Why Behavioral Science is Essential for Marketing ft. Nancy Harhurt

Nancy Harhut is a Marketing Creative with a unique blend of behavioral science expertise. She is an accomplished author, captivating keynote speaker, and esteemed consultant. Based in Greater Boston, her innovative approach leverages behavioral insights to drive effective marketing strategies. With a strong background in advertising and a focus on consumer behavior, she consistently delivers impactful results. In

Why Behavioral Science is Essential for Marketing ft. Nancy Harhurt

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    In this podcast episode, Nancy Harhut discusses the importance of behavioral science in marketing. She explains how understanding human behavior can help marketers create more effective campaigns. Harhut shares insights on various psychological principles that can be applied to marketing strategies, such as social proof, scarcity, and the power of storytelling. By leveraging these principles, marketers can influence consumer behavior and drive desired actions. Harhut also emphasizes the significance of testing and measuring the impact of different tactics to optimize marketing efforts. Overall, this podcast provides valuable insights into the role of behavioral science in marketing and offers practical tips for implementing these strategies to achieve better results.

    Key Take Aways

    The blog “Behavioral Science in Marketing” by Nancy Harhut provides valuable insights for digital marketers. Here are eight key takeaways:

    1. Emotions drive decision-making: Understand the emotional triggers of your target audience to create compelling marketing campaigns.
    2. Social proof is powerful: Leverage testimonials, reviews, and social media influencers to build trust and credibility.
    3. The power of scarcity: Create a sense of urgency by highlighting limited availability or time-limited offers.
    4. Anchoring effect: Use a higher-priced option as a reference point to make other options seem more affordable.
    5. The power of reciprocity: Offer something of value to your audience to encourage them to reciprocate by engaging with your brand.
    6. The importance of personalization: Tailor your marketing messages to individual preferences and behaviors for better engagement.
    7. The paradox of choice: Too many options can overwhelm consumers, so simplify decision-making by presenting fewer choices.
    8. The power of storytelling: Craft narratives that resonate with your audience, as stories are more memorable and persuasive than facts alone.

    By applying these insights, digital marketers can enhance their strategies and drive better results in their campaigns.

    Read Transcript

    Nancy Harhurt:- People are not always thinking before they act. We’re kind of human beings, we’re hardwired to act now, and think later. And so as marketers, we need to be aware of that. Companies are hiring Chief Behavioral Science Officers or really, senior level Behavioral Science Practitioners. Companies like Google and Microsoft and Coca Cola. They’re going all in on this. Behavioral scientists have found that people are more likely to do what we ask them to do if we give them a reason why. And a great way to tee up that reason is to use the word “Because.”  So, social proof, the reason why, autonomy bias, these are just three examples of these behavioral science principles that really kind of trigger automatic responses in people.

    Shelly Singh :- Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Growth Genius series brought to you by DMAasia and Infidigit. My name is Shelly, and I’m the Country Director – Americas at Infidigit. I’m also the Co-Founder and Director at DMAasia. In this The Growth Genius series, the world’s best marketers and business leaders are interviewed about the brands they have worked on, the successful campaign strategies, how they got noticed by their customers, and how they delivered better customer experiences to drive growth. In each episode, we want to share about the big idea that inspires these marketers, the campaign trail they use to execute it and how it all came together. Today, we have a very special guest with us, Nancy Harhurt, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at HBT Marketing. Getting people to take action is what Nancy was all about. Her specialty is blending best of breed creativity with behavioral science to prompt response. She and her teams have won over 200 international and national awards for marketing effectiveness. Along the way, she has helped generate 68 million in incremental revenue nationwide, established seven controls for the GMCard, and created one of H&R Block’s most successful campaigns. Recognized for her work in B2C, B2B, and non-profit, Nancy has been named one of the ten most fascinating people in B2B marketing, a Social Top 50 Email Marketing leader and a Top 40 Digital Strategist. Prior to Co-Founding HPT Marketing, Nancy held creative management positions with agencies within the IPG and Publicis networks. Check out her new book, “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing,” which hit Amazon’s number one new release in business, marketing, consumer behavior and web marketing. A very warm welcome, Nancy.

