The Psychology of Sponsorship – 7 Content Marketing Opportunities and more...

The Psychology of Sponsorship – 7 Content Marketing Opportunities

Blake Kia Jump

Sponsorship, the acquisition of rights to affiliate or directly associate with a product, person, organisation, venue, cause, team, league or event, is a rising star in the marketing mix, worth $51BN+ globally and growing at 4%+ annually. But despite exciting new digital opportunities for activating (bringing to life) sponsorship deals – live, on-screen and in situ – little attention from digital marketers has been given over to sponsorship. The upshot is sponsorship remains a silo seperated from digital marketing, despite opportunities to fuse the two.  What then are the top digital activation opportunities in sponsorship?

To digitally optimise sponsorship, it helps to understand the basics of how sponsorship can work as an effective marketing tool, so here’s a quick primer on the psychology of sponsorship that outlines 7 digital opportunities in sponsorship using a behaviourist take on Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast (System 1) and Slow (System 2)’ model (that I’ve been putting together for an upcoming conference paper on the Digital Future of Sponsorship). If you want to skip the psychobabble, and jump the end for a summary of the 7 opportunities, feel free!

  • The first, and perhaps most important thing to note is that sponsorship works by association rather than persuasion.  The general idea is that a sponsored property (product, person, organisation, venue, cause, team, league or event) eliciting a strong positive emotional response will have a ‘halo effect’ that rubs off on the associated sponsor, just a single good trait in a person can have a halo effect on how we see all other traits.  So the positive responses associated with the sponsored property (e.g. NBA’s Miami Heat) ‘spillover’ and become associated with the sponsor (e.g. Kia cars).  This has nothing to do with logical persuasion and everything to do with emotional association.
    • In simple behaviourist terms, this emotional association may occur through conditioned learning.  Sponsorship pairs two stimuli (Miami Heat and Kia), where an existing positive response (said here to be ‘unconditioned’ (UR)) to Miami Heat (here the ‘unconditioned’ stimulus (US)) conditions the response to a second stimulus (Kia) by association.  By associating and seeing Kia paired with Miami Heat, our response to Kia becomes  conditioned (CR) so it resembles our response to the Heat, with Kia therefore becoming a conditioned stimulus (CS). The practical upshot is when we see Kia, we think Heat thoughts.
    • Using the terms of contemporary psychology, emotional association is a central mechanism of ‘System 1′ learning, one of the two ways we learn and think (System 2 =   slow, deliberate, logical; System 1 = fast, automatic, intuitive). Rather than think though what we think about Kia, our thoughts are patterned by the associations (things, times, places, causes…), Kia evokes and by quick cognitive shortcuts (mental ‘heuristics’) that we experience as ‘intuition’.  By pairing Kia with the Heat we come to associate Heat thoughts with Kia and we like Kia through association rather than persuasion (such as via a persuasive ad or sales pitch). Moreover, if we then see a representation of the Heat on a Kia website or in a showroom, then these positive associations are primed (activated in our minds), and our behaviour is influenced so as to be more favourable to Kia . The central insight of Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow is that our System 1 associative mind is our dominant mode of thought, patterning our behaviour far more than our logical System 2 minds would like to think.  This is great news for the sponsorship industry.
      • If all this sounds like psychobabble, the practical upshot for making sponsorship more effective is that activation should focus as much on activating sponsored properties (e.g. The Miami Heat) in the purchase funnel as activating the sponsor (Kia) at events.  Sponsorship is about creating and activating associations. For digital marketing, this means embedding the sponsored property in digital properties, experiences and collateral. Just as showing elderly people will cause us to act in an elderly way (the so-called Florida Effect – no Dwayne Wade jokes please) through associative priming, showing the Miami Heat in a Kia context will prime Heat thoughts and emotions. 
  • Building on this insight that sponsorship works through associative learning and priming, there are at least seven psychological mechanisms, which translate to content marketing opportunities, for sponsorship to harness (for in-depth detail see Pracejus, J. W. (2004). Seven psychological mechanisms through which sponsorship can influence consumers. Sports marketing and the psychology of marketing communication, 175-190)


