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The top five thinkers in behavioural economics05/13/2013 | Follow Neil | Connect with Neil

1. “Sweat the small stuff” by Rory Sutherland (@rorysutherland) at TEDSalon London 2010. Rory will be speaking at this year’s event.

2. Stephen Donajgrodzki at Another Marketing Conference 2012 on how communication can be used to change behaviour


3. (The IPA who uploaded this video to Vimeo won’t allow it to be embedded) Dr Nick Southgate (@drnicksouthgate) at the IPA’s Red Hot or Red Herring event in 2009:

4. Mark Earls (@herdmeister), who spoke at Another Marketing Conference 2012, on the When Harry Met Sally inspired ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ theory at an RSA event


5. (The IPA who uploaded this video to Vimeo won’t allow it to be embedded) Professor Nick Chater at IPA’s Red Hot or Red Herring event in 2009:

Marketing is easy isn’t it? Make a really strong argument and the target customer will weigh up the positives and negatives, compare you with the competition and then make a decision that best suits their needs. Perfect. Job done. We can all go home.

Unfortunately, the reality is nothing like this. People are biased, lazy and easily led like sheep in a herd. As Nick Southgate has said, “thinking is one of the most energy demanding things we can do as humans, so we’ll do anything to avoid it”. People are also not bothered about perfect. Good enough is, well, good enough.

Imagine a world where people were rational. The car industry would be dominated by a couple of German brands and the French automotive manufacturers would disappear overnight.

For me, this topic of behavioural economics, change theory or nudging is the most important topic that we need to get our heads around in marketing today. There are five leading thinkers in this area that are worth following. I’ve embedded and linked to five videos (left) from Rory Sutherland, Nick Southgate, Stephen Donajgrodzki, Mark Earls and Nick Chater  to give you a taster. When you have the time, it is well worth finding more of their thoughts and opinions online.


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