Human Behaviour & Marketing

Today I wanted to talk about human behaviour vs numbers. This is something I feel is a really important topic when it comes to marketing. There are too many people focusing on the numbers and not enough on how us humans behave! 

As we work our way through this digital landscape the word "algorithms" have seem to become this mystical beast that we love to hate and I feel in someways it has taken people's feeling of responsible away from them when it comes to marketing. I'm forever seeing "no one is following me on Instagram anymore, I hate the algorithm". Or people moaning about how their Etsy sales have dropped due to algorithms. In some ways, yes the algorithm does has effect on our brands and businesses but there is a lot more out there than just that and the number of followers we have. 

We sometimes rely too heavy on the numbers and the science behind algorithms and not enough on the behaviour of people. It's great that people are purchasing our products but are they the people we want to be purchasing them, have we targeted the right demographic, do the our target audience even want our products, how do they feel about it, how do they feel about our brand? I talk a bit more about this in my previous post about audiences from my refresh series. There's so many more questions we can ask about human behaviour which would in fact help answer a lot more questions than just staring at a page of numbers. 

This week I therefore wanted to share a video by Rory Sutherland, the Vice-Chairman and Executive Creative Director at The Olgivy Group. He really cuts through this conventional thinking on numbers and gets you to think about how simple techniques on human behaviour can have a long and lasting effect for your brand. 

Rory Sutherland - Olgivy.jpeg

Although in the video below he isn't directing this talk to creative entrepreneurs, I encourage you to adapt his examples to your business and see how you can make some positive changes in your marketing.

In this video Rory talks about a case study which is one of my faves in terms of human behaviour and interaction with a brand. There was a company who were receiving multiple complaints about how slow their lifts were. To reduce the complaints, instead of installing expensive faster lifts, they simply installed floor length mirrors between the lifts. This simple installation vastly decreased the complaints on wait time as people spent most of their time looking at themselves in the mirror whilst they waited for the lift. This example is just one of many that gets you to think about alternative ways to help decrease problems by influencing human behaviour. 

Rory also discusses an example about reducing prices of products. In some way this works but in certain situations it doesn't. In the video he talks about a theatre company reducing the prices of their tickets in which it gave way to the human behaviour of "oh that play mustn't be any good if they're trying to get rid of tickets" vs the "oh it's cheap so I'll buy it now". I personally don't feel that cutting your prices is the answer  when it comes to increasing sales, there are so many other ways in which you can encourage people to purchase your products such as the scarcity value, something I plan to talk about more soon. Rory also touches on this too in the video below. 

I've set the video to start half-way through so you can watch a shorter version if you're limited on time but I encourage you to watch it all if you can. 

If you have any questions with regards to how you might apply his examples to your business, don't hesitate to contact me either via Instagram or via email

Image: Rory Sutherland

Video: FletcherWilson