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Behavioural Economics in B2B Marketing


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Why behavioural economics in b2b marketing will change what you do and how you do it. Insight into how the use of buyer psychology is changing how businesses can influence buyers and prospects throughout the buyer journey. For more information or to talk Behavioural Economics in business-to-business marketing email

Published in: Business

Behavioural Economics in B2B Marketing

  1. 1. Behavioural economics in B2B marketing Why it’ll change what you do, and how you do it.
  2. 2. This presentation is about Behavioural Economics and why it’s important to all those who work in B2B marketing. In addition, we outline some key concepts that are relevant to B2B ● How we decide: two ways of thinking ● Framing ● Perception – and what this means for making decisions ● Choice architecture ● Goal drivers – do we align to something our audience cares about Overview
  3. 3. Context: we’re in the business of persuasion “Open this email” “Come to this event” “Download this whitepaper” “Follow us!” “Buy my stuff”
  4. 4. So how’s that going? Too often we miss the mark And when something works, we have no real idea why it worked…
  5. 5. People are really weird We try and be rational. We try to reason with people. But people are people. Most of the time, they’re not rational or even reasonable.
  6. 6. Proof: persuasion is predictably unpredictable Vs Which works best? Just evoking a robot smile is bizarrely more likely to make us slow down (and stay slow) than the very rational threat of £120.
  7. 7. We’re all under pressure for accountability We use DATA to tell us WHAT works. But we still have nothing that helps us understand WHY B2B marketers: we have a problem…
  8. 8. What is it? Behavioural Economics mixes human psychology and neuro-science to scientifically test what people do under certain decision-making scenarios, and from this understand why people do what they do. This field of study has led to a Nobel Prize (Daniel Kahneman), and most importantly for us, a scientific framework to use in marketing – all based on empirical evidence and the science of how decision-making is determined. And what it is not: ● Some bizarre form of human manipulation ● A silver bullet This is where Behavioural Economics comes in Other terms you’ll hear bandied around Neuro-marketing Decision science Buyer psychology
  9. 9. The science: three uncomfortable truths
  10. 10. The science: three uncomfortable truths
  11. 11. The science: three uncomfortable truths
  12. 12. WHY? WHY? WHY? In 20,000 years of evolution, our DNA is (nearly) the same. Deep seated, unconscious thoughts thousands of years old still govern our behaviour. Behavioural economics studies have proved this, and given real clarity to how we make decisions and what our real motivations are. So if you’re in B2B marketing, why would you not want to know more?
  13. 13. There is a huge amount of material available ● Research papers ● Books ● Blogs ● Articles We think there a few key concepts established by behavioural economics that are particularly relevant to B2B. Getting practical: concepts that are relevant to B2B marketing
  14. 14. And these are: Goal drivers: universal drivers that decide how our marketing is accepted (or not) Choice architecture: too much, too little, and we’re lost Perception: how we decode the world around us Framing: how our objective view is always subjective
  15. 15. But underpinning all this – two systems of thinking What did you think about this morning? What tasks & actions did you do? Were they the same?
  16. 16. A science-based framework for marketing Source: D Kahneman. Thinking Fast and Slow
  17. 17. This is how our brains like to operate Source: D Kahneman. Thinking Fast and Slow
  18. 18. Some scary stats
  19. 19. Which means our top priority is: Engage system 1, not just system 2 Cognitive ease
  20. 20. How should we, in marketing, make it easy?
  21. 21. Language ‘Descriptively obvious’ headlines, titles etc Say it once, say it twice, say it thrice and so on Being a ‘system 1’ marketer: some things we can all change tomorrow Simple clear language actually helps thought leadership, expert positioning and consultancy-led selling and positioning Follows the language point. But if we make people think too much, people skip and move on Repetition aids believability, reduces perceived risk and moves a brand or message into the auto-pilot
  22. 22. Answer: use the most important frame available. Your brand! How can we use framing in marketing? Brand Product Brand Product Brand Product
  23. 23. Why is the brand frame of almost unlimited value? ● From our days in the jungle, we’re scared of change. ● Repetitive familiarity breeds trust ● Brands create that repetitive familiarity ● It’s an anchor – allowing us to land new products, services etc Behavioural economics proving the value of brand investment…? Cognitive ease Buyable! Brand Repetition Familiar
  24. 24. Framing and our terrible ability to make decisions 14% 86% 0% Here’s what happened when The Economist launched three subscription packages.
  25. 25. Framing and our terrible ability to make decisions 86% 14% Here’s what happened when they removed the middle one.
  26. 26. Choice architecture
  27. 27. Choice architecture
  28. 28. Goal drivers “To understand people one needs to understand what leads them to act as they do, and to understand what leads them to act as they do one needs to know their goals.”
  29. 29. Consumer goal driver framework Source: P Barden. Decoded
  30. 30. Consumer example: goal alignment to differentiate product parity Source: P Barden. Decoded
  31. 31. Earnest Goal Matrix: Implicit Goal Drivers in B2B Progress Stimulation Recognition Avoidance Obligation Control PROMOTIONPREVENTION I need to do this to get ahead I need to do this to learn / because it looks interesting I need to do this to look good I need to avoid losing out / losing something I need to do this because it’s expected of me I need to do this to stay in control Gain an advantage over others; Lead the field Personal discovery; Learning experience; Receive acclaim; advance career Be secure; Prevent losses; Avoid threats Need to comply; fulfill promises; Be true to my word Stay on top; Maintain status quo; Be empowered Go-getter Status seeker Adventurer Worrier Controller Box-ticker Implicit goals Primary driver Motivations Persona
  32. 32. •A scientific input to everything we do •Less subjective debate •Do stuff (propositions, brands, campaigns, offers) that actually work Or even: Fundamentally change the perception of marketing? Summary: why is all this important
  33. 33. Conclusion
  34. 34. Some further reading Thinking fast and slow D Kahnemann Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely Decoded Phil Barden
  35. 35. Interesting? @earnestagency Http://blog.earnest-agency/blog