“Although we think of ourselves as people who can make decisions, and in control of our own lives, 40 to 45 percent of what we do every day is a habit. It’s something that happens almost subconsciously,” Charles Duhigg, best-selling author, The Power of Habit, said in the Media Center at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016.
Right now, he added, we are going through a golden age of understanding the neurology of habit formation.
“Which is great, if you’re … a marketer who wants to influence what people are doing with their time or their money,” he said.
A central insight of this, is that every habit has three components that it is made up of.
- Cue: A trigger for an automatic behavior to start
- Routine: The behavior itself, what we usually think of as habits
- Reward: The gratification from performing the habit.
“What we’ve learned is that these cues and these rewards are really the important parts of what influences how people behave,” he said. “If we figure out how to diagnose these cues and rewards, we can change how people behave.”
I like to think of myself as a savvy consumer. I research purchases. I ask friends for suggestions. I look for deals. This has undoubtedly spared me headaches and wasted money — but it has not freed me from clever marketing.
This fact is made clear in a recent Wired article by Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University. In the piece, Ariely explains the psychological factors that help build Amazon, Facebook, Groupon and other successful companies.
We interviewed Ariely last year about his book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, and published his advice. Here are three marketing insights from his recent article in Wired:
– Read more…
If you’re ever looking for an interesting marketing read (besides MarketingSherpa, of course!), check out Robert Cialdini’s books on influence.
The two books I’m most familiar with are Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Both books cite droves of research to help explain why people say “yes” to marketing offers and other requests. We recently published an article highlighting some of Cialdini’s strategies.
Both books are loaded with takeaways and interesting background stories. I found a particularly interesting piece of marketing history in Yes! concerning Duracell and Energizer.