    Nancy :- Oh, Shelly, thank you so much. Happy to be here.

    Shelly :- Great! So you have a very rich professional background. Tell us about your company, HPT Marketing, and how did you decide to write your new book “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing?”

    Nancy :- Sure. So HPT marketing actually stands for Human Behavior Triggers. And what we do is we blend what behavioral scientists have found about how people make decisions with direct marketing and brand marketing best practices in order to increase the likelihood that people will read, engage, and respond to marketing messages. So what if behavioral scientists found out about how people make decisions? Well, what they found is very often people do not make these well thought out, well considered decisions. Maybe we as marketers like to think that our customers operate that way. But the truth is, very often people are not making these well thought out, well considered decisions. What they’re doing instead is they’re relying on decision making shortcuts. And the decision making shortcut is an automatic instinctive reflexive response. Humans have developed these over the millennia as a way to conserve mental energy because we couldn’t possibly weigh every bit of information before making a decision or we never get around to making any. So we’ve developed these hardwired behaviors. We cruise along through life on autopilot, and when we encounter a certain situation, we just default to these hardwired behaviors, giving them little, if any thought. So what HPT marketing does is we put the prompts or the nudges or the triggers into a client’s strategy and creative execution in order to increase the likelihood that people will engage and respond. And the book called “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing” really talks about that. I was very fortunate enough that Kogan Page reached out to me and they had become aware of me because I was speaking at South By Southwest, which is a large conference in Austin, Texas. And they said, hey, we find your material interesting. Would you be interested in submitting a book proposal? And how do you say no to that? Right, Shelly? So I was like, sure, I’d be happy to. I sent in the proposal, they accepted it, and here we are today. The book is written 288 pages, just jammed with very practical actionable tactics in terms of getting people to increase the response, increase the attention that they pay to marketing messages, and the ultimate response that they deliver to them. So there you have it.

    Shelly :- That’s wonderful. So behavioral science has changed the way we market, but in the Layman’s words, what should we know about it, and how do we get started?

    Nancy :- So I think, in layman’s words, what we want to remember is that people are again cruising along on autopilot. They’re not always thinking before they act. As human beings, we’re hardwired to act now, think later. And so as marketers, we need to be aware of that because sometimes we think we just get the right information to the right person at the right time, and we should be all set, and that’ll get us part way there. But we also want to serve it up in the right way. We want to serve it up in a way that’s brain friendly, because the brain is going to respond differently to different messages. And we want to make sure that as marketers, our messages are more likely to get noticed, more likely to be understood, more likely to be remembered, and more likely to be responded to. So it’s really all about just creating brain-friendly marketing messages creating the marketing messages that are going to trigger those hardwired responses that everybody relies on. And if we do that as marketers, we’re much more likely to get the response we’re seeking. There’s no silver bullet. There’s no magic wand. I can’t make everyone do everything all the time. But this will increase the likelihood that people will respond to the messages that we put out there as marketers.

    Shelly :- Wow, that’s great. What I was thinking was that there are behavioral science principles which we should always take into consideration before making any marketing plan and marketing strategy. So what are those behavioral science principles which the marketers can use to improve their marketing messages and digital creatives?

