Thursday, October 18, 2007

Psychology and Marketing

My degree is in Psychology, and many people I speak with (outside of Marketing) have the tendency to think that I'm not using my degree because I don't spend all day listening to somebody tell me their problems. However, I'm constantly finding things about my job that are aided by my background in Psychology--understanding the triggers that make people act; how memory works, so I can make my campaigns more memorable; how the human eye reads and the brain responds to stimuli, so I know that the design of a piece is really going to achieve our objectives.

I just read a great article about leveraging human behavior in Marketing from Target Marketing Magazine called "Live From DMA 07: Four Ways to Leverage Human Behavior" and has some really great tips for incorporating psychology research findings into your marketing.

While I'm on the subject, one of my all-time favorite books is a *fascinating* one by Paco Underhill called Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. It's not too helpful to me in my current job because I don't deal with retail, but it's still a truly interesting study into the intersection of human behavior and business.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about leadership lately. Not just because it's an important aspect of good management, but also because the company I work for isn't doing well right now. Our parent company has put us up for sale, and we've been told by management that layoffs are on the way (the rumor is that they'll happen this week). At a time like this, there's always finger-pointing, and I've done enough talking about this offline that there's no need to do it online as well.

Although there are many facets to effective leadership, one that is especially good for worker morale is the ability to make employees feel known and valued. This ties in nicely to the ideas in a book that came out recently, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) by Patrick Lencioni. The first of the three signs is what he calls "anonymity." I still remember my first day as a Marketing Assistant at my current company. The then-president of the company stopped by my cubicle to greet me and actually commented on where I'd worked previously. It meant an enormous amount to me that somebody that high up took an effort to check into my background and welcome me to the company. I don't think that happens nearly often enough.