All the smart people use focus groups, right? Well, except for Donald Trump.
Several decades in the retail car biz made me a cynic about focus groups. We would get called into training sessions where the car company “suits” would waste our oxygen going over the results of their latest focus groups. Since I met only two or three “suits” I would have hired for my crew I didn’t spend a lot of mental energy on their presentations.
One mean, nasty, rude and graceless manager I worked for was also the one I made the most money with.
In the sales process, the salesperson makes a presentation to the customer then returns to the “tower” (the back and forth customers “hate). The exchange would go like this.
“Boss, the customer wants, blah, blah, blah……”
Kinsman, “I don’t give a fuck what the customer WANTS. Find out what the fuckers will DO.”
Therein is the weakness of focus groups. They are “wish” forums. And, as Art Kinsman would say, “Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills first”.
So along comes Trump (see, I do get to a point) who ignores the whole industry of tea leaf readers and their sophisticated tools and goes for the throat.
“Hey, American public, what will you do right now”? Kinsman would have loved him.