Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 years ago

11) #ExponentialInsights: If You Weren’t Already Thinking About Mindstates, You Should Now w/ Will Leach

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Financial brands tend to try to appeal to logic in their marketing. 

I get it, money is a huge practical concern, so it makes sense.

But in reality, there is nothing more emotional. If your marketing doesn’t consider that, then you need to learn more about mindstates.

And there’s no better teacher than my latest guest, Will Leach, CEO of TriggerPoint Design, a behavioral research and design consultancy. 

His book, “Marketing to Mindstates,” lays out the case for why you need to apply behavior design to research and marketing if you want to thrive in today’s complex world. 

Will went over:

-Why today’s marketing landscape is all about context

-How mindstates have shifted under COVID-19

-How financial brands can directly employ mindstates in their strategy

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

And what you find out, especially in the last decade, is that we are influenced by contexts. We all have attitudes, we have beliefs. I've my own belief system, James and Robert, you have yours. We all have attitudes and preferences, things like that. We've known this for a long time. What a mind state is are these moments when context, like the current context were all in right now, from a global perspective, where context influences our attitudes, are beliefs. You are listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series, where James Robert Interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Lay, and welcome to another episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome my friend will leach to the show. Hello will, Hello James Robert, thank you for having me. I appreciate you well. You know, you are the best selling author of marketing to mind states and you're the founder in the CEO, of trigger point, which is a behavioral research and Design Consultancy Mind States. It's exactly what I believe every financial brand marketing team sells, team leadership team should be thinking about right now, in this time of chaos, confusion and crisis. Can you just help frame up what are these mind states in the first place? For some just general context. Yeah, here's the idea. You know. So for the last twenty years I've studied human behavior and the psychology of messaging and what you...

...find out, especially in the last decade, is that we are influenced by context. We all have attitudes, we have beliefs. I've my own belief system, James and Robert, you have yours. We all have attitudes and preferences, things like that. We've known this for a long time. What a mind state is are these moments when context, like the current context were all in right now, from a global perspective or context influences are attitudes, our beliefs, our values, things like that. So a mind state takes into consideration these moments and these moments can last anywhere in between a couple of minutes to where I think these moments going to last for a couple of months, given the new environment with political and biological and financial markets. So specifically mind state are these temporary moments of emotional arousal. And when you have emotional also you're much more susceptible to emotional decisionmaking, and so it's kind of like the Holy Grail, if you're in marketing, of understanding why emotional marketing works. It's because you're tapping into a psychological mind state. If you don't know the mind state, you know a much better way of engaging with consumers. I love that perspective because it's very closely aligned with what we teach here at the Digital Growth Institute. People want three things in life. They want to feel healthy, they want to feel wealthy and they want to feel just good about life in general. Where I find the challenges for many financial brand marketing cells and leadership teams is that they're really driven by not the emotive but more of the logical thinking. And it makes sense when you're handling people's money, you want to be logical, you want to be rational. So that creates some gap and that creates some tension, particularly with the way that financial brands go to market and communicate emotion. What would your recommendation there? I would just first off say that there is nothing more emotional in this world. Well, very few things are more emotional than money, because money provides us the...

...ability to provide Nurturans to our families, to provide protection to our families, to provide esteem to our families. So not to say that that money cannot be functional in nature, because yes, we have budgets, we have to live by, we are trying to grow money, but there is deep, deep, deep emotion that money provides. So first thing I would tell anybody is that if you're in the financial service of space, you need to elevate your thinking above and beyond just the rational desires to people have to earn more money. But what is the emotional benefits of having more money? And I'm telling you, motivational psychology gives you a lot of great understanding of how to use money in a way that benefits you in highly, highly emotional ways. Like I said Pipe, providing for your family, providing protection, etc. Yeah, I know this. You know sometimes puts people off, but I think it's the more honest conversations that we have and lean into those hard conversations, the more that we can make progress as a society. Like the idea of poverty. A lot of the research that we've done is poverty and people who struggle with budgets. It is a mindset to a degree, but it's it's also somewhat environmental, which can be tied back to mindset. People, necessary, don't necessarily have a savings problem. I find people have more of a spending problem and you know the way that they make these decisions. Right. I would agree with you. I think the first thing I think about as it relates to understanding the emotions and helping people make the emotions of people making financial decisions, but also understanding how to help people make better financial decisions, is understanding goal theory, which in my book it's laid out one of the chapters. But this idea of understanding people's goals and if I understood not those easy, easy couples. I want to save money, I want to make more money. That's easy stuff. It's more the emotional purpose behind those goals, like we just said. If we can ladder up to that, I'm telling you there is a large we can provide great benefit to society if we could just help people understand their true goals for money, and it's not to save more money or to make more money. There's something much more powerful...