    Nancy :- That is..that’s a great question. And I’ll be honest with you. Behavioral scientists have documented hundreds, literally hundreds of these automatic decision defaults that people rely on. I have about 25 that are my go to that have worked really well for my clients or that have worked well for other clients that I follow. And so those are the ones that I talk about in my book. So I’m not going to go through all 25 of them here, but I’ll give you three examples that kind of bring this to life. So one of them is something called social proof. And what behavioral scientists have found is when people are uncertain of what decision to make, what they do is they look around, they look to see what other people are doing, particularly people like them, and they follow their lead, right? So if we’re not sure what to do, we see a bunch of people doing something, we don’t think they’re just as lost as we are. No, we assume that they know something we don’t. And so as a result, we follow them and we think that’ll be a safe move. So social proof is one example, and we can use that as marketers, by talking about the number of successful deals we’ve made, the number of customers we have, we can use ratings and reviews and testimonials. Those are all examples of social proof. Another behavioral science principle that I like to recommend to clients is this idea of providing the reason why. Behavioral scientists have found that people are more likely to do what we ask them to do if we give them a reason why. And a great way to tee up that reason why is to use the word because. There’s a researcher that came out of Harvard, her name is Ellen Langer, and she identified the word “because” as an automatic compliance trigger. When we see or hear the word because, we just start to agree. We start to nod yes before we’ve even processed what comes next. We get to that word because we just assume whatever is coming after is a good legitimate reason, and it just puts us in an agreeable mindset. We’re already ready to say yes when we hit that word because. So the idea of providing the reason why is always really, really good. The thing, Shelly, is it doesn’t have to be this ironclad bulletproof reason. Sign up for my product and you’ll make a million dollars. That’s a great reason, but very few of us can make that as a promise, right? But you could just say, “hey, sign up for…sign up for my product, we think you’ll really enjoy it. Sign up for our product. People like you have found it very beneficial, you know, just providing that reason why. And if you use it, you’ve used the word because so much the better, you know, sign up for my product because you’ll really enjoy it. And then the third and final example I’ll give is something called autonomy bias. And what behavioral scientists have found is human beings have this very deep seeded, very innate need to feel in control of ourselves and our environments. And so we like to express some kind of agency, some kind of control. We hate to be told what to do. So anytime a marketer can give a customer or prospect a choice, that makes that customer or prospect feel like they have some control. So instead of just giving someone one option, we can offer them two or three. And just by virtue of the fact that I can choose between those two or three, I feel like I have some autonomy. So if there’s one choice, I might say, I don’t know, do I or do I not want this? Maybe I’ll do some research, maybe I’ll ask around, I’ll sleep on it. A lot of times, I don’t get around to doing that. If there are two options in front of me, the question is no longer do I or do I not want this? The question is, which of these two do I want? And I’m much more likely to make a buying decision at the moment. There’s some research that shows providing options can actually quadruple the likelihood that someone will make a buying decision in the moment. That came out of the University of Tulane. So it’s really interesting. So, social proof, the reason why, autonomy bias. These are just three examples of these behavioral science principles that really kind of trigger automatic responses in people.

    Shelly :- Wow, that’s great. Another question which comes to my mind is how can marketers leverage behavioral science to develop marketing strategies and create omni channel campaigns? Because it can’t be just one email or a message, digital, creative. You have to touch upon the consumer at every step.

    Nancy :- You’re absolutely right, and that’s a great question. There’s like a two part answer. So the first is, how do we decide which behavioral science we want to leverage? Because there are lots of different principles. So I think the first thing you want to do is you want to look at what action you want your customer to take, and then you want to think about what’s holding them back that’s preventing them. That’s the biggest barrier. So maybe you’re a brand new company, and so people are a little hesitant to do business with you because they have never heard of you, and they’re not really certain whether or not it would be a good choice. So you want to identify what that barrier is, and then you want to look at all of the behavioral science levers that we have, all the potential arguments that we can make to overcome that buying barrier using behavioral science. And so what you do is you come up with a few behavioral science infused hypotheses. So maybe you’d say, all right, if we think that the number one barrier is people are hesitant to do business with us because they don’t know us well, maybe we use social proof. We say, you know what? A lot of people like you have already made this decision. Or maybe we use the authority principle. We say, we’ve been featured in Time magazine or Newsweek or NBC News or the American Dental Association endorses our product, or a prominent leader, a recognized expert in the field, has endorsed our product. But we kind of pull in that authority principle because ever since we were kids, we’ve been taught to recognize and respect authority. So by the time we’re adults, it’s ingrained in us. And when an authority says something, we usually believe it. And if an authority tells us to do something, we usually do it. So we’re like, all right, the ADA says, this is a good toothbrush. Even though I’ve never heard of a company that manufactures pictures, I’ve heard of the ADA. So I’ll buy this toothbrush. Right? Here’s an example. So what we do is we like, all right, we want to find out why someone might not want to do what we’re asking them to do. We come up with our behavioral science infused hypotheses that might overcome that. Then we want to test them. And when we find out what one is working the best, then what we want to do is we want to have that steady drumbeat. We want to make sure that that message and the way that it’s expressed shows up in everything we do in our email campaigns, in our ads, in our blog post, right? We want to speak the same language, obviously modified by channel. I mean, you can’t say as much in a tweet as you can in an email, for example. But we want to have the same message, the same tone of voice. We want to be kind of speaking off the same page so that wherever people encounter our company and our message, it’s that same point that we’re reinforcing. It’s the thing that we find is going to work the best. And so we just repeat it. Repeat it, repeat it. So when people run into us, wherever they run into us, it’s like, yes, I recognize that. We just want to keep reinforcing the message we feel is best for our target, to encourage them to take the actions we want them to take.

