Redirect: Changing The Stories We Live By by Timothy D. WilsonPublished in 2013 by Penguin Books, Timothy Wilson‘s book Redirect: Changing The Stories We Live By offers practical advice on being happier and more successful, from parenting to PTSD to teen pregnancies to drug and alcohol abuse and more… (more…)

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.

The theory that people want to engage with brands online and share their enthusiasms with their friends and that their friends will share their enthusiasms with other friends through social media channels has turned out to be an infantile fantasy.

In fact, what social media sites are rapidly becoming is just one more channel for traditional paid advertising.

In the traditional ad business, we’re always reminding our client that consumer behavior is not rational.

We lecture them on emotion as a factor on buying decisions and brand preferences.

We explain to them that an ad is not a court case in which the best argument wins.

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

An astounding amount of what the experts and what the pundits and geniuses have told us about advertising and marketing and media in the last ten years has turned out to be bologna.

Radical changes in technology was supposed to augur radical changes in consumer behavior.

As far as I can tell they have resulted in small to moderate changes at most.

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

Make your customers value your product or service more just by changing the way you ask for the sale.

(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.

Consumers are more enticed by ‘50% extra free’ than they are to ‘33% off.’

A bonus is a different behavior to a bribe.

If you have to bribe people to buy your product it’s not an unreasonable assumption that the product may be a bit crap.