Richard Shotton är författaren till boken The Choice Factory – 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy. Hans approach på marknadsföring och kommunikation kommer från beteendevetenskap och hur vi människor gör våra val, något han anser är centralt inom marknadsföring.
Som du ser är intervjun på engelska, vilket även Richards boktips är.
Richard, how would you introduce yourself and your approach on advertising?
– My specialism is applying findings from behavioural science to advertising. I believe there are three big reasons why advertisers should care about the topic.
– First, it’s the study of decision-making. Pretty relevant to advertising. After all, changing consumer decisions is at the heart of what marketers do, whether that’s persuading shoppers to switch to your brand, buy it more often, or pay a premium for it. All of it involves changing decisions.
– Second, behavioural science is more than just relevant, it’s also robust. It’s based on the experiments of leading scientists, such as the Nobel Laureates, Daniel Kahneman, Richard Thaler and Herbert Simon. Better to base marketing decisions on their experiments than the opinion of the most eloquent person in the board room.
– Third, behavioural science has identified such a breadth of biases that whatever your client’s communication challenge, there’s a relevant bias to solve it.
– Behavioural science is central to what we do – in the same way you wouldn’t trust a doctor who hadn’t studied biology you should be sceptical of an advertiser who wasn’t interested in behavioural science.
Your book The Choice Factory is the #1 best seller at Amazon, and last year won “The World Cup of Advertising Books”. The question should of course be asked to the readers, but I’m curious about your opinion – why do you think The Choice Factory has become so popular?
– I think it was a combination of three factors.
– First, there’s a growing interest in behavioural science as more and more brands recognise the benefits. The Choice Factory was published at just the right time to capitalise on that upsurge in interest.
– Second, it received some good reviews from industry figures (Dave Trott, Rory Sutherland, Mark Ritson etc) and I think that helped pique a lot of people’s interest.
– Of all the reviews Rory’s is my favourite, “This book is a Haynes Manual for understanding consumer behaviour. You should buy a copy – and then buy another copy to give to one of the 97% of people in marketing who are too young to remember what a bloody Haynes Manual is.”
– Finally, it’s quite distinctive. Most of the ad industry discussion around behavioural science has been a description of the experiments and biases. Instead of describing experiments I tried to focus on how marketers could apply the findings.
Reklamböcker.se’s purpose is to spread reading tips. Which 3 books do you think those who work with advertising/marketing should read, or have read?
Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland
– If I had to recommend just one pure psychology book, it’d be this. It was written by Sutherland, the Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, a full 16 years before Nudge.
– Somehow, in the early 2000s, it went out of print. Before it was re-issued second-hand copies were so sought after that they traded for a hundred quid. It’s a wide-ranging book, covering a huge range of biases. Whatever brief you’re working on there’ll be a relevant experiment in here. Best of all it’s a joy to read.
Alchemy by Rory Sutherland
– Many of the advertising applications for behavioural science are pretty straight-forward. The brilliance of Rory is that he takes the same biases that everyone else knows about and applies then in wonderfully unique ways.
– Rory also writes a fortnightly blog for The Spectator. It’s ostensibly a technology column but it often covers behavioural science. If you prefer videos to the written word then watch his many TED talks, starting with Life Lessons from an Ad Man.
Influence by Robert Cialdini
– This is one of the classics of social psychology. Robert Cialdini, Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, outlines six biases that shape human behaviour, namely: reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity.
This summer you launched an online course on how to apply behavioral science to marketing. Who would you say benefits from taking the course?
– I have created an online course that helps marketers apply behavioural science to their day to day work. One of the biggest problems for people trying to apply behavioural science is there are so many biases – where do they start!
– Well, the course introduces a simple framework (the CREATES framework) that helps make sense of the confusing range of baises out there. It aims to make it much simpler for marketers to practically apply soem of those academic findings.
At last, are you writing any new book right now?
– Not quite. I’ll definitely write a second book with a different selection of biases. However, I’m a bit busy at the moment. I’ve just launched a company, Astroten, which offers training, consultancy and talks – all on the topic of applying behavioural science to advertising. Once that has settled down I’ll write the second.
Thanks Richard for sharing your book tips!