    Shelly :- Well, that’s great. So let’s talk about your book. Your book is full of some very interesting real life examples, the work that you have done for your clients. Can you please tell us any two B2B and B2C campaign examples in detail?

    Nancy :- Sure! So we did some work for one client. It was a financial services client. This is a B2B example. And I think the question they were trying to answer is, how do you get someone to re-engage with us after they’ve stopped? Right? Someone stopped doing business with me. How do I get them to re-engage? And this was a B2B example. It was a financial services firm, and there were some financial advisers that used to sell this firm’s products, and then they stopped selling them and Shelly, they stopped selling them a year ago. So it wasn’t like they stopped last month or even a couple of months ago. And we might say, oh, well, maybe business was down or maybe they were on vacation. This was twelve months or more. A year and a year ago they had stopped. So we can reasonably assume that they don’t want to sell our products anymore. They’ve either found other products that they like better, or they found maybe that they were harder to sell. But they had a pretty good reason because it was over a year ago that they sold anything. And our client came to us and said, we want to re-engage these financial advisors. So I said, all right, we’re going to use the reciprocity principle. And what we did is we sent these financial advisors an email and we said, “Watch your mail, because we’ve got a gift that we put out especially for you.” And then a little while later in the mail arrives this box. And in the box was a framed New Yorker cartoon. And it was some amusing little cartoon about some young kid going around his neighborhood trying to sell retirement services or something that was relatable if you were a financial advisor. And in the caption of the cartoon was the individual financial advisor’s name. So Shelly, yours would have your name in it, mine would have my name in it, and it was framed. And it was, it was just, you know, screaming out to be hung on the financial advisor’s office wall, right? I mean, how cool is that? It’s a New Yorker cartoon. It’s got my name in it. It’s already framed. And then there was a note from the wholesaler of the client company, of our client company, saying, hey, we’ve been trying to get hold of you for quite some time now. We’d love to talk to you, just find out what’s going on, touch base, please give us a call. And then, of course, they sat back and they waited for a while for people to call, but then they also followed up via email and via phone call. And so what the company was using, what we were using on their behalf was something called the reciprocity principle, right? Basically, if somebody does something for you, you feel obliged to return the favor. So if you give me something, whether or not I even asked for it, if you give me something now, I feel like I owe you something. It’s one of those hardwired human behaviors that at one time kind of helped keep us alive. Like, way back in the days of our early ancestors, if we didn’t cooperate, if we weren’t civil to each other, it would have been bad news. Right? We needed to depend on each other to survive, to make it through the day, to go from generation to generation. So it’s kind of ingrained in us to be co-operative. And this whole idea of reciprocity, if you do something for me, I, in turn, will do something for you. And if I don’t, I feel like I owe you. Like, I really want to even the score. I’m looking for opportunities to even the score. So they sent this gift. It wasn’t asked for, but now, all of a sudden, these financial advisors have it. So what ended up happening was the client traced back this promotion as delivering 68 million in incremental revenue, because all of a sudden, they were able to engage with financial advisors that had gone silent over a year ago, that had stopped returning