Don Draper had it right when he said "Advertising is based on one thing... Happiness." He might have lost some of us when he continued explaining what happiness means to him, but he's right about the fact that advertising is largely based on one thing- emotions.
Behavioral Economics… it sounds like it has nothing to do with the business world, but instead seems to be some crazy mixture between psychology and math, right? Not exactly… Behavioral Economics is becoming more and more relevant every day, thanks to smarter consumers who have an infinite number of choices to make every day. Not only do consumers have more choices than ever, but with the popularity of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, they have thousands of opinions they can search through and listen to as well.
Market research today is studying purchase intent and what consumers want – but they don’t study the reason someone DOESN’T buy something or suddenly changes their mind. Emotions, opinions and peer pressure greatly influence modern-day consumers, and it’s time to start researching how and why this happens. Agencies and marketers need to start thinking more outside of the box to solve this problem, because although you may be working for a Fortune 500 brand, your brand is not as powerful as it was 10 years ago.
A great example comes from a recent Advertising Age article, who discusses marketing focuses for gym memberships. Traditional focus groups have found more people say they would go to the gym if it were closer, if there was free babysitting, or less expensive… But gyms have catered to these needs and don’t see any changes. What agencies need to do is think more outside of the box. One great new idea Advertising Age brought up was charging people for NOT coming to the gym- how revolutionary is that?! Think about it, how much worse would you feel about not going to the gym that is near free as long as you attend as many days as you say you will? Now, this idea may not be the most profitable, but it really gets the juices flowing and makes you wonder what else is possible.
Thus, advertising agencies may hire the best and the brightest in their classes, but if you don’t truly understand who your consumers are and why they purchase the way they do- aren’t you missing the point?