...than that, and you will get to that goal by saving money or making more money. Yeah, it's like reaching your full potential. In I'm seeing a lot of that. If we're going to pull context, and I love your point of context, I speak and talk and write and teach a lot about context and content. You got to overlay the two in contextually with the environment and the way that we're seeing things right now. You know this volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous time that you've written about. What are the three things that people are looking for and how? And how is that different than what it would have been, say, if we're having this conversation, you know, in two thousand and nineteen. Yeah, it's an amazing evolution in our market has taken place in the last two weeks and so my company studies brands and Financial Services, consumer package goods, restaurants, pharmaceuticals. So I see lots of different mind states, necessarily broad. Mindset's very broad, and so when I typically do a piece of research for a client, I find that there is one or two mind states out of we have a total of eighteen that we talked about in the book that a category is really driven by. And so what I'll tell my clients I'll say, listen, once you do this piece of research, you're good. You don't have to change, because categories don't tend to change dramatically, so that you can use this piece of research for years. Yep, that all changed two weeks ago, because now what we're seeing in all of our research, regardless of category, and we've done stuff and travel, we've done stuff with pet food, we've done stuff with retail all the last three weeks, that now there are three overall kind of strong goals that everybody has, regardless of what decision you're making, what category you're in, etc. And so I started about a week ago saying everybody, things just change. Your segmentation is now dated, your your brand story can now be tweaked because everybody feels these three things, and three things are people are seeking so much uncertainty in the market place right now...

...across are we going to have a job? Am I going to get sick? What's gonna Happen in politics? Do I know? How do I protect my family? That? I'm telling you that there are three things across everything that we're saying, and the first one is to feel safe. And they're not in rest necessarily in order, but safety is a very strong goal that we all have and people are very worried about safe, whether it's financial safety or it's just physical safety. Security. That security. Right after that is control. People don't feeling your control, yea of their situation, and so people desire control in any category. And then, lastly, release. We're finding is that these moments of release, we call them, kind of in the consumer package good space will say things like people want to relax and unwine because there's so much uncertainty in the news at our jobs that you want moments to just tune out all that and just get a release that emotional yes, those three things are across any category. I'm seeing a category yet that doesn't need to play in one of those three things. So we've got safety, security, we've got a sense of agency or control, in the need to release or just relax, kind of escape the complexity, escape the confusion, and everything's going to be okay, and a lot of I see this fear. Fear is playing tremendously into this narrative and when people are fearful, people don't necessarily make the best choices or make the best decisions. What are the opportunities for financial brands to help people overcome the fear, whether it be real or just simply perceived? Yeah, so I think it kind of depends on where you are or where your customer is in kind of they're in their financial journey. Yes, so we've done some research with a couple of institutions and we've seen that there is a pattern in mind states. Now, this is all pre right, corona, but I don't know how much is going to change, to be honest with you, because these the these these mind states...