calls, stopped returning emails, stopped selling the product, most importantly. But it absolutely re-engaged them. So this idea of give to get be the first one to give, because it puts you in a much better position to receive. So somebody might say, why would a company spend money sending gifts to people who stopped doing business with them? Shouldn’t they spend that money on the people that are doing business to reinforce the positive behavior? But this was a great example of the reciprocity principle and how humans are hardwired and what it takes maybe to break through and to get someone to finally say, I better return to the fold. I’d better start doing business with them again. So I think that was one good example for B2B, and then if you’re up for another one, maybe a B2C example. Sure! So this is a company that was trying to encourage people to save more for retirement. And the thing about saving for retirement is we always think we have plenty of time down the road to do it. Right. It’s like, if I have $100 on my hands right now, I’d much rather go out to dinner in a show than I would put it in the bank and save it for 20-30 years down the road. eThat’s just how people are hardwired, right? So this particular company really wanted to encourage them to save more in their workplace retirement account, their 401 K program, for example. And so they tried a few different things. They tested the idea of social proof and they put out a message that said, here’s why so many people are saving their work retirement account. That did pretty well. And then they also tested the idea of scarcity. And the idea of scarcity is we place greater value on things that are scarce. So if there are limited times or limited opportunities or limited quantities, we value those things more. If it’s something as easy to get, we’re like, yeah, whatever, maybe I’ll take it, maybe I won’t. But if there’s only a few, I have to grab that. I want mine before they’re gone. The same thing applies to information. If information is perceived as not being widely available, something that not everybody knows, we have a tendency to believe it more. We have a tendency to be persuaded by it more. So we tried another approach that said, here are some money saving secrets that you may not be aware of. Here’s the secret to having more money in retirement. And that did pretty well. But we tested one final thing, and that was using loss aversion. And this is the thing that did the best of all. The idea of loss aversion is that people are actually twice, twice as motivated to avoid the pain of loss as they are to achieve the pleasure of gain. And of course, in marketing, what do we do? We double down on the gains. We are all about the benefits, the gains, the advantages, the wonderful things that will happen if you just do what I’m asking you to do. Just respond to my email, just respond to my digital ad, right? It would be wonderful for us. Well, we know the benefits work, right? I’m not saying we should walk away from them, but a little well placed loss aversion can go a long way. So the essence of this particular message was, do you make these money mistakes? And that did the best in terms of getting people to open the email and engage with it. All three of the approaches did well, but the one that got the most open was this idea of loss aversion. So it really kind of moved the needle in terms of getting people to behave in the way that the client wanted them to and just kind of overcoming that idea of I have plenty of time, I can save more later, right now I’m going to go out to dinner and a show. It really moves. Got them to open, got them to take the desired behavior. So that was a good example, I think, of using loss aversion.

    Shelly :- Wow, these are really great examples of reciprocity principle and loss aversion principle. I think marketers can learn a lot from these examples. Now let’s talk about trend spotting. So what are the top trends you are seeing nowadays?