  • 1. Mere-Exposure Effect (our tendency to like something more simply because we see it frequently).  By associating a sponsor with a high profile property to which people are frequently exposed, people perceive the sponsor more positively because our associative System 1 mind associates familiarity with likability.  At this basic level, sponsorship is a frequency/numbers game (despite the fact that exposure, visibility, awareness and logo-counts may have fallen out of favour). It’s all about creating impressionsrather than creating an impression. It really is about exploiting logo and naming rights everywhere every time – including online time.
    • Digital content could enhance sponsorship effectiveness by running keyword search ad campaigns that increase exposure by explicitly pairing the sponsor with the sponsored property. In addition to activating sponsored properties with the sponsor name, digital properties (ads, apps, sites, signage) of the sponsor should be activated by the sponsored property as frequently as possible.
  • 2. Emotional Association (the transfer ofaffect (excitement, interest, appreciation) from sponsored property to paired sponsor).  The associations that make up what a sponsor ‘means’ to our System 1 mind become patterned by the salient associations made around a sponsored property
    • Digital content could enhance sponsorship effectiveness by focusing more on eliciting emotional responses, rather than rational responses, especially those associated with desired emotional response to the sponsor.  For example, the emotive YouTube video of Clippers’ Blake Griffin (to a choir singing I believe I can fly) winning the slam dunk contest by jumping over sponsor Kia car builds an emotional association of awe

  • 3. Image Association (the transfer of image associations (characteristics, personality) from sponsored property to sponsor).  Through sponsorship pairings, the image of a sponsored property – such as cricket (with a traditional ‘English’ association) can influence the image in our System 1 mind of the sponsor (such as that of  Gillette, sponsoring the Gillette Cup and  looking to soften an overly dominant American association with the American brand abroad).  Similarly,IVECO trucks sponsored heavyweight boxing for the image association of toughness and strength)
    • Digital content could enhance sponsorship effectiveness by being more attentive to the specific image associations it is trying to borrow, activate and amplify from the sponsored property.  For example, digital activations could use words and imagery associated with the target association when activating the sponsor around the sponsored property, and activating the sponsored property around sponsor properties (such as Gillette’s fantasy league site). In a similar way, American Express activated its sponsorship of the US Open using John McEnroe in an video entitled the ‘Art of the Dispute‘ to promote its dispute resolution service.


  • 4. Affiliation Association (our tendency to feel something is suited to us simply because it affiliates itself with something we affiliate with).  Affiliation by association is about a sponsor creating the perception that it is ‘a brand for me’ because it associates itself with a sponsored property that is important to us.  For example, if Ihave an affiliation with the Miami Heat, and American Airlines has a sponsorship affiliation with Miami Heat, so I have a de facto affiliation with American Airlines – American Airlines is an airline for me.
    • Another way digital content could enhance sponsorship effectively is by amplifying the affiliation between sponsored property and the sponsor.  For example sponsorship could use digital product placement in social media feeds of personalities (such as Sprite in LeBron James instagram feed).  Deutsche Telekom digitally reinforced its association with Bayern Munich with a ‘vanity’ URL.  Pepsi and other sponsors of US major league baseball MLB reinforce their affiliation with the league by sponsoring an online MLB Fan Cave. EA Games delivered a brilliant digital activation of its affiliation with Tiger Woods after a bug was found in its Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 game that allowed walking on water (see below). The video response was seen over 11 million times, tightening the affiliation with Woods.IMG_0010



