Why Marketers Should Focus on Anxiety Points and Not Pain Points

If you have ever had to make the case for conducting more market research in your business you need look no further than the happiness survey conducted last year. Everyone wonders how they can be more happy, and many of the answers that people come up with are rather predictable, and often times incorrect. Many people think that making more money will grant them greater levels of happiness, yet in the study they found that those whose income were doubled only saw a .02 increase on a happiness scale of 1-10. There is much marketers could learn from this.

In a recent article entitled Customer Happiness – Tackle Anxiety-Points (OECD Study) Marsden looked at a landmark study on the origins of happiness. The study was co-written by Lord Richard Layard and is based on a 200,000 participant research project across, Australia, U.S., and Europe.

The headline of the study was, “Human happiness is flatlining.” Happiness levels have been measured for the past 50 years and there has not been any significant increase in those levels over time.  Marsden writes, “from a political perspective, this is odd since population happiness is the best predictor (.64) of whether a government gets re-elected (better than growth (.36), or unemployment (-.06), or inflation (.15)).” But what makes someone’s happiness increase? According to the study, it is through the absence of anxiety.


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