    Nancy :- Yeah, it’s interesting. Think behavioral science is really hot right now. Now you could say to me, well, Nancy, you’re really interested in it, so of course you’re noticing everything about it. And there’s probably a behavioral science principle about that, actually, where we buy a red car, and all of a sudden, every car we see on the street is red. So there’s something to be said for that. But these are the five trends that I’m noticing. I’m finding that behavioral science is entering the C-suite. Right? It used to be kind of this, like, little offshoot. Or maybe you made some inroads in the research department or possibly in the strategy department. But now companies are hiring Chief Behavioral Science Officers or really, senior level Behavioral Science Practitioners. Companies like Google and Microsoft and Coca Cola. They’re going all in on this. So that’s one trend I’m seeing, and I think that’s really great. Another is that products and services are actually being developed with a behavioral science backbone. The foundation is rooted in behavioral science. So you might have heard of an insurance company called Lemonade, right? So one of the guys behind that is Dan Arielli. He’s a very well known, internationally known behavioral scientist. But he’s one of the people who helped develop that product, and they use a lot of behavioral science. One of the things they do is before. So it’s an insurance product. Before you submit a claim, you sign a pledge that indicates you’re going to be honest. You just submit your claim, and maybe at the end you’d sign your claim. But before you even say, this is how much I’ve lost, this is what you owe me. You sign this pledge saying that you’re going to be honest. And what they’re finding is people are more honest. So there’s a lot of behavioral science infused in that product. I think they also ask people to nominate their favorite charity. And they say, at the end of the year, we’re going to pay our claims. We’re going to take a fair amount of profit. And whatever is left over, we’re going to donate to the charity that our customers choose. So now, if you’re thinking about maybe cheating the insurance company a little bit, it’s not the insurance company that you’re kind of robbing the money of. You’re taking the money away from the charity that you chose. So there’s definitely a lot of behavioral science, as you might expect from something Dan Ariely is involved with. But a lot of behavioral science runs through that. The other place I’m seeing it is in the health industry, particularly weight loss. So you might have seen commercials for the Noom app, which helps you lose weight. I have that app on my phone. Well, there you go. See, it’s gotten very popular, and there’s a lot of behavioral science with that. Another company out there is called Health Fleet. they used to be called Zillion, and what they do is they also help you make healthier choices, help you lose weight. And one of the things that both of these companies do is they tap into autonomy bias, this idea that you have choices. They don’t say, these foods are off limits, or you cannot do this. They kind of put you in control. You choose what you’re going to want to eat. You choose how you’re going to lose weight. I was talking to the CEO of maybe she’s the president, or maybe she’s the president the CEO. But anyway, Cheryl Morrison Deutsch, who’s running Health Fleet, and what she was saying is, sometimes what we say to people is, look, your end goal is to lose weight. We understand that. But before you can do that, you need to get more sleep. So knowing that, where do you want to start? And they kind of put the control in the customer’s hands. And the customer might say, you’re right. I’m not going to even try to eat better right now. I’m going to concentrate on getting more sleep. And once I’ve got that locked down, then let’s move on to my next goal, my next step. But they’re putting the control in the hands of the customer. So I’m seeing these products and services developed with a lot of behavioral science as a foundation. Third thing is, I’m seeing the behavioral science pop-up in messaging. So it’s not just creating the product or service, but just products and services that maybe aren’t rooted in behavioral science or using behavioral science and their messaging. I came across this ad for Ally Bank, and they were trying to get people to take out a CD. And as we said earlier, you know, if I’ve got $100 in my hands, I’d really rather spend it now than save it. You know, and that’s called temporal discounting. We’ve placed greater value on the present and less value on things that are in the future. We think we have plenty of time. We’ll get to them. They just don’t seem as important. So they ran a line that said, we asked the future you if you wanted more money. And when you read that, you’re like, well, that makes sense, because if you asked the present me if I wanted more money, I would say yes. So it stands to reason that in the future, I would answer the same way. So I thought that was a really interesting example. I saw a TV spot for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, and of course, it was fundraising. They were asking people to call and make a donation, and they said, if operators are busy, please call again or go online. And what they were doing there is they were tapping into social proof, because you’re sitting there watching TV, you see the TV spot, and if they say, if operators are busy, you think, oh, other people like me watching the same TV show are calling to donate. That’s why. The operators are busy. That’s why the line is busy. A lot of people are doing it. Maybe I should do it too. So really interesting examples. Yeah.

    Shelly :- Reinforced the idea of donating. Right. So this is great.

    Nancy :- Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s even stronger because you come to your own conclusion. You’re like, wow. Because at first you would say, why would a marketer who’s trying so hard to get me to make a phone call to them say, well, you know what? The line might be business. Why would you say that? Right. But then you go, like, I know why they said that. They said that because a lot of people are probably calling. A lot of people are called. Maybe I should call too. So it’s brilliant.

