NEWS20 July 2011

Olson Zaltman Associates merge mind and body methodologies

North America

US— Market research consultancy Olson Zaltman Associates has developed a new methodology that merges biometrics with the firm’s in-house metaphor elicitation techniques.

The company’s Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) was developed by the firm’s founder and Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman (pictured). Participants are asked to choose images that represent their thoughts and feelings about a given topic before being interviewed for two hours. During the interview, the firm explores why those images have been chosen and a digital collage representing how they view a brand, topic or product is produced at the end.

Under the newly patented methodology, this approach is paired with biometric techniques including eye tracking and heart rate monitoring to capture “a deep view of not only how the mind is thinking but how the body is feeling”.

Zaltman said: “This is an exciting time in marketing. Understanding what customers think and feel requires multiple yet complementary methods rooted in the latest behavioural science advances.”

The firm’s managing partner Jerry Olson added: “ZMET provides critical insight about the content of thoughts and feelings while biometric or physiological methods provide helpful data about their strength. The two approaches can be used simultaneously or sequentially to provide a more complete understanding of the mind of the customer.”