  • 5. Size Association (our tendency to infer that because a sponsor can sponsor a big property, it must be big itself). By associating itself with a major event, team, venue, league or star, our System 1 mind makes a cognitive shortcut and assumes the sponsor has size, which can in turn be associated with stability, financial strength, popularity, and ultimately quality.  Just as a peacock tail is a costly signal display of quality, so too is sponsorship of major events. Thiscan be useful for sponsors looking to enhancethe perception of size and dominance. For example, when MRF a leading tyre manufacturer in India invested its entire marketing budget in sponsorship of Cricket World Cup, perceptions of the company’s size increased by 19.7%, whilst perceived health of the company increased 24.6%.
    • Digital content could enhance sponsorship effectiveness of large sponsorship deals through activations that focus on the size, strength and quality of the sponsor. For example, Nestlé activated its sponsorship of the 4.4 incarnation of the popular Android mobile operating system (with naming rights for its Kit Kat confectionary brand) with a tongue-in-cheek Apple-Esque video promoting the supreme quality of the Kit Kat chocolate bar

  • 6. Trustworthiness Association (our tendency to infer that a sponsormust be trustworthy, otherwise it wouldn’t be allowedto be the sponsor). Although a sponsormight not be explicitly endorsed by a sponsored property (person, team, event…), there is an implicit System 1 assumption that sponsors have to go through a quality control to sponsor a property.  The very fact that Visa andLloyds Bankwere allowedto be official sponsors of the 2012 Olympics appears to say something about their trustworthiness and good standing, the aftermath of the financial meltdownnotwithstanding
    • Digital content could enhance sponsorship effectiveness with digital activation that builds on the trustworthiness the sponsor. For example, IBM could build on its use of sponsorship as demo platform for reliable IBM technology, or at the other extreme digital ambush marketing, such as that by Subway around the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, could be a way to enjoy the association of trustworthiness without paying fat sponsorship fee. Despite not being an official sponsor, Subway’s marketing activities used associations (athletes, snow, skiing) with the Olympics and became the fourth most associated brand with the games


  • 7. Reciprocity Association (the mental short cut that if a sponsor supports something we care about, we should care about the sponsor). If you’ve ever felt a pang of guilt when someone sent you a seasonal greeting card, and but you hadn’t sent one to them, then you’ll know how powerful the reciprocity heuristic is. Reciprocityis baked deep into our System 1 psychology, when we’re given something, we automatically seek to pay back the favour.  Sponsorship harnesses this powerful mental cue by materially supporting something we care about – and so we feel indebted to the sponsor. We associate the sponsorship with benevolent giving, and we instinctively want to pay back. For example, 48% of NASCAR fans said they would “almost always”purchase a sponsor’s product over a closely priced competitor.
    • Digital content could enhance sponsorship effectiveness though digital activation that gives rather than takes.  For example, mobile operator O2 offers an app to O2 customers to get priority tickets to events at its O2 London arena, and then offers customers VIP hospitality areas at the arena (lounge and bar).  Extending this, O2 could offer other perks associated with the sponsored property such as faster broadband, flash offers at the venue etc.  Similarly, Kia activated its sponsorship of the NBA with a digitally advertised promotion that brought fans together with their club in it’s Drive for Five promotion (purchase/lease a Kia and get 5 pairs of home game tickets).  In Orlando, this sponsor promotion closed 300 sales.






Summary: 7 Content Marketing Opportunities from the Psychology of Sponsorship

For seasoned sponsorship pros, breaking down sponsorship opportunities into how sponsorship can work at a psychological level may not add much in choosing effective sponsorship partnerships, or even in activating them digitally (or traditionally). However, by focusing on the psychology of sponsorship we ensure we adopt an audience-focused approach to sponsorship and digital activation through content marketing (unlike the traditional sponsorship paradigm depicted below).

