BEST OF 2017: Behavioural economics may be a relatively young market research discipline, but it is proving to be influential to advertising as its use in measurement and strategy development continues apace.

Habits make up a huge portion of our daily lives, and once formed they become such second nature that breaking or changing them can be near impossible, wrote Crawford Hollingworth and Liz Barker. WARC’s most read paper on BE explained How to use behavioural science to build new habits.

The article discussed the reasons behind why so many new products fail: when new behaviours are not adopted, the failure is that of the marketer not changing the consumers’ existing habits.

Second, Faris Yakob spoke eloquently in a WARC Webinar about the The ABCs [Agency, Brand, Consumer] of Behaviors and Biases. Both individuals and agencies experience biases, Yakob here explains how to work around them.

Under Armour, Air Canada, and Barclays, worked with Wunderman in the third most-read article on behavioural economics this year. Discussing how artificial intelligence and behavioural economics can work together, the article explores how AI optimised weekly emails, customer services, and even how it helped a bank to engage with millennials.

Behavioural insight not only sharpens copy – it can be used to assess a brand’s potential to be remembered, and therefore make of itself a mental shortcut to a consumer decision. In Behavioural economics in action: fame, feeling, and fluency, Seamus O’Farrell spoke about how those three Fs could help track a brand’s mental availability, future brand share, and the effectiveness of a given brand’s assets.

Finally, the fifth most read article on behavioural economics was about the behavioural biases within the discipline itself. Mark Earls, author of Herd, explained how behavioural economics needs to move outside of discussions of individuals and look at social choices. In it, he suggests a simplified map to understand the kind of decision you are asking a consumer to make – is it an individual or a social choice?

Sourced from WARC