...kind of fit into what I just talked about. The is are for security, control and release. So what we've seen is people who are new to money. Let's just say you're sixteen years old and you're just getting your first paycheck and you go all the way through college and maybe you're just starting out in your career. People desire to feel safe, that they're not spending their money or being, how do I being screwed a special good thing. Games are recourse, but they're scared that I'm am I spending my mind money wisely? Am I being am I'm overpaying for things, I have to live on a budget, etc. So I would say that for people new in their money and they don't feel very competent yet, they haven't just had a lot of money exposure, two investments yet right, I would I would say to anybody who serving that client and customer, you're safe in our hands. We're not going to let you make a big mistake. So you're going to prevent them from making a big mistake. We call that cautious security. So the the solution there, if I may, is a financial brand might be able to communicate. We're going to guide you, we're going to teach you, we're going to coach you every step of the way. You don't have to do this by yourself. I would especially say the first one. Now, when you say guide and coach, that is the next stage. So you're getting into the next stage. That's called cautious. We call it cautious competence. As you get a little bit of background with running maybe your own budget, you starting you're starting to buy slightly higher products, slightly more expensive products. Sorry, then some desire more competence. That's where I think if you were to look at somebody's net port or the portfolio do, you would look at them say, okay, this person feels like this. There will be some that want that guidance. But the early stage people are can just going, I want to know that you're protecting me, your security systems are in place, that you're not going to allow volatility to hurt me to a point where I can, I can cause harm to me or my family. Then you go into competence. It's interesting that we're talking about that idea of competence because some of the research that we've been digging into as of late, before all of this coronavirus, was around financial education, of financial literacy, and...

...how that could actually be hurting more people and harming more people because it gives them a fall a false sense of I know this stuff, but in reality it's so complex, and that's where that idea of coaching and at that next level, that next stage for people who want to level up. I really like that. Continue, please. So then after that you find that when you get into middle management. So let's just talk about maybe you're starting a family, you're starting to get like maybe benefits. I'm sorry not, but if it's bonuses, it's into the year, et CETERA. You'll start seeing that people want to maximize gains. They want to maximize their return on their investments in the stock market, into real estate. That's when they start making their first real investments. That is when we start talking about we call optimistic achievement, and that's the person who desires to maximize their potential. We just kind of talked a bit about that. So you would message very differently to that person, because this person isn't so scared that they're going to make a big mistake. They're more about, okay, I've been in it for a while. They may be in the mid S. I want to know I have a limited window of earning power where I have to make the next thirty to forty years enough for me to provide for my family, maybe provide front parents and also provide for myself long term. They may be about maximizing their ability to gain gain gains are willing to take on more risk, etc. So, if I was again at those types of people, I would start thinking about positioning my my messaging or positioning my brand around maximizing your chance for greater returns. However, yes, now we're now in this new world where right now people main I'm not sure about the messaging right now for a middle manager, because they any thinking, am I gonna have a job? Middle Management's going to be hurts the middle class. And so now I'm if I was in that space, I may start talking and bringing more cautious more security, saying under this circumstances, next eighteen months, we're here for you and we're going to manage the volatility. We're going to manage to where you can still maximize your growth, but we're always going to be making sure you maintain what growth we were able to bring together. Does that make sense? Now? Makes Perfect Sense. And you know, one of one of my favorite...

...examples of a financial brand applying this is tropical financial out of Florida. They develop the program over the last year called get beyond money and it is a money coaching program and it was rooted in consumer research and insights. They tried to get this program off the ground two years in a row, but faltered and finally was I'm glad they kept pushing forward because they are position now, in this time of volatility, to help people get beyond money now, I think for them maybe, you know, coming back to that point of security, because here's something that you've written about that that we could could go down is the idea of promotion versus a focus on the preventative nature of communication. This is really going to be a big transformation, as we've kind of like danced around it. You gave a great example of a recommendation for chase in a recent linkedin article. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of banking on digital growth. It is a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to say financial brands, and it is packed full of actical, improven insights you can use to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. What you find in the literature? So I studied behavioral science and there's this...

