Director of Marketing Content at GRIN
Behavioral Science Explains Why Influencer Marketing Works in Persuading Your Customers to Buy
In this episode:
Founder & CEO of Next Step
Shirin Oreizy is the Founder and President of Next Step, an award-winning Behavioral Marketing Agency with offices in San Francisco & Boston. She has a degree in Engineering & Computer Science from UC Berkeley and holds accreditations from Duke University and UC Berkeley on Behavioral Science and Positive Psychology. Her work applying Behavioral Science in marketing is regularly featured on Forbes, INC. & the Huffington Post. She’s on the board of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and a guest lecturer at Stanford.
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Full episode details
“Ultimately, we’re trying to uncover why people are making certain decisions about your brand…
…That finding can live in a variety of places in your organization, it could be within different aspects of your marketing, it could go into sales, it can go into the customer experience, etc.” – Shirin Oreizy, Next Step
Behavioral science is the study of why and how people make decisions in the real world. There are hundreds of principles that researchers have uncovered that help explain why people do what they do, and how they make decisions. When these principles are applied to eCommerce, marketers can gain a better understanding of their audience and how to guide prospects towards a purchase.
One powerful principle is called social proof, which is the idea that humans are motivated by how others are behaving or acting. Understanding exactly how this and other motivators of human behavior actually work can help brands get more leverage with their influencer marketing programs and ecommerce strategy.
Introduction to Behavioral Science for eCommerce Brands
Shirin Oreizy started out as a self described “geeky” engineer working in tech. When she discovered the world of behavioral science, she was hooked. She quickly saw how all this great research about human decision making, that was stuck in academia, could be applied for clients in the eCommerce world. She founded the behavioral marketing agency, Next Step, to do just that.
In this episode, Shirin shares with Katya from Grin, many of the key principles of behavioral science and how they can be applied to marketing and specifically to eCommerce.
Behavioral science, or behavioral economics as it is sometimes called, is very different from the field of standard economics. Where standard economics looks at humans as completely rational decision makers, behavioral economics understands the gap between rationality and how humans actually behave. Research has found over 300 principles that guide real world human decision making. Gaining an understanding of these principles can help brands better reach their audience and also boost their sales.
Some principles are very familiar, while others may surprise you.
“As I explain this stuff, it starts feeling really uncomfortable. You’re like, ‘oh, shoot, that’s exactly how I do it.’” – Shirin Oreizy, Next Step
In this podcast Shirin gives clear explanations for several of these principles as well as providing examples and applications. You’ll hear about ideas such as
- Relativity and why offering comparisons is helpful.
- Narrative bias and how your words can better reach your audience.
- The endowment effect which explains why value is often subjective.
- Gain frame versus loss frame and how to test for which works better with your audience. (Beware! This can change as it has for many brands during COVID.)
- Social proof and specifically how influencer marketing fits into the mechanism of this principle.
- Scarcity mode and what happens to people’s IQs during a crisis like the COVID pandemic.
Shirin has a framework that she uses with eCommerce brands when applying these behavioral science principles to their marketing and other strategies. The framework is called “The 3 B’s” and it involves, defining the key Behavior we want the customer to do, removing any Barriers that make it harder for the customer to access our product or solution, and amplifying the Benefits which uses behavioral science principles to make the benefits of your product or solution more salient and more visible.
She also has some very keen observations about how COVID has affected human behavior during this time of overwhelming uncertainty. She discusses principles such as short-term versus long-term thinking, prevention mindset and scarcity mode. She describes how these principles call for a shift in our messaging and offers that speaks directly to how people are feeling. She gives insight into how online marketing has changed and what we can expect in 2021.
“There are certain principles that work time and time again, and we see them and we don’t need to run research or A/B tests or experiments on it. Generally speaking, when you’re getting into some of these more advanced principles, you always want to test.” – Shirin Oreizy, Next Step
Shirin gives a ton of real world examples of how her clients apply these different behavioral science principles to their businesses.
You’re sure to take away more than a few concrete ideas that you can use to improve your own research and marketing. You won’t want to miss this blend of science and marketing.
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Quotes From This Episode:
“We’re actually less believers in traditional demographic based segmentation… For example, if I’m a 60 year-old man or a 20 year-old teenager, fear of losing something is going to be powerful the same way.”
“The foundation of what you guys do with influencers, that’s a perfect example of leveraging expert social proof, because these influencers have a lot of followers, and they’re somebody that [people] want to potentially aspire to.”
“In behavioral science we recognize that people’s emotions and environment, digital or physical, social factors, our culture, etc. are influencing how people make decisions.”
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