Many marketers have been mislead by research that tries to understand what people will do in the future regarding purchase of a new product or service. I have read of studies that purport to show that people do not do what they say they will do when asked. (No I can’t put my hands on this study at this time.)
However, I do believe that people’s stated intentions and their actions are not in alignment too often to be a reliable predictor of future behavior. I was reminded of this yet again by a new report from USA Today.
They report that Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands did a survey that found that 75% of passengers in the airport stated they would pay an extra fee if the money went to reduce greenhouse gases (so-called global warming offsets).
The airport then instituted a voluntary program to allow people to make this contribution. So far the contribution rate shows a contribution being made by 0.5% of passengers. To quote Joost Meijs, the commercial airport director, “There is a gap between intention and realization.”
Two lessons, as many companies get on the “green” bandwagon:
- 1. Be careful about your customers’ stated intentions.
2. That goes for any “intentions” you may choose to track.