Moreover, taking a psychologically-informed approach to sponsorship wards us away from some the excesses in sponsorship fads – notably the idea that good sponsorship is about great story telling.  I can see little psychological rationale for this; the star and story of the show should surely be the sponsored property and not the sponsor because it is the sponsored property that captures attention and evokes emotion.  When focused on sponsored property, people have limited capacity for cognitive elaboration, and any attempt to wrestle attention may backfire.  This means that sponsorship works precisely because it is not about story-telling, because story telling requires conscious thinking that may be perceived an interruptive distraction, and belie a sponsor’s commercial motivations, thereby undermining its own efficacy. From a psychological perspective, the effectiveness of sponsorship may lie in not being noticed and it may make more sense to think of sponsorship as subliminal influence, rather than story-telling influence.  At most, if sponsorship is to poke its head above the parapet of conscious awareness, then it should non-invasive and focused on enhancing the sponsored propriety, not competing with it. O2’s app is a nice example of this kind of sponsorship done right, offering digital utility to enhance the experience – shorter wait and bathroom lines, seat priority and upgrades.  At-seat refreshment service would be a nice build. With that in mind, here’s the summary list of 7 digital opportunities in sponsorship that emerge from the psychology of sponsorship.

  1. Consider using digital advertising to expand exposure to the sponsored pairing and systematically add the paired association to all digital properties (Mere-Exposure Effect)
  2. Focus digital activation on eliciting emotional responses, rather than rational responses to sponsorship parings (Emotional Association)
  3. Build digital activation around an associated trait of the sponsored property that you as a sponsor would like be associated with (Image Association)
  4. Explore how digital can creatively reinforce the affiliation between the sponsor and the sponsored property (Affiliation Association)
  5. Build your digital activation strategy around the size, strength and quality of you as a sponsor (Size Association)
  6. Use digital to build on your trustworthiness as the sponsor (Trustworthiness Association)
  7. Harness reciprocity by using digital to give (deliver value) before you take (capture value) (Reciprocity)

Thoughts welcome!





Psych Eye for the Social Media Guy [Download]

Ice Bucket Challenge Zuck LeBron Gates

Here’s a short downloadable refresher on need-to-know psychology for social media professionals that I’ve put together for my new advanced class on social media at ISOC. It contains examples from Adobe, ALS, Burberry, DNC, Ford, Heinz, L’Oreal, Mercedes, Nike, P&G, Samsung…

All in the service of the central point that smart, effective social media communication delivers on one of our three core psychological needs

  • Affiliation
  • Power
  • Achievement

The deck also includes examples of how organisations are using social information to appeal to our System 1 (fast, intuitive) mind in social media.

Thoughts welcome.



10 Digital Insights from 10 Most Controversial Psychology Experiments


Time for a quick ethical-bypass? From Minority Report ‘pre-cogs’ to recovered memories, the BPS (British Psychological Society) has just published a wondrous list of the ten most controversial psychology experiments ever published. Many took place before the Internet, and today many could never be replicated – at least officially and published – since they contravene changing standards in research ethics. Others are simply controversial.  But all have implications for digital marketers…

