Thursday, July 22, 2010
If you ever need a reminder that marketers don't necessarily think like the rest of the world, check out the fantastic site Which Test Won, a rapidly growing repository of A/B and multivariate tests. Each test is presented in a fun quiz format. I find that I do quite well guessing which test won, but every once in a while I get one wrong (judging from the vote results, I'm not the only one!). I highly encourage you to check out the site. Not only is it a great way to spend your lunch hour--it can also serve as a warning of why testing is so important.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
But what if we take a wider view? The field of behavioral economics has really taken off in recent years. It's best considered as a fusion of economics and psychology, and one of the more interesting veins of study involves irrational decision-making (see Predictably Irrational* by Dan Ariely for a great introduction). Classical economics has traditionally believed that people make decisions rationally (in other words, they choose the option that is objectively most advantageous for them); Ariely and others have shown that this is not the case. People encounter so many stimuli in everyday life that they have to take shortcuts when they made decisions. Otherwise, they'd be paralyzed by indecision. And those shortcuts mean that often the easy choice is not always the right choice.
There are many messages to take away from this. Here are a couple:
1. The human mind is truly amazing, with the myriad stimuli attended to and calculations made in a single day, often subconsciously. But it is also tremendously fallible and prone to manipulation.
2. When you are coming up with offers to incentivize customer action, it's important to test! Customers don't necessarily respond rationally. For instance, I am reminded of a company that did an email offer test of $50 off vs. 15% off. $50 was 15% of the average order value ($350), so the offers were basically equivalent. The dollars-off offer pulled 170% more revenue than the percent-off offer, even though rationally a % off is better because the more you buy, the bigger the savings.
Think about it--what can you do to make your product/service the easy choice?
* affiliate link
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Thursday, May 15, 2008
They offer six principles to make an idea memorable:
I came across a fun example of principle #2 (unexpectness) on a recent trip to visit my sister in Orlando. At several intersections near her house, signs were posted warning that motorists would be fined $183.50 if caught running a red light. I commented on how odd that amount is and my sister (she's so smart!) responded it's to make people talk about it. Duh! I'd read Made to Stick--why didn't I think of that? Anyways, on a later trip in the car, my husband (who wasn't there for the initial conversation) made the same comment I had. Almost a month later, I still remember the exact amount of the fine. What a simple way to make an impression!
If you haven't read Made to Stick, I highly recommend it. I had purchased the audiobook version through iTunes, and I loved it so much that I'm seriously considering buying the hardcover version for reference. If you're looking for more wisdom from the authors, you can check out their blog. They don't update it as often as I wish they would, but there's some great info there!
Monday, January 28, 2008
I highly encourage you to give it a read. Even if you aren't involved in writing marketing copy, the tips could help with writing more effective business communications.
The two big takeaways:
- Readers tend to look at the first, second, and last bullets (in that order), so you should rank your points to fall into that pattern.
- You should put your most important words at the beginning of the bullet, and each starting word should look physically different from the others.
Hmm. Hopefully you read those bullets!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
It's a simple thought, but so illustrative that I find it fascinating.