw a monkey in a tree outside my home.

For many of our readers that might be a big yawn, but for this foreigner it was a source of delight and the usual cry of “Let’s give it some food” went up.

First on the menu was a large slice of red apple that was immediately consumed.

This was followed by a slice of mango (one nibble and dropped on the floor), a slice of freshly cut pineapple (picked up and put down again), a cabbage leaf (thrown down with a look of disgust – and I can’t blame it either) and, finally, a green apple that was again nibbled and then taken away into the tree.

This wonderful little experiment was of interest to this old marketer because it shows the value of testing. Here’s something that has absolutely no comprehension** of marketing whatsoever so the results of the test are totally valid. All the primate wanted was something that tasted good.

It made its choice from a range offered and gave a ranking order of preference in return.

First, it’s quite safe to leave cabbages on the dining room table because they won’t be stolen.

Secondly, that businesses who only make one offer to consumers run the risk of it being rejected. It was only through testing different offers against the same consumer that an acceptable product offer was discovered.

Research says we are only 2 chromosomes away from our nearest relatives.

I do wonder at times, (

** I wonder too sometimes.

A famous firm were worried that since their copywriter left and they started doing it themselves sales had gone down. Isn't that amazing?

They approached a friend and said: "We'd like you to write a sales piece for us. But before you do write a short piece for us and send it over. But don't spend too much time on research."

Of course they expected to get this free, because they all come in to work for fuck-all every day. Then they wanted to pay him about one third of what the job is worth.

The question is, how much
less smart are these people than the average monkey?

By the way, on the matter of tests, I am thinking of offering a choice of one day at EADIM for people who can't spare three. Can't decide on the price.

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