  1. The Stanford Prison Experiment (1971, Philip Zimbardo) Give people power, and they won’t just abuse it, they’ll abuse you: Is digital abuse the dark side and consequence of digital empowerment?
  2. The Milgram “Shock Experiments” (1961 Stanley Milgram) Give people an authority figure, and they will blindly follow, even kill: Could digital tech be creating a generation of digital sheep?
  3. The “Elderly-related Words Provoke Slow Walking” Experiment (1996 John Bargh) Hear, read or notice elderly people, and you behave elderly: Could using the power of suggestion through digital priming be the future of digital marketing?
  4. The Conditioning of Little Albert Experiment (1920 John Watson) Condition a baby to fear all things white and fluffy by scaring them every time they see a white rat: How could we use conditioned responses to sensory stimuli to make digital more effective?
  5. The “Lost in The Mall” Experiment (Elizabeth Loftus 1995) Implant fictitious memories such as being lost in a mall as a child by simply recounting them alongside true memories: Could digital marketing implant false memories about brands by presenting them alongside actual memories?
  6.  The Bem Pre-cognition Experiments (Daryl Bem 2010) Minority Report ‘precognition’ – scientifically demonstrated (but rarely replicated) by a highly respected researcher; you can know the future and be retroactively influenced by your future actions (revise for an exam just after you’ve taken the exam improves exam results): If we are ‘precogs’ (and it’s not a freak spurious data artefact), could post-purchase marketing influence prior purchasing???
  7. The Voodoo Correlations in Neuroscience Study (Ed Vul 2009)- A meta-analysis of neuroscience experiments linking behaviour and emotions to specific brain areas found results to be at best questionable (or like voodoo, spurious, non-existent): Should digital marketers adopt a healthy skepticism when it comes to neuromarketing?
  8. The Anti-Depressant Placebo Effect Study (Irving Kirsch 2008) – Suffering from mid to moderate depression? Then the benefit of taking a anti-depressants versus placebo may not be clinically meaningful: Could digital marketers use the placebo effect to shift perceptions? (For example would brand experience improve simply by telling people they have been enrolled in a VIP scheme)?
  9. The “Nurture Assumption” Study (Judith Harris 1995) Parenting has less influence on children than many parents want to believe – what matters most are peers and personality – not parents: Every consumer is unique, but if we are going to target ‘types’ or ‘clusters’ shouldn’t we focus on personality types (and peer groups)?
  10. Libet’s Free Will Challenge Experiments (Benjamin Libet 1983) You body moves just before you choose for it to move, so is free will and consciousness an effect rather than a cause: Behaviour before belief; should digital marketers focus on nudging behaviour rather than influencing intentions?


30 More Psychological Nudges to Get People to Buy from ‘The small BIG’ (speed summary)

Small BIG 2

Here are the remaining 30 psychological nudges that will help you sell smarter from  ‘The small BIG – Small Changes that Spark Big Influence’, the new book on marketing persuasion psychologists Robert Cialdini and Noah Goldstein, and Steve Martin (see here for summary of the first set).

In total, the book covers 50 ‘nudges’ (little things that you can do or say, that have big impact) from recent psychological research and behavioural science.  Psychological nudges appeal to our ‘fast thinking’ intuitive mind that uses automatic biases and decision loops to decide.

