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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

[Book Review] A Behavioral Science Road Map for Marketers

Was asked to comment on this,   here is a review,   taking a look. 

[Book Review] A Behavioral Science Road Map for Marketers  in Customerthink

David Dodd -October 17, 2022

Data science and behavioral science have emerged as the twin pillars of marketing success in the twenty-first century. They have become, in essence, the yin and yang of consistent, high-performance marketing.

These disciplines are both essential because together they enable marketers to develop a more complete understanding of their customers and potential buyers. Data science (which includes the technologies that enable the collection and processing of data) can give marketers a rich picture of buyer behaviors. Behavioral science (primarily in the form of behavioral economics) provides a set of principles that enable marketers to better understand how people process information and make decisions. 

Data science has received a huge amount of attention in marketing circles over the past several years. For example, the use of artificial intelligence in marketing has recently been one of the hottest topics in the industry. The use of behavioral science in marketing has received somewhat less attention even though it has a longer history of use by marketers.

The reality is, marketers have been using principles of behavioral economics for years, albeit largely unwittingly. A 2010 article in McKinsey Quarterly put it this way:  "Long before behavioral economics had a name, marketers were using it. 'Three for the price of two' offers and extended-payment layaway plans became widespread because they worked - not because marketers had run scientific studies . . ."

A new book by Nancy Harhut - Using Behavioral Science in Marketing:  Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses (Kogan Page, 2022) - is a timely and much needed resource for marketers who want to leverage the power of human psychology in their marketing efforts.

Nancy Harhut is a seasoned marketing professional who has extensive experience with using behavioral science in marketing. In 2017, she cofounded HBT Marketing, a consultancy that specializes in applying principles of behavioral science to marketing. Prior to HBT, Nancy held senior creative management positions at several agencies, including Hill Holiday, Mullen and Digitas.

What's In the Book

Nancy Harhut refers to Using Behavioral Science in Marketing as a "hands-on handbook," and that is an apt description of her book. She clearly wrote Using Behavioral Science in Marketing primarily for hands-on marketing practitioners.

While Ms. Harhut provides clear and concise descriptions of the behavioral science principles covered in the book and includes ample citations to the research relating to those principles, her primary focus is on how marketers can apply those principles. She wrote, "In fact, you'll find I go short on the scientific research and longer on the way to use it." ... ' 

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