    Shelly :- Very interesting. Very interesting. Great. Yeah.

    Nancy :- That idea was actually I think it was first discovered by a copywriter named Colleen Zach, and she used it when she was selling an exercise machine, something like a NordicTrack or something. But it was the idea that if operators are busy, please call again. She saw the response just skyrocket. And so now I read about that, and then, sure enough, don’t I see it with Shriners Hospital. Oh, my God, it’s popping up. The other thing I’m seeing is more marketing conferences are having behavioral science speakers on the docket, and research firms now are developing that take a behavioral science approach to research. So instead of just having focus groups or doing surveys and asking people, do you like this? Do you not like this? Would you buy this? Would you not buy this? It’s hard. It’s hard for people to answer. They think they’re telling you the truth. But because we’re influenced by so many other factors that we’re often unaware of, it’s hard for people to honestly answer a question when we ask them, they think they’re telling us the truth. But it could be that there’s something else at play. For example, I said, if I give you one option, you’d be maybe less likely to buy than if I give you two options. But if I asked you, you wouldn’t say, oh, well, I felt more in control because I had two options. You know, you just don’t know what’s making you decide. And so there are research groups now that are pioneering very specific ways of getting to people’s underlying almost unconscious motivators. So that’s another trend. I see. So those are my top five trends. 

    Shelly :- Great! It is really interesting that I was reading somewhere that most of the decisions are made in your subconscious mind, and we have to explore what people are thinking now. Right. They are subconsciously making decisions. And it’s really amazing. So all these trends, looking at these trends, what does this mean for the future and what the marketers should do next year and for a horizon of two to three years?

    Nancy :- Sure! So I think one of the first things marketers should do is pay a little bit more attention to behavioral science. I would say it’s creeping in. Now I start to say it’s galloping in. It’s really starting to explode in the industry, so pay attention to it. I think the marriage of data science and behavioral science is going to be very, very strong. And we’ve seen the upsurge in data science, but data science can tell you who to target, where to find them, when to reach them, what’s the best message for any individual segment. But behavioral science will then start to tell you what’s the best way to serve up that message so that it’s more likely to get noticed and acted on. So I think we’re going to see a lot more of that close partnership, that close cooperation, that close working relationship between data science and behavioral science. I think as a result of that, we’re going to see campaign metrics improve. I think that’s just going to be kind of a natural fallout, because as we start to combine data science and behavioral science, our marketing is going to get more effective and more efficient. It’s going to be stronger, it’s going to produce better results, and so we’re going to see that increase in KPIs, which is always good news. And then I think as we start to get more sophisticated and really start to practice using behavioral science, we’ll be able to start applying various principles to very specific segments of customers. So right now, as I talked to you, I said, well, we tested something with a financial services client where they wanted to get more people to save for their retirement. And so we did some social proof and we did some scarcity, and we did some reason why. But what would be interesting, and where I think we’re going to be heading in the next few years is we might say, you know, what? The scarcity message is best for this particular segment, and the social proof message is better for this particular segment. So as opposed to treating them all the same and just saying, people are people and this is how we respond. Which is true. People are people, and this is how we respond. But we’ll be able to dial up and dial down based on certain mindsets that our targets have. So I think that’s coming in the next few years.

    Shelly :- Wow, that’s really great. I was reading an article on behavioral science, and I read that somebody said that the future of marketing is influence, and the future of influence is behavioral science. I think in the next decade we have a tremendous opportunity to apply this science to achieve impact at scale. And with rapidly improving technology, behavioral science has gone beyond just adding people’s patterns of behavior to actually finding out what people are like. I was thinking, what are they thinking? Behavioral science is one of the most important innovations in the field of marketing because it’s so powerful. This brings us to the last segment of our session. Tell us about any one passion you follow and how it helps to elevate your profession.