  • Nudge 21: people to buy by asking them to voice any concerns first, and leaving your sales pitch to last (and use a checklist to cover off your points)
  • Nudge 22: Nudge people to buy by creating a good ‘first impression’ appear authoritative but also similar to your customers (sharing same values, passions etc)
  • Nudge 23: Nudge people to buy by encouraging them to respond positively in some way to your pitch (we act on how we respond rather than what we see or hear (‘cognitive response model’)
  • Nudge 24: Nudge people to buy pointing out an irrelevant weakness as well as strengths (you’ll seem more objective)
  • Nudge 25: Nudge people to buy by visually and physically positioning the product you want to sell as the middle option by placing it centre-stage (in the middle around other options)
  • Nudge 26: Nudge people to buy by selling in an environment that is associated with the benefits of purchase (e.g. behind the wheel of a car for car sales)
  • Nudge 27: Nudge people to buy using ’home advantage’ – selling on your property, not someone else’s, gives you a psychological confidence-boosting advantage.
  • Nudge 28: Nudge people to buy with absolute confidence – open, expansive, and confident sales are most persuasive
  • Nudge 29: Nudge people to buy using ‘love’ – the association buying = loving is a powerful sales message
  • Nudge 30: Nudge people to buy by selling to their personal expectations and preferences, not those of a ‘typical’ customer
  • Nudge 31: Nudge people to buy by doing them a favour first, whilst setting up an expectation for later exchange (reciprocation) – ‘arrange for exchange’ (e.g. When someone thanks you, say ‘You’re welcome, I’m sure you’d do the same for me’)
  • Nudge 32: Nudge people to buy with a ‘thank you’. Research shows that expressing gratitude (e.g. for a past purchase/payment) can double the effectiveness of a new sales message
  • Nudge 33: Nudge people to buy by offering an unexpected gift at an unexpected time. Give first, sell later works best when you surprise people (too many free trials/samples have changed expectation – your gift needs to stand out)
  • Nudge 34: Nudge people to buy by simply asking them to buy – we underestimate the likelihood people will buy by simply, explicitly and politely asking them.
  • Nudge 35: Nudge people to buy by making the first move – by striking first with an offer, you will ‘perceptually anchor’ your customer to your initial terms
  • Nudge 36: Nudge people to buy with precise pricing; $191.50 feels a more legitimate properly costed-up price than rounded prices such as $200.
  • Nudge 37: Nudge people to buy using the .99¢ trick – there may only be 1¢ difference between $4.99 and $5.00 but our perceptions are anchored to the first number we read - there really is a dollar of perceptual difference between $4.99 and $5.00
  • Nudge 38: Nudge people to buy using ‘perceptual contrast’ (comparison effect) that positions what you want to sell next to a far more expensive option.
  • Nudge 39: Nudge people to buy by simplifying the offer down to a single killer feature - a bundle of features/arguments is less compelling that a single standout feature/argument (although adding an additional custom or personalised benefit can further enhance persuasion)
  • Nudge 40: Nudge people to buy through ‘unit-asking’ show them how much just one use/one unit is worth to boost the impression of value
  • Nudge 41: Nudge people by personalising the specific benefit to who’s buying or benefiting; ‘identify and individualise’ to sell
  • Nudge 42: Nudge people to buy by pointing out what customers could do with the money they save buying from you rather than a more expensive competitor – we often forget ‘opportunity costs’
  • Nudge 43: Nudge people to buy by framing their progress – if they’ve just started out, show ‘progress made’ (e.g. 20% done), but when they’re past 50%, show progress remaining (e.g. 20% remaining)
  • Nudge 44: Nudge people to buy by minimising decision bumps – be ‘rigid’ in your offer, reduce choice and options, and offer structured path to purchase (cf. jam test)
  • Nudge 45: Nudge people to buy using FOMO – fear of missing out – by pointing out what they’ll lose if they don’t buy
  • Nudge 46: Nudge people to buy by giving people physical space to choose (like wider aisles, bigger rooms…) – space gives confidence in our ability to make a good choice
  • Nudge 47: Nudge people by pointing out downsides of not buying or of buying an alternative. Contrary to popular belief, negative arguments and information can be more memorable and persuasive than positives ones
  • Nudge 48: Nudge people to buy by showing your product not be problem-free – but ‘problem-freed’; if something does go wrong, you’re there to take care of it
  • Nudge 49: Nudge people to buy with ‘just-in’ information; it’s more compelling. If that’s not possible, make the source of information as specific (who, when, where) as possible – as specificity lends to credibility
  • Nudge 50: Nudge people to buy with smiles and laughter – making someone smile and laugh induces trust.


The Small BIG (speed summary) – 20 Psychological Nudges to get People to Buy

small big

Here are 20 psychological nudges to get people to buy from ‘The small BIG – Small Changes that Spark Big Influence’, the new book on marketing persuasion by Persuasion Science rockstars psychologists Robert Cialdini and Noah Goldstein, and Steve Martin.

The small BIG a kind of Nudge meets Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion covering 50 small psychological nudges – drawn from psychological and behavioural science – that can make a big change the persuasive effectiveness of your marketing (or whatever/whoever you are trying to influence).

Many of the psychological nudges are built around Cialdini’s 6 universal persuasion principles (authority, social proof, scarcity, consistency, liking, reciprocity) and are based on the now-dominant idea that our minds have two systems for thinking and solving problems; (system) one – fast, intuitive and mostly unconscious, and (system) two – slow, reasoned and deliberate.

