Here’s our first idea worth stealing: For marketers, behavioral economics is the most useful academic field ever established.
You’ve likely heard of this field by now. After all, its founding fathers have been mopping up Nobel Prizes for the last few years. Richard Thaler, widely considered the discipline’s godfather, won this past year for his incredibly potent applications of the science to practical matters, such as healthcare reform, retirement savings and even dieting.
But the field wasn’t actually pioneered by economists, which is what makes it so compelling. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate before Richard Thaler, was a psychologist who knew nothing about economics until he partnered with Amos Tversky. The story of their accomplishments has now been told in Michael Lewis’ book “The Undoing Project.”
Tap into Data About How People Really Make Decisions
Behavioral economics isn’t about money so much as it is about decision-making, and the psychological mechanisms that govern those decisions, most of which we’re only now starting to understand.
It turns out, if you apply the principles of behavioral economics in simple ways, you can unlock the mysteries of why people act as they do and help shape human behavior in beneficial ways.
As far as marketers are concerned, consider it a field guide to behavior change, with thousands of practical applications just waiting to be deployed.
So, here’s the opportunity that behavioral economics presents: Become a truffle pig for the irrational behaviors that exist in your category, among your consumers, with your brand. Sniff out those contradictions and use the insights to shape decision-making in your favor. These are not just strategies—they’re ways of changing the game to give yourself an extra advantage.