...concept called regulatory theory, regulatory fit there. You don't worry about that for your for your listeners and anything. What they do really need to know is that we all approach our goals and wanted two ways. One way is called promotion, meaning that we are seeking to maximize gains. That's our strategy to reach our goal. So think about you are swing for the fences, and this mind state. You're going to swing for the fences. You'RE gonna look for brands, messages, strategies to tell me, if I want to reach this goal, whatever financial goal you have, my best way of reaching that is to find a company that will help me maximize my chances of successful reaching the goal. Swing for the fences, more innovation, etc. Then you have another group of people that will use a prevention mind state, and what they will do is they think the best way to reach their goals is to limit risk and they're going to look for brands, they're going to look for companies, messages, strategies that tell them if you go down this path, you are less likely to lose money. Same goal, right your but you are going to approach it in slightly different ways and it's a small change. So think about almost half glass, half empty, half glassful. People have a natural tendence, see, to move in one of the two directions and what we're seeing right now is because there's so much uncertainty in the market place that there is a strong shift for prevention. Like people want to get, want to maintain what they have. Yes, Um, it's been irrational at this point after two weeks, but you know what, I'm not so sure in another two weeks, for not all going to be thinking ourselves the same thing. So I think that companies need to start messaging, especially in this space right now, where there's so much volatility, so much uncertainty around prevention. Your job is to tell people if you choose me, you are less likely to experience risk or shock or anything that could mitigate your ability to reach your goals and I Gilly, I can tell you how many financial brands and...

...marketing team sells, teams, leadership teams. I've gone to battle with over this because you know, from what I see, sometimes the perspective behavior economics, people are more likely to take an action to avoid a loss than they might be to achieve a gain. And I think of like a headline, and particularly for a couple of clients that we've worked with. They have something called a quick savings quiz calculator that someone can can input. You Know How many credit cards they have, how many mortgages, how many auto loans, how many personal loans, and if they were to move their money to this new financial brand, this is how much money the financial brand could help and save. We've experimented with a B testing transitioning from take the quick savings quid to see how much you we might be able to help you save to take the quick savings quiz to see how much money we might be able to help you stop losing. When we went to the to the negative connotation, we actually saw more conversions. Yeah, so I did a study years ago, an experiment where I looked at coupon slightly different thing. But it's going to it's going to talk about the same idea. Coupons almost always say save a dollar, save a dollar, save a dollar, very prevention. What we found is it for new innovations for this one company. Rather than sayings save a dollar, we said get a dollar off, very small font on off, but get a dollar was the promotion way of talking about it and we saw a to x lift and coupon redemptions. I did nothing different except for change those words because it fit the natural path of what people wanted in that moment. Context matters, and so that's so so those small little things. I would tell anybody listening this. They're small changes in words. That's all it is. But it just feels natural in a time where we feel very uncertained with organizations and and what's happening in the world, things that feel natural intuitive are going to play out much better. It's going to cause lower anxiety and I think for me the biggest challenge for financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams is they're so busy doing all of this stuff they're stuck in the...

...trenches, they're inside the bottle and no harm no file to them, but those small little changes. If you're currently like just working and doing you don't take time to stop, pause, think, reevaluate, it's going to be very hard to make. But this the small, incremental changes that can have exponential results for a long, long period of time and I think this is one of the easiest changes you just talked about in it when I go out I speak about this topic. The promotion prevention is the easiest thing you can do and most people find it's one of the most valuable things. You can do that tomorrow, right and then and then just you abe be testing into it. So it's the easiest, fastest way. Don't try to figure out people's motivations, don't try to just do some of these experiments like that, and I think you can get to a really, really nice place. I want to shift the conversation slightly because we've been talking about a lot of like external communication, another area of opportunity that I see, like with with the work you're doing, marketing to mind. States can practically apply internally culturally for team members, because we have to remember too, there's a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity going on. Am I going to have a job? You know, are we going to be here the next twelve to eighteen months? How can A and we'll just call it the leadership team, take ownership of some of this communication to come the nerves, reduce the anxiety internally? Yeah, I think you're right. Like you know, the book is called marketing to mind states, but it's a book about human behavior, and so you'll ruin you read it where I talk about how I use this to get my Sunday vegetables right. It's a human behavior book, but I come from a world of marketing. So if you just louder the same ideas to internal communications, you're right, you can. I will tell you every study. I'm doing it because these are humans studies. We're seeing the same desires. Everybody right now in your organization feels the desire to I just want to know that I'm safe. Like, am I physically safe in this work environment? Are they cleaning the environment enough? But also financially, am I? Am I going...

