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Gaining, maintaining and directing attention

Let’s talk about why I love this ad. 

Tweeted by @Karminker, I love this ad for the following reasons.

It’s true. The missing tooth absolutely wins focus and supports the importance of dental care.

It surprises. What looks like a boring ad is actually clever and witty.

It makes you experience your own information processing blind spots. Yes, the first thing we see is the smile, not the missing eyebrow.

And that’s what I want to talk about today - gaining, directing and...

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What to say to different personality types

There’s a truckload of research on how best to frame messages to appeal to your audience.

For example, ads that are framed positively work best for people who are promotion-focussed – in other words, they seek to maximise the probability of obtaining a positive outcome (Lee, Liu and Cheng, 2018).

This was true regardless of whether the product was hedonic (like a massage, or holiday, or aesthetic attributes of a product like a laptop’s design) or utilitarian (think...

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Where there’s a won’t there’s a way

framing goals research Apr 14, 2021

Could telling yourself to do more of something be the worst thing you can do?

New research suggests so.

Framing your goal

We live in a world of more — of ‘shoulds’, particularly when it comes to wellbeing.

I should exercise more, save more, eat more healthily.

But maybe that pressure is backfiring on our ability to achieve our goals?

Researchers Tuk, Prokopec and Van den Bergh (2020) set out to see whether it would be more motivating to tell yourself “I’ll...

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Is this manipulative?

What do you think of this?

It’s the product order page for a pet supplies website.

More specifically, what do you think about the auto delivery being defaulted?

Well, from personal experience I can tell you it is difficult to recognise you are committing yourself to auto-delivery and this inadvertent decision only occurs to you when boxes of Chicken Breast keep appearing on your doorstep.

So, is this business manipulating its customers?

Is nudging manipulative?

It’s an important...

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Making your text messages more effective

framing sms texts ux Mar 17, 2021
 

Text messages are a big part of how organisations communicate with customers.

So you do you get them right?

Behavioural science of text message effectiveness

Not only are text messages a cost-effective tool, but there’s a significant amount of behavioural science available that proves how effective these messages can be.

In one study, the UK Behavioural Science Team were able to reduce missed medical appointments, or no-shows, by 25%.

The best performing message pointed out how much the...

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How concrete language can change behaviour

Want an inexpensive way to bolster customer satisfaction and sell more? Use concrete language.

That was the finding from “How Concrete Language Shapes Customer Satisfaction” (2020) by Grant Packard and Jonah Berger.

In the study, Packard and Berger tested whether referring to items using abstract (e.g. “pants”) vs. concrete (e.g. “blue jeans”) descriptors impacted satisfaction, willingness to buy and purchase behaviour.

Abstract language is the realm of the...

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Helping customers justify their decision to others

 

In a recent article I wrote about research into self-justification which found consumers are much more likely to avoid unpleasant or confronting information (like calories on a menu) if they are given “cover”.

In other words, they’ll skip the café with calories on the menu if they can hang their decision on an unrelated reason, like the reviews that café received for its service.

We’re masters at finding reasons to justify to ourselves what we want to do....

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How customers justify avoiding you

People avoid information more when they are given a reason to let themselves off the hook.

That’s the key takeaway from some fresh research from Woolley and Risen (2021) called “Hiding from the truth: When and How Cover Enables Information Avoidance”.

There are key implications from both a business and personal perspective resulting from this finding.

Let’s talk business first.

How you talk to a customer about product features is either going to help them justify their...

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How to prioritise projects

 

Every business I've worked in or worked with has struggled with too many priorities. So in this clip I run through four behaviourally nuanced questions to shift and sort what's really most important.

By asking the four questions you'll be able to slot each project into one of the following categories:

Must Do = a clear priority for the business. Life would be significantly worse if you don't proceed.

Nice to do = some upside but could disperse focus if included.

Could do = outcomes are too...

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Wrap-up of articles and videos from 2020

2020 covid habits influence Dec 09, 2020

Influencing Action

Two simple rules for influencing action – on friction to make the old behaviour unappealing and the new behaviour appealing.

Let’s talk behavioural models – (video) on what makes a good behavioural model and what are some of the best to use.

Nanette-ing your approach to influence – The comedian’s role, Hannah Gadsby shared, is to deliberately create tension so they can then relieve us of it. The same approach goes for pitches, presentations and...

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