Making Up Their Minds

Michael Krauss
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
  • The trick to influencing consumers’ decisions is to take the thinking out of it.
  • As marketers, we need to recognize that we can’t change human nature; we have to understand it.
  • Academic work can help us execute our creative programs more effectively. ​

Neuroscience and neuromarketing became hot marketing buzzwords a handful of years ago, but thanks to people like Matthew Willcox, you don’t necessarily have to find room in your own company’s budget to attach sensors to your customers’ temples. 

As executive director of the Institute of Decision Making at Chicago-based marketing and communications agency Foote Cone & Belding, chief strategy officer of FCB West and author of The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts, Willcox is on a mission to ensure that C-suite marketers and their teams apply the latest thinking in behavioral psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics to build brands, businesses and even individual careers by arming them with the necessary tools and insights to figure out how to influence consumer choice. Willcox, a native of Ireland who now calls San Francisco home, and his colleagues constitute a global team that includes both marketing and advertising professionals and academics from institutions including Stanford University, NYU’s Stern School, Wharton and more. This cross-disciplinary team is dedicated to unearthing relevant insights from academia and packaging them in a more palatable form for the practitioner world. 

We’ve found that there are a lot of insights about how people make choices that marketers were not using,” Willcox says. “Marketers weren’t even aware of them. They go largely untapped. FCB recognized that there are advances going on in behavioral psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics that inform how choices are made. We invested in the creation of the institute to put these insights in the hands of our clients.”

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Author Bio:
Michael Krauss
Michael Krauss is president of Market Strategy Group based in Chicago.

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