...to be laid off? What kind of severance package am I going to get if I do get laid off? Am I going to have to take a salary dip? Right? So safety providing some sense of control, because they don't feel like they're in control, and I would tell you there is safety in environments that you're familiar with and control. So it sounds funny, but just providing a schedule and things that people should do on a day, your employees should do on a daily basis, provides a sense of control. Like that they can control their their environment. So having weekly meetings, maintaining weekly meetings, matters in this point, even if you don't really know what to say. I had one on Friday and I didn't really know what to say on Friday, but I had it. Why? Because there's consistency and when I feel like my boss is giving you consistency of a meeting, I feel like there's some control. And then last one is release. If you can do anything in your office to allow you were seeing lots of virtual happy hours between employees right now, since we're all working remotely. Those things, giving some levity and some smiles helps them feel better. It about their office and they're going to bring that to their home, right because then the home and there's a lot of anxiety to so do that for your employees so they can bring that energy into their homes and will all be better off. Man. So much practicality right there, both internally and externally. I think of some of the conversations that I've had with in the last few weeks. Is like, for example, if you're not using zoom internally, start using zoom. You and I were facetoface. We got on the calls like I feel like I've done you forever and we had a couple of conversations, but this is our first time seeing each other. But there's that human connection. Was that? Ninety three percent of communication is non auditory. Yeah, it's visual, and so we got a lot going on right here. So if you're not doing I've wrote an article like why do this now? The same thing for your account holders, like weekly, like like weekly fireside chats on facebook live, even if you like, you just like get some questions that are coming in from your call center, apply those, answer them, because you have to communicate courage. Courage, just like the virus, is contagious. Yeah,...

I love that idea. And even just having office hours where you're online and maybe you'll get two people for your clients show up, or maybe you'll get seventeen or eating. So I just heard the story where this guy decided it had went up through a financial service. As you said, I have twenty clients. I'm just going to say I'm going to be online on zoom at eleven o'clock and I'm just here for you. He didn't put in a gender right. Yeah, I said seventeen out of twenty people got together and they first just kind of these are CEOS and one of them is dealing with you's gonna have to lay off eighty percent of a staff. Yelp, he he just found so much. So he gets on the phone called Zoom. They're all zooming. They've never met each other, but there's this relationship, there's humanness right now, because we all are going through this for the first time. And and he said that now they all just want to meet, have open office hours and you don't done genda to say I'm here for you. How can we and if I don't know the answer, let's just talk about that. We don't know the answer, but let's go figure something out. And he said it was. It was wonderful because there's a human connection that we're all looking for. If you're not making face too bakes connection right now with your employees or your clients, you're behind because we're all doing it now, and that's why video and to your point of release right. Another practical thing that I've made recommendations around is, like, like in any clide, it's could work with your clients, Netflix Watch parties. Because one because now like community, we're human beings. We're not meant to live in isolation like we're all being forced to do, which in some projections could be for the next six to twelve, eighteen months. We have to figure out ways that we can bring people together for a common purpose, a common enjoyment, common pleasure. So really, really good stuff. Thank you. Thank you for for the just all the practicality that I think is so relevant right now. Let's look forward. Let's look ahead over the next twelve to eighteen, twenty four months. I'm a financial brand marketing leader, I'm a selves leader. What can I do, what can I apply now that will help my...

