21 Sep 2021 by Andrea Martens
Let’s talk about Behavioural Science
I often talk about the pace at which customer behaviour and expectations have changed over the years – something that has exponentially increased through the pandemic.
COVID has required us all to shift our behaviours: from social distancing and staying inside, to wearing masks and getting vaccinated. I’ve been really interested in one particular discipline that studies what drives these changes in us. Behavioural Science looks at human behaviour and dives deep to understand why people do the things they do.
Here’s how Dan Monheit is Australia’s leading presenter on the topic explains it.
“At the heart of Behavioural Science is a recognition that people rely on mental shortcuts or heuristics, rather than weighing up every option for each of the thousands of choices they make each day. While these shortcuts help us make faster decisions, they are also subject to biases, meaning we don’t always pick the obvious, rational or most logical option.”
Humans are emotional creatures. Factors like safety and comfort play a huge part in the decisions we make. It’s our need for safety that is driving the rapid vaccination rates we’ve seen over the past couple of months around the country. And it has played a pivotal role in convincing us to give up some of the most important things in life.
But these rapid changes pose a huge challenge for marketers, who were already under immense pressure to stay ahead of the curve.
As the promise of a post-COVID life gets closer, consumer confidence will start to recover – and the fight for every consumer dollar saved during the lockdowns will intensify.
In a time when ‘normal’ has become somewhat of a foreign concept, marketers will need every tool in their arsenal to navigate what’s ahead. They will need to get back to the core of great marketing – understanding the customer.
And this is where Behavioural Science comes in. It can help marketers go beyond surface level insights and understand exactly how customers interact with their brand and products – and how to tap into those to be able to create the behaviour that they're ultimately looking for.
If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind human decisions, I recommend you join ADMA’s Behavioural Science Masterclass which starts on November 16th. Dan will run the course over four live sessions that each dive deeply into three mental shortcuts, explore research and examine real-world examples.
It will be interesting to see what happens as we start emerging from lockdown. I suspect we’ll continue to see a shift customer behaviour and expectations – and understanding the drivers will become more important than ever.