Gerald Zaltman is a man of many accomplishments. As the author and editor of 20 books, he has also been featured in Forbes, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Fast Company Magazine, US News & World Report, Time, American Demographics, and other major publications. In 1991 he was named the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. Zaltman is the co-founder with Jerry C. Olson the Professor of Marketing Emeritus, of the market research consulting firm Olson Zaltman Associates. He was a member of the Executive Committee of Harvard University’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative and previously co-Director of The Mind of the Market Laboratory at Harvard Business School. Before joining Harvard University, he held positions at Northwestern University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Zaltman focuses his research interests on marketing strategy and customer behavior. He is the author of the book “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market (2003) which has been translated into 15 languages, received multiple awards, and has ranked among the top five selling business books in Europe and North America. In this book Zaltman points out that approximately 80 percent of all new products fail within six months or fall significantly short of their profit forecast. He argues that this shouldn’t be surprising because “a great mismatch exists between the way consumers experience and think about their world and the methods marketers use to collect this information.” It is a must read for managers, marketing researchers or anyone else interested in knowing why we make the decisions we do.
In 2008 he co-authored a book called “Marketing Metaphors Reveal about the Minds of Consumers,” with his son Lindsay Zaltman. The main idea of the book is to explain how many peoples way of thinking and even behaviors can be influenced by deep metaphors or unconscious frames. This book is very insightful and definitely a resource to transform your thinking. Zaltman explains that ninety five percent of our emotions, thoughts and learning occur without our conscious awareness. Today neuromarketers use the ninety five percent rule to estimate subconscious brain activity. Only by probing deep into the way people think about and view the world around them can one hope to connect with consumers in an intuitive and enduring way.
Zaltman has three patents which include the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique, neuroimaging as a marketing tool and metaphor elicitation technique. The ZMET is a method that is used by major firms and international agencies around the world. It has been used to explore the unconscious mind that motivates behavior. The ZMET is presented as a way for managers to “dig deeper” into both their consumers’ decision processes and their own.
As an author of numerous books in the areas of marketing, social change and the use of knowledge, he has also published his works in major journals in the social sciences and marketing. Zaltman has earned many awards throughout the years and has made many huge discoveries in the world of marketing. He has excellent insights into the way people think and has become a marketing genius within the last 20 years.