...financial brand help others during this time? Yeah, you know, I'll do my best and I think we're all trying to, you know, think about what's going to happen in the future. I will look at it from a behavioral psychology perspectives, which is kind of my skill, and the way I'm going to think about my business. So for the next six months, to basically all of two thousand and twenty in my head, I'm going to focus on my ability to provide people a feeling of just we we've talked about all day long today, safety, control and release. Now I may not be able to lean heavily on release because my company doesn't do that well. I can't provide people greater control and I could do things with and I think I think about the things I can do is I can give my clients more options, because options when people can make selections and and they have they have different selections, they feel like they're in more control. So I'm not going to tell my clients here's your one path, I'm going to give them two to three, two two options, like one path is just a mandate. Two paths is a decision, three are choices. So I'm going to try to give anything I could do give you options, because you get greater control. So that's what I'm going to do for first twelve months, is basically how can I make my clients feel safer, more in control and give a moments of release? Second thing when I'm thinking about is what's going to happen is we're going to find a new normal. We just all our human behavior. We always right now we're on the tails, right, we're doing things that we're not necessarily rational, and sometimes those are our benefit and sometimes those are tour detriment, and there's nothing, I think a lot of companies can do right now. People. But here's a great example. Twitter right now has the highest number of views that they've ever had, like if they're going up forty percent this past week. Yet brands are pulling advertising away from twitter. That's not rational, right. They just make does make any sense, right? That's where we live in. So those are the tails. That's going to happen. I think it is the random remainder of this year. Then I'm thinking for the next twenty to twenty one, two thousand and twenty one, we're going to start kind of finding a normal a normalcy, and that normalcy is we're not going to go back to the way it was. We're...

...not going back there, guys, there's two of what. Here's one. One of the first things going to happen, I'll tell you, is that a lot of corporations are going to get used to the idea of saying, you know what, why do we need these big buildings? Like we were actually okay with working from home, or other companies say, why do we need to travel? Have travel budgets. We can do a Webinar just like this. Why do I have to travel to Seattle? So I think we're never going to get back to that old thing, but we're going to find normalcy because humans we adapt. We adapt what we always especially the younger you are, the more likely you are to adapt. And then, I think probably in two thousand and twenty two. Sounds funny, but there will be a point where there will be the new reality will set in, will renormalize, and what I think what you should do, if you're any kind of business owner, is trying to map out in this middle when we come back, kind of this middle, you know, next eighteen months, finding little pockets of what we believe the new normal will be, that it's going to happen twelve months later. Yeah, that's all focused on right now. I'm not focus on how people behaving because it's very, very different. So I'm not I'm not encouraging anybody do marketing research and that's my job. I think next couple of months not going to touch it. I'm going to wait for some new normalcy and then figure out pockets, because the world is going to change. Two Thousand and twenty two is not going to be the same thing as two thousand and nineteen. Not a chance. Now I'm in a hundred percent agreement. It's actually interesting you mentioned the idea of adaptability, because that's that's actually a measurement that we take when working with the financial brand and their marketing team, their cells team. there. What is Your Aq? What's your adaptability quotient to be able to handle change at an exponential pace? Listen, will anyone who's listening? They want to get in touch with you. They have more questions, they just want to say hi. What's the best way for them to do that? Sure, Linkedin is still one of my go to mechanisms get hold of anybody. So it's will leach linkedin. I'll also I post most my videos, most of my content there. I'm also writer for Forbes. You can find me on Forbes and expect. We're coming out with the brand new set of resources of mind state GROUPCOM in May.

It's not ready now, but that's where we're going to start. Housing lots of free content, access to the book, access to videos, access to courses and things like that, just to provide greater competence in understanding how to apply all this behavioral psychology into any business. That that is a listening out there today. I love it. I love you're going to provide clarity. I'll love you're going to provide focus. All of you going to provide a clear path forward for people in this time of of chaos. So thank you so much for joining me for this conversation. Well, it's been a pleasure on this episode of making on digital growth. My pleasure, Pretiia. Until next time, be well, Doo good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on Itunes, stitcher or spotify, and subscribe while you're there to get even more practical, improven insights that can guide you in your financial brand along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of James Robert's upcoming book banking on Digital Growth, a strategic marketing manifesto to save financial brands. Inside you'll find a strategic blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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