    Nancy :- Obviously, I follow behavioral science. As big news is I wrote the book and that took almost a good year out of my life. So that’s been my big passion. But in addition to that, what else do I enjoy? I like going to the beach. I like going to Broadway. I think being out in nature just helps replenish you, refuel you. There are a lot of studies that show that you can be more creative if you’re out in nature. If you go for a walk, if you’re even just looking out the window, if that’s the best you can do, if you put a nature scene on your screen saver. There have been a number of studies that show that this actually can help you be more creative. I love theater. I love Broadway. I’m a writer by trade, so I love the use of language both in the dialogue and in the lyrics. And I think when you’re exposed to good writing from a variety of sources, that helps you be a good writer for whatever it is you need to do, whether it’s business application as a marketer or business application as a CEO, you have to be good at writing. And being exposed to good writing in a variety of areas can only help you. And then I love to collect experiences, which I think is a good thing for creative people. For creative people, because I think just fueling your curiosity is good. So I wonder what it would be like to do that. I’m going to give it a try. I wonder what that would be like. I’ve heard about people stomping grapes, and I’ve seen it on TV, so I had a chance to stomp grapes. I climbed into the vat and I stomped grapes. I was in Mexico, and had a chance to eat crickets. 

    Shelly :- Wow.

    Nancy :- It wasn’t my thing. But I tried them. That’s interesting. When am I going to have this chance again? I love trying things, and I think that’s good. I think it’s good for marketing people to be open to new experiences, and it also helps you understand more about your target market. I mean, not that I’m selling pre-packaged crickets for anything, but you are just exposed to what different people do and seeing things from a different perspective I think is great for anyone who’s in marketing.

    Shelly:- So what’s on your bucket list now?

    Nancy :- What’s on my bucket list? A lot of things are on my bucket list, but there are two that spring to mind right away. I am very curious about going sand surfing in Dubai. I read about this. I came so close to going to a conference in Dubai and I was like, I did that. Is it as incredible as I think it is? Was it great?

    Shelly :- It’s a great experience that I thought it was hot, but 

    Nancy :- I’m so curious about that. I had never even heard about it until I read this article, and then I’m like, I got to try this. So that’s on my list. So that’s hot. And on the cold side, I’m kind of curious about curling, which is, I guess, big in Ireland, maybe in Canada as well, but not so much here in the States. And I just think that could be kind of cool. I don’t know. 

    Shelly :- I know. You know what? I was surprised to know that curling is one of the most popular sports in Canada. I’m like, wow, really? So maybe you should come to Canada, and we can try both. 

    Nancy :- Here we go. All right. We’ll go curling together. I like it. I like it. 

    Shelly :- Yeah.

    Nancy :- I’m not a good ice skater, but I was very pleased to find out that you’re not on ice skates when you go curling.

    Shelly :- No, you don’t.

    Nancy :- First I thought, well, that looks interesting, but that wouldn’t be for me, because I can’t skate. And then I did a little more research, and I’m like, might be able to try. This doesn’t require ice skating. 

    Shelly :- That’s right. So where can our viewers find you, connect with you, and also where can they buy your book?

    Nancy :- Yes, the most important question, HBT Marketing is the agency, so you can find us at HBT. Human behavior triggers hbtmktg.com. That’s our website. You can write to me at [email protected]. That’s a quick, easy email address. I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Twitter I’m at @nharhut, and you can buy the book wherever you find books that are sold. It was published by Kogan. So you can get it at the Kogan Page website. You can get it at Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores. And I’d love to hear from anyone who buys it and reads it. I’d love to find out what you think, and so I encourage you to check it out. 288 pages jam packed with very practical actionable tactics. Don’t let the word science scare you. It’s easy to read. It’s very accessible. A lot of case studies, a lot of practical takeaways.

    Shelly :- That’s great. Thank you so much, Nancy. This was a very powerful session. I hope to talk to you again in the near future with some new insights into behavioral science in marketing. To all our viewers, please SUBSCRIBE to our Channel and give us a thumbs up if you like this session. Watch out this space for another interesting session. Until then, peace!

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    Why Behavioral Science is Essential for Marketing ft. Nancy Harhurt

    Why Behavioral Science is Essential for Marketing ft. Nancy Harhurt