How behavioural insight can boost effectiveness

Matthew Carlton

New insights into consumer behaviour, and what they could teach brands, were the topic of a session at IPA Eff Fest in London titled: 'How understanding modern consumers could increase effectiveness'.

Four models of decision-making

Kicking proceedings off was Mark Earls, founder of Herd Consulting, author of Herd and co-author of I'll Have What She's Having. Displaying a slide featuring Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Doctor Spock, Earls observed: "Every Star Trek episode consists of a struggle between the logical Dr Spock and the illogical, impetuous, emotional, unthinking, vociferous Captain Kirk – and the truth is we are much more Kirk than we are Spock".

He believes that Humans are social creatures. And this shapes and explains most of our choices and therefore purchasing behaviour. Earls claims that if you want people to do something, the trick is not to make them think about it, paraphrasing American psychologist and author of Thinking Fast & Slow Daniel Kahneman: "Human beings are to thinking as cats are to swimming. We can think if we have to, but we'd rather avoid it as much as possible."