Advertising today seems less interested in psychology and the social sciences than it was in the era of the early Mad Men episodes.

This seems absurd to me.

One of the problems with advertising experts is that they have a free pass.

They go around to conferences, they talk to the press, they write stupid blogs, and they make profound and confident statements about the advertising industry.

And no one ever goes back and checks up on them.

You can be conditioned through advertising to choose logically inferior options.

We can even become conditioned to find great pleasure in things that harm us.

Nudge theory is very important because it says big problems can be solved by human-centered marketing thinking.

That’s why it’s vitally important for us to make noise about marketing’s ability to come up with solutions to problems.

Participation inequality.

It’s well known that when it comes to people’s digital behaviours, not everyone wants to participate. And that not everyone wants to participate equally.

The theory of Participation Inequality states that in most online communities:

90% are lurkers who never contribute

9% contribute a little
1% account for almost all the action

The Participation Paradox by Martin Weigel

A lot of our behavior and opinions are undertaken to avoid cognitive dissonance.

We want to feel good about ourselves and we desperately go around constructing stories that prop up that belief.

Questions inadvertently tell people what to think about. Raising something as a question pushes it into the conscious mind for a conscious response.

It frequently makes a presumption about how relevant or interesting that issue is to the person concerned.

In an understandable attempt to explore what someone thinks about something, the very fact that you asked them about that thing is a potential distortion of reality.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

Detail what your potential consumers can gain and avoid losing by investing in your product.

Do that and you’ll get more sales.

Creating the appropriate mood around a product – be it by staging an exciting event, wrapping a ‘hot’ celebrity around it, giving it to people when they’re having fun doing something else, or making them feel they’ve got a great bargain – can boost a brand’s appeal precisely because of the phenomenon of unconscious misattribution.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

(Concerning hotels) If consumers have a bad check-in experience, they spend their stay confirming that the hotel is bad.

If consumers have a good check-in experience, they spend their stay confirming that the hotel is good.

All human behavior is heavily influenced by the environment.

Humans interact with and respond to their environment far more than we are aware of at a conscious level.

If you want to change your own or someone else’s behavior, the first thing you can do is change the environment.