Most people spend most of the time using System 1, only hauling System 2 out to ponder when we absolutely have to. The psychological nudges covered in ‘The small Big’ involve presenting information in a way that fits the automatic biases and rules (heuristics) that make up our System 1 minds.

Here’s the first 20 psychological nudges for your delight and delectation – next week we’ll cover the remaining 30

  • Nudge 1: Nudge people to buy/pay using social proof by telling them about the large number of people who have already bought/paid (UK tax authority HMRC used this to boost payment from late-payers from 57% to 86%)
  • Nudge 2: Nudge people to adopt a new product (go against the crowd/convention) using negative competitor-user imagery by pairing crowd/convention behaviour with unpopular/undesirable people/groups
  • Nudge 3: Nudge people to buy by talking about the costs or benefits of deviating from the norm  (e.g. if buying is the/their norm, then highlight the costs of not buying (deviating from norm), but if buying is not the norm, highlight the benefits of buying (deviating from the norm)
  • Nudge 4: Nudge people to buy a new product (and thereby violate a social norm) using active social proof by showing others actively buying (or in the case of pro-social behaviour, if the social norm is to drop litter, show others picking up litter)
  • Nudge 5: Nudge people to pay attention by using their first name; first name cues our attention (cocktail party phenomenon – from the background din of chatter, you notice when someone uses your name)
  • Nudge 6: Nudge people towards buying by focusing both on how they have similar traits to other buyers and that they are dissimilar to non-buyers (focus on uncommon commonalities)
  • Nudge 7: Nudge people to spot marketing opportunities by pairing them with a fresh set of eyes (familiarity leads to opportunity-blindness)
  • Nudge 8: Nudge people to buy by first securing an active (and public) pre-sales commitment (e.g. sign up for information – for instance missed appointments dropped by 25% when patients filled in an appointment card themselves)
  • Nudge 9: Nudge people indirectly in small steps, by first encouraging them to engage (publicly if possible) in a low-cost activity consistent with buying, and then using further cues to trigger purchase.
  • Nudge 10: Nudge people to buy ‘sinful/guilty’ products by providing them with a way to offset the guilt and ‘licence’ the behaviour (e.g. placing recycling bins in a room will encourage wasteful behaviour)
  • Nudge 11: Nudge people using stories that illustrate the positive ’significance’ of purchase on others – rather than personal benefit.
  • Nudge 12: Nudge people by linking the desired behaviour (e.g. buying) to that of someone they know, whilst linking non-compliance (not buying) to losing (not losing is often a greater motivator than winning)
  • Nudge 13: Nudge people to buy with ‘implementation intentions’ by getting them to predict purchase as likely – and encouraging them to specify the details (when, where etc)
  • Nudge 14: Nudge people to buy with ‘future lock-in’ by inviting them to commit to buying in the future (e.g. subscriptions)
  • Nudge 15: Nudge people to buy now because they owe it to their future selves (moral responsibility to one’s future self)
  • Nudge 16: Nudge people to buy by framing the benefits of purchase as an attainable challenge. We are motivated by challenges, but only when we see them as attainable (5 a day fresh produce recommendation would work better if it was framed as a more attainable 4-6)
  • Nudge 17: Nudge people to buy by first framing their options as a choice between two purchases, and then pointing our what they stand to lose if they don’t choose the option you want them to take (AKA ‘Enhanced Active Choice’)
  • Nudge 18:Nudge people with deadlines – an offer of just a few days will yield more purchases than a more flexible offer with a long expiry date
  • Nudge 19: Nudge people to stay waiting in line/on hold rather than quit using distraction techniques – like Disney queues, give them something entertaining to distract their attention and feeling they are wasting/losing time
  • Nudge 20: Nudge people to buy using ‘preference for potential’ – the way we find future potential to be more compelling than past track record (people preferred a Facebook clip suggesting an artist could become the Next Big Thing, over the same clip suggesting the artist was currently The Next Big Thing’





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