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Jan 17, 2019

On today’s episode of Just the Tips, Dean and I and Dean’s beard welcome William Leach to the show. If you want to know some Jedi mind tricks to get into the subconscious of your ideal customers or clients, Will is the guy you want on your side. Will is the founder of TriggerPoint, a leading Behavioral Research and Design consultancy specializing in System 1 marketing. TriggerPoint helps today’s largest brands understand and change consumer behavior through Behavioral Research and Design. Will has over 20 years of behavioral insights experience and is a behavioral design instructor at the Cox School of Business BLC at Southern Methodist University.

How Will discovered the subconscious side of marketing

Anyone who is interested in marketing and upping their sales game is going to have an interest in studying psychology and what gets people to buy things, but Will takes it to a different level. He took a look at the latest in neuroscience and behavioral psychology and learned how to apply those principles to marketing. As he says on this week’s Just the Tips, people make 35,000 decisions a day, and obviously not all of those are conscious decisions, a lot of them are operating below the surface. So rather than trying to change someone’s mind and convince them to buy something, Will looks at how those subconscious decisions impact sales decisions.

The four factors that contribute to decision-making

Will told us about behaviorally designed marketing on this week’s episode. He said there are four factors that get someone into the mode of “hot state decision-making,” which means they are emotionally and psychologically ready and wanting to make a decision (think about what Vegas does to you). The four factors that get someone into that hot state are goals, motivation toward those goals, what’s called regulatory fit (think approach vs. avoidance), and then finally triggers. Will clearly explains what each of those factors mean, but you’ll have to listen to this week’s Just the Tips to get the truly deep dive.

How behavioral psychology works in action

Will told a really fascinating story on this week’s Just the Tips about how he’s applied his four factors in the real world. When he was working for PepsiCo, his team had to figure out how to make a discount “bundle” of products (soda and chips, etc.), appealing to customers. So at first they discounted the whole bundle together, but that didn’t really work. And then they thought through what those customers in convenience stores are there for, what their goals are (to get through the next part of their day), and what their motivation is (to have a bit of a respite and get the fuel to get through their day). Mark walked us through all four factors, and how he came to a decision on how to re-market the products that boosted their sales by 20%. It’s fascinating stuff.

Focus on the trigger

So while you should consider how to apply all four factors to your full marketing approach, a quick tip Will told us about to quickly boost sales is to just focus on the last one: the trigger. Tell people what you want them to do and when to do it. “Buy now,” “sign up today,” etc. It may look ugly, but it will drive short-term sales. He also provides another quick-hit tip. One is to focus on promotion or prevention (i.e. talking about the benefits of a product or what the product removes negative impacts). It may be a simple technique, but it can really help change things for your marketing. All of this is in Will’s book Marketing to Mindstates, but you can hear it first in this week’s Just the Tips.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:24] How Will got interested in behavioral science
  • [6:45] Triggerpoint’s origin story
  • [9:51] The four factors
  • [14:17] An example of Will’s approach in action
  • [18:24] The easiest thing to do
  • [23:56] How to not overthink it
  • [28:30] How this applies to sales

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Resources Mentioned

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