One of the things I love most about writing for SmartCompany is it allows me to think about how behavioural techniques may be applied across all aspects of running a business. Wherever you have people, you have the need to influence action.
We’ve covered a lot of ground this year, so in my final blog of 2018, I wanted to provide you with a one-stop shop of all my articles. At a glance, you’ll see how flexible applied behavioural economics can be. Learn techniques once and apply them every day to customers, staff, suppliers, investors, stakeholders and even your own behaviour!
The most-read blog of the year: Make de-prioritising a priority. Most businesses have a list of priorities that is simply unrealistic, so this article is about how to stop falling into that trap.
My favourite behavioural study of the year: Swiping right on product orientation. I read a lot of research in order to distil it into what it means for business. This year my favourite was how gestural actions are impacting conversion. In short, the era of swipe left, swipe right is impacting where to place calls to action.
A hidden gem: Two-speed consumers. We can get caught up thinking everything is changing (technology, demographics, globalisation), but the fundamentals of customer behaviour actually haven’t. If you know what lies beneath, you can anticipate customer reactions and get ahead of the chaos.
- Effortless influence. Imagine how good a frustration-free workday would feel? I want this for you.
- How to make behavioural economics a habit. – Move from ‘knowing’ to ‘doing’.
- When to apply behavioural economics to your business. Identifying triggers for applied behavioural economics.
- Focus on how not why to change behaviour. How Oslo stopped people driving in the city.
- To change behaviour, find the angles. Blunt force gets reactance, so instead, we need to chip away.
- Free behavioural analysis tool. Clarify your behavioural challenge. I used this on my own business, which led to me successfully running my first public two-day behavioural bootcamp.
- The era of two-speed consumers. While we think everything is changing, behaviour fundamentally is not.
- Three truths about how people respond to information. Don’t try to influence anyone without first contemplating their ‘baggage’.
- BE and segmentation: Do we need both? Behavioural economics is about similarities. Segmentation is about differences.
- How the cult of busy impacts what people buy. Perceived busyness enhances self-control rather than making customers vulnerable to temptation.
- How traffic noise increased customer willingness to buy insurance. Background noise was used to prime customer purchase behaviour.
- Why customers are buying into Coles’ Little Shop campaign. The horror of a CRAPP campaign that has become marketing folklore.
- Why misspelling a name is more of a problem than you realise. Small things matter more than they should.
- The beauty of effort. The fraught area of trying (too) hard.
- How customer desire for choice varies by time of day. Squaring new research on circadian rhythms with other research on decision-making fatigue.
- Easier to track but harder to trap: The challenge of modern-day customers. They may be leaving their muddy digital footprints everywhere but they have perversely never been more difficult to capture.
- Why you should move the shampoo. The importance of signalling effort to convince your customer you are valuable.
- The birdbath principle: Attracting customers by reducing fear. Leaving them exposed will thwart any attempts to convert them.
- The science of menu design. How to influence what customers buy.
- Handwritten typefaces can increase sales of indulgent products. Choosing the right typeface for a product can have a significant impact on its success.
- Swiping right on product orientation. People tend to swipe right more often if the product faces to the right.
- How to get LinkedIn prospecting messages right. Two examples of how to, and how not to, connect with prospective customers.
- How congruence impacts conversion. An example of an effective print ad for men’s elevator shoes.
- Why smaller businesses need to smile more than larger businesses. It has to do with expectations of warmth.
Pricing and payment
- Don’t be cagey about pricing. Why so many customers abandon shopping carts.
- What if I give you five oranges? The importance of contextualising value for customers.
- How a small change increased sales 77%. The power of periodic pricing.
- You don’t need to optimise everything, just these two things. The peak-end rule.
- How a Wi-Fi password changed behaviour. Priming customers and yourself to take action.
- Getting text messages right. Effective reminder messages.
- Carrot of stick with your latte: Why fees can beat discounts. Avoiding pain is better than seeking gain.
- Why longer gift card expirations are bad for customers. Counter-intuitive customer behaviour that politicians ignore.
- The Hawk-Eye approach to customer complaints. The power to complain may reduce the likelihood they will.
Staff and stakeholders
- Motivating the unmotivated. How to lead someone to conclude change is good.
- How to get staff to do what you want. Part one deals with overcoming apathy, part one with paralysis and fear.
- How Shopify uses priming to change staff behaviour. Removing microwave buttons can improve staff performance.
- Arming your advocate: How to influence someone to influence someone else. How to support them moving from an ‘I’ to ‘we’ decision.
Habits and personal effectiveness
- Dealing with the most difficult person of all. All roads lead back to you.
- There’s nothing harder than soft skills. We expend most of our energy on people issues, yet that’s not what we’ve been trained for.
- Future proofing professional jobs. If algorithms can replace technical skills all that will save us is our ability to manage the ‘grey-areas’ of business.
- Why we prioritise urgency over importance. Overcoming the ‘mere urgency effect’.
- Make de-prioritising a priority. Why most businesses set themselves up to fail.
- How to make the most of time between tasks. And the scientific reason an hour sometimes feels shorter than that.
- Taking charge of smartphone habits. They ruin dinner, they ruin concentration, so here’s how to rewire your phone habits.
- Productivity hacks from a health retreat. Including a 50-minute hour.