Behavioural science

How to use behavioural design in marketing

By 26th October 2020 No Comments

Behavioural science is a great tool to unlock any business problem, create a better company culture and build a strong brand. 

In a data-driven marketing world, human behaviours often get reduced to numbers in spreadsheets and dashboards. To truly understand how marketing messages get across, and to design them better, marketers today need to understand the basic principles of behavioural science.

Behavioural design and nudging are applications of behavioural science, a relatively “new” area of research. Basically, it explains how we humans act irrationally based on a large number of behavioural biases. Here are a few examples:

  1. Even though we value our privacy, we accept the terms of use for social media platforms without understanding them because of analysis paralysis. This principle explains how our capacity to process information and make decisions reduces with each one made.  
  2. We tend to overestimate our knowledge in specific areas because the Dunning-Kruger effect prevents us from accurately assess our skills.
  3. We hang on to bad investments because of the sunk cost effect even though we know we shouldn’t. If we’ve spent lots of time or money on a project that we now realise is failing, we find it hard to draw the line and cut our losses.

Behavioural design helps us intentionally design products, services, applications and messages based on our knowledge about these universal principles – with skills and techniques that have been proven to be effective both in the lab and in the field.

Based on our understanding of these universal principles, we can help people make better decisions and feel good about doing so.


How to implement behavioural design in marketing?

To implement behavioural design in marketing, you need a basic understanding of different behavioural principles, and you need a process based on best practices.

  1. Define the behavioural and emotional outcome of your intervention. What do you want people to do, and how do you want them to feel?
  2. Overcome behavioural barriers. What is holding people back from making a rational decision?
  3. Ideate and iterate solutions. Let several behavioural principles guide your creativity.
  4. Test. To find out what principles and interventions works best, you need to test them.


Want to know more? 

If you want to get hands on experience of using behavioural insights to bring about change in a really fun, intuitive and practical way, click here to find our more about our Behavioural Science Training.