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Infusing the Behavioral Insights Mindset

Activating behavioral insights can happen in several ways. It can also be looked at from a team perspective as well as a consumer perspective. In terms of level setting your team around behavioral insights, how exactly are you doing that beyond the methodologies and the temperaments?

Avery notes, “One of the things that we do to create consensus, around the insights culture, around those types of insights is just being open about it. We acknowledge very overtly that all of us are different and we each have certain temperaments. Part of that is something that we were born with. Part of that is something that we were raised to be. It’s within our control to a certain extent, but it’s also hard to control and out of our control to a certain extent. I think it’s about tolerance, acceptance and appreciation of diversity.”

“But to level set we create an environment where we acknowledge that,” continues Avery. “It’s far too common, especially in a business culture, for people to say the way people ought to be. And I think you can appreciate a diverse array of personalities when appropriately identified, placed and appreciated. And the first thing you need to do with your team, if you’re going to have those conversations, is let people be who they are and admit that they tend to this way or tend to that way. It really cuts through a lot of the inefficiencies and gets you faster towards appreciating the diversity of talent that you might have on your team.”

To some extent, we all do this on the consumer side. We’ve got our personas. We know who to target. Yet do we have a blind spot as far as looking at consumers one way, and looking at our own talent another way? We are all busy doing more with less., as far as budgets and talent are concerned. Where does that leave behavioral insights?

Leonard points out, “I think the low hanging fruit is around acknowledgement and diversity. It’s really being super people centric. I specifically say people centric, not consumer centric, not shopper centric. The path to purchase journey and some of those consumer mindsets and personas are obviously important, and actionable, but taking it up a level and really understanding human beings as people and understanding their life, priorities and motivations. And some of those things can then help us with the behavioral science principles to get there.”

Leonard continues, “One thing that we talk a lot about in our organization is the people journey. And understanding where people are across that journey. And I think there are two behavioral science principles, if you will, that I think particularly come into play here when it speaks to the people journey, but also to low hanging fruit. The first is the fact that we recognize that goals drive behavior. We match the mindset to the message. Are they near into purchase? Are they far out from purchase? Social proof is another really big one, thinking about where they are as people. And the second one has around it experience driving memory. It helps us identify where those areas are that we can find peaks in the people journey. And one of the phrases that stands out to me is perks make peaks. And thinking about where those spaces are in the journey where we can actually create a meaningful brand impact, do the unexpected and create one of those moments.”

So in terms of orchestrating your team around temperament or understanding temperament to orchestrate your team. Just what are some of the guiding principles there?

“I think human-centricity is kind of the same operating principle,” agrees Avery. “It’s about being realistic and meeting people where they are and not expecting the world to be different from what you know; just basic insights about human temperament and behavior personality would tell you the very predictable outcome in terms of optimal orchestration. I think the idealized situation is where you get to know each of your team members, you understand their strengths and weaknesses, and you create jobs that are most suitable for those candidates. It’s about being people centered. Can you place people in the right box? If you can’t, can you give them tools to help shore up their weaknesses? And honestly, if that doesn’t work out so well, you help somebody find a better role because not everybody is the right person for any job. And we can also be helpful in that capacity.”

Watch the video for the full discussion around behavioral insights, as Seth Adler, Jennifer Avery, and Cherie Leonard tackle behavioral insights for consumers and teams, taking a human-centric approach, tailoring the message, product development, implementation and more.


  • Seth Adler

    Seth Adler heads up All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has spent his career bringing people together around content. He has a dynamic background producing events, podcasts, video, and the written word.

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

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