Industry

Achieving cut through in a noisy world

20th November 2018
Micaela Parente 674054 Unsplash

How many ads are we exposed to each day? Estimates vary between a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on your definition of exposure. With the sheer amount of content that people see every day comes the challenge to engage, shock, delight, but most of all, inspire people into an action.

With global ad spend expected to hit 630 billion US dollars in 2018 (eMarketer), the industry is showing no signs of slowing down. At Adstream, we see this first-hand, with the amount of advertising content we store, host and deliver dramatically increasing over recent years; from a total of 300 terabytes five years ago, to 2 petabytes today (1 petabyte is the equivalent of 13.3 years of HD video).

With the constant bombardment of advertising, the question of how you deliver messaging with strong cut through becomes paramount. This is where behavioural economics come in.

Behavioural economics challenges the assumption that decisions are made rationally, mixing psychology with economics. The principles look at economic problems through the eyes of a human who feels emotions and doesn’t always think in a predictable way, rather than standard economic principles that consider humans as entirely rational beings. They assume that marketing messages exploit specific aspects of human nature to ensure that people engage with the products advertisers want to sell. Used correctly, these principles influence behaviour, often without being processed by the consumer’s conscious attention.

No matter how good your messaging is, the concept of selective attention means that people will only react to a limited number of stimuli when multiple things are occurring at the same time. As a result, we automatically ignore or filter out perceived irrelevancies. That’s why a nudge, a small push that can influence a person to behave in a specific way, is a great tool to utilise in advertising. A nudge causes a person to think differently and act. Examples include a social proof nudge, such as a company including a “most popular” label on a subscription option.

Phrases such as “limited time only” are often used, appealing to a customer’s desire to avoid a perceived loss. The idea of loss aversion works because people don’t want to lose out on things, and it generates scarcity which we associate with value. Language plays a big part in advertising, with a consumer’s emotional response able to be manipulated depending on the wording used. The way a message is framed can cause people to be coaxed and nudged into different behavioural paths via simple wordplay. The principle of framing works by focusing on different aspects of a message, such as the gain or loss option that a consumer is choosing between by purchasing or not purchasing a product.

Advertising has the power to speak to the irrational aspects of people’s behaviour and sell products, but it also drives conversation, engagement and can even save lives. By combining behavioural economics principles with compelling and creative content, you’re more likely to engage your target audience. What will make people remember your ad?

Got a great way of using behavioural economics in your next campaign? Talk to us about bringing your marketing and production processes together from idea to delivery for greater visibility, productivity, insight and performance.

Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash  

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