Pieter Paul Verheggen: Cultivating Consumer Behavioral Psychology for Successful Market Research

Pieter Paul Verheggen

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The role of modern market research and data analytics has changed dramatically during the last few years. Especially the emergence of social media and big data has influenced several market values and customers’ requirements. Understanding the motivations behind human decision-making allows businesses to grow by establishing connections with people at a deeper level. 

Leveraging the influential aspects of modern market research, Glocalities incorporates human psychology to attune companies with their target audience. The company is the brainchild of Pieter Paul Verheggen (co-founder and CEO) who established it by harnessing his knowledge and fascination with human psychology. 

Pristine Understanding of Human Psychology

Pieter Paul has studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam and was fascinated by the motivations behind behavior—why people behave as they do. During his study, he earned the opportunity of working with the Amsterdam based research agency Motivaction. He conducted various researches—interviewing mostly— both for B2B as B2C companies and organizations.

Through his researches, Pieter Paul learned that people belonging from different backgrounds could share similar values and motivations, while people appearing the same on surface-level can differ. It strengthened his fascination for research. Pieter Paul has been excelling in the field for over 30 years and was a.o. Council member of ESOMAR. Currently, he spearheads Glocalities and is chairman of the Dutch sales and management organization. 

Unlocking Human Experience

Glocalities was established in 2018. The organization unlocks the human experience by profiling the target audience based on values, lifestyle, psychology, and trends – as well as sociodemographic information. Therefore, it integrates data concerning values adopted during consumers’ formative life phase with psychological traits which define their personality and lifestyle choices expressing people’s identity.

Glocalities is unique in its approach of using the latest insights of behavioral psychology, cross-cultural values research, segmentation, and marketing research. By combining this information in a database that can be used through a SaaS solution, practical insights into the motivational drivers of target audiences are delivered while their lifestyles and experiences are unlocked on a deeper level. These insights can be directly used for marketing and communication campaigns. Glocalities’ software tool is preferred by several renowned companies from different sectors such as Heineken, Unilever, Amnesty International, and many more. 

A Collaborative Leader

Being at the helm, Pieter Paul is responsible for the overall success of the team and fulfilling the organization’s objectives. He adds, “This also means that I have to make very clear what our vision is (the Big Hairy Goal!) and the strategy to get there!” 

Pieter Paul believes helping his colleagues while making necessary decisions is required to help the team continue with its plan. In addition, he prefers making plans and being part of the team which executes and implements the plan. 

Working together with professionals to get something done is fantastic!” mentions Pieter Paul. 

Glocalities Software Tool

The insights generated from the Glocalities software tool are useful for communication development in the B2C industry. For instance, these include developing cross-cultural communication (advertising) campaigns (TV, online/social, OoH and print) around the world.

Based on the outcomes of its studies, Glocalities can 

  • Profile target consumer groups in over 27 countries;
  • Advise which persuasion tactics work best;
  • Help to develop the right tone-of-voice; and
  • Select which visuals are most appreciated among the target group. 

Glocalities is also used for market entry studies,” remarks Pieter Paul. 

Optimum Client Satisfaction

Glocalities envisions that marketeers and insight managers should be able to get an integrated and holistic picture of their target group. It has integrated its research data of consumers in several countries in a specially designed ‘World of Glocalities’ app. The app enables the clients to profile their targeted group, conduct trend analysis, and generate information about media consumption in one integrated platform.

Pieter Paul Verheggen

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team of Glocalities was unable to visit its clients or organize F2F workshops for presenting the outcomes of its research projects. However, it quickly transitioned to online meetings and has gained experience in interactive sessions. The organization’s SaaS solutions have gained more importance. Additionally, Glocalities has made great improvements to enhance the online experience of its online analysis tools. 

Analyzing Modern Market and Consumer

Pieter Paul believes that to understand the modern consumer and create and implement impactful marketing- and communication activities, it is not enough to have a database with socio-demographics and/or sales data. The role of modern market research and data analytics is to provide a holistic understanding of consumers and integrate consumer characteristics in a way that allows making better decisions with higher ROI. He further adds that the market research and data analytics industry must combine several essential factors in a way that allows making decisions at the boardroom level. These include primary sales-, click- and (e.g.) media data with the knowledge of the norms, values, aspirations, and dreams of consumers and to present it.

Envisioning Varied Integrations

Pieter Paul envisions the integration of different kinds of data shaping the future of the MR industry. He states that marketeers require more real-time data from all kinds of resources for acting with impact. Additionally, new sources like neuroscience data (like EEG and eye-tracking data) in combination for example with behavioral and motivational data will complete the toolbox from the insight manager. Pieter Paul believes, “It will be a big challenge for the MR industry not only to integrate these data but also to present the output in such way that actions can be derived from it.”

He additionally states that researchers should always be curious and not take reality for granted. This is because during many occasions the reason behind consumer behavior is different than one’s expectation and is complicated to understand.  

Pieter Paul Verheggen

Read full magazine: Top 10 Revolutionary CEOs of 2023

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