Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 months ago

225) #ExponentialInsights: Unlocking the Brain: Behavioral Science in Marketing


The concept of applying behavioral science in marketing may sound sinister to the uninitiated. But, like any other marketing strategy, it can be used as a force for good.

It’s human nature to make emotional decisions. With behavioral science, we can guide consumers into making choices that are right for them. 

Nancy Harhut (, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at HBT Marketing ( and author of Using Behavioral Science in Marketing, tells us how behavioral science can revolutionize marketing for the better.

Join us as we discuss:

The basics behind behavioral science and its uses in marketing (3:26)

How the loss aversion theory and endowment affect consumers (11:00)

The power of the “urgency and scarcity” implications (24:35)

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Twitter @nharhut

- HBT Marketing

- Using Behavioral Sciences in Marketing (

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

A little well placed loss a version can go a long way, because behavioral scientists to find that people are actually twice as motivated to avoid the pain of loss as they are to achieve the pleasure of gain. If we use some behavioral science, we can use it to increase the likelihood people pay attention, increase the likelihood they follow through, and what we're asking what to do is follow through on something that's going to benefit them. You're 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 Lay 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 then, hello, I am James Robert Lay, and welcome to episode tow of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Nancy Har to the show. Nancy is the CO founder and chief creative officer at HBT marketing and her specialty is blending the best of breed creative with decisions science to prompt response. Nancy also has a brand new book using Behavior Science and marketing, which is exactly what we are going to be talking about today. Welcome to the show, Nancy. It is good to share time with you. Thank you very much. I'm very happy to be here. Before we get into talking your new book using Behavioral Science and Marketing, what's good for you right now? Personally, professionally, it's it's your pick to get started, as always. Well, thank you very much. Professionally, one of our clients, Fintech, just let us know that the campaign that we created for them is their new control so cannot argue with that. Very happy. They're a relatively new client, or though the client contact was our client when he was at another place and then he kind of switched jobs and brought us with him, which is always good, but very happy to know that we hit the ground running for him. And then, personally, I you know, I've written the book using Behabal Science and Marketing and it debuted is the number one new release in business marketing and when I checked this morning, a couple of days, you know, about two weeks actually later, it's still there. So I'm very happy about that. That's kind of a personal best. It really is, and I know how good that feels to package all of your thinking and your expertise up into a book as a fellow author and then to share all of that knowledge with the world to help other people on their own journeys of growth. Um, I always like to start off when talking with authors why? Why take the time to write the book in the first place? Because I know the amount of time, I know the heavy lift it takes to get to this point. But what's your why? Why? Why do this and why now? The short answer is a publisher said, are you interested in sending us a proposal, and that's what kind of kick started me. The the longer answer is I really believe in this and I've seen how effective using behical science and marketing is. I use it for my clients. I've seen the results and so I can only take on so many clients right, but I I, you know, use it for them. I speak at conferences, so you know I spread the word there and people will come up to me like a year or two later and say I saw you speak. I, you know, took a bunch of notes, I used those techniques. They're working. You know, I tested that it worked. Um. So the opportunity to do a book was really the opportunity to to kind of UH, share the wealth, if you will, with with more people than I'd be able to to reach just, you know, in terms of clients or in terms of conferences. The idea of using beheical science in marketing is incredibly effective and you know, why not let as many people as possible know about it? I feel like there's such a tremendous opportunity here for financial brands, for fintechs, for banks, for credit unions, to use behavioral science... marketing. The title of Your Book Really Well Done. First and foremost for the dear listener. They might have heard about it, they might have read about it. What is behavioral marketing? Exactly, our behavioral science in marketing? Exactly? Sure, sure, so, Um, you know, you hear behavioral scienceings and go, Oh, is this going to be? You know, test tubes of white coats and where is this? Where is this going? Right? And very simply, it's the study of how people behave and, more specifically, it's the study of how people make decisions. and bail scientists have spent a lot of time and effort studying how people make decisions, and what they found is all of us, men, women, Young, old, rich, poor, very educated, not as educated. B Two B, Environment, B two C, environment, all of us rely on decision making shortcuts, and these decision making shortcuts are are ways for us to conserve mental energy, because we couldn't possibly weigh every bit of information before making a decision, and we never get around making any. So we've developed these hard wored behaviors. We cruise along through life on autopilot. We encounter a certain situation and we default to these hard wired behaviors. So once you know, now that we know this, we might as well use it. If if marketers can kind of get out ahead of this and realize that certain things are going to prompt someone to do one thing or another, well then let's use those certain things. If somebody is more likely to choose the middle option, then let's make sure that the middle option is the one we want them to choose. Right UH, and that's a simple example, but it's really just it's it's understanding how people make decisions, a decision to faults they rely on, and then using that to a marketer's advantage. I like the idea of defaulting to a middle option. And you know, we can, you know, take the conversation here and in a bid around more of the practical uses of Behavioral Science in Marketing Uh and my mind just immediately jumped to anchoring and adjusting uh in a in a pricing structure. And you see that even from from a restaurant view and how they know position wine and menu items. But when it comes to financial services, when it comes to banks, when it comes to credit unions, what is it that might either a beholding them back now from applying this thinking or be what could hold them back from going forward? They know it, they philosophically get it, but there's a mental block that they just don't apply that through their through their marketing, communication, collateral material, et CETERA. Yeah, well, I think there could be a few reasons. I mean, you know, for some people you hear pavial science and like what even is that? I don't know, you know, and sometimes it's you know, I've heard of it. I think it works but, but it's hard to, you know, to change things. You know, this is the way it's always been done and it's just really difficult sometimes to introduce something new. A lot of times, I think, particularly financial services, people think, given the vertical we have to be a little bit more serious, we have to play things a little bit safer. And, you know, maybe we don't want to uh, you know, we don't want to introduce anything new. So it could be of a variety of reasons. But the truth is you can begin to test your way in and, uh, you know, you'll start to see the results, assuming they're going to be good. But you know, but you will. You'll start to see results one way or another and you'll know, okay, is this is this for me? Are We, you know, is this something where we should be embracing testing and gaining the insight the results? How much does the does the scientific method play into an approach framed around using behavioral science in marketing? So, you know, I'm not a scientist by you know, by trade. I'm a copyright or a creative person, but I grew up in the direct response world. So we were constantly testing, whether it's direct mail, whether it's email, um, so for us, uh, you know, getting that response and getting it quickly was really, really very important. And so beareful. Science is almost tailor made for for people like me who, you know, who kind of grew up with that,... gonna help them get decisions and we're going to find out. So, uh, you know, typically what we do with our clients is we would have I mean we would even if behavioral science didn't exist. We would be doing tests anyway. We'd say right, here's, you know, concept day and concept B. Let's do a you know, a pilot. We'll see which one is doing better and then we'll roll it out. So, Um, I think with behavioral science the same thing applies. On one level, you know, try it out, see if it's going to move the needle of the way you want. But then on another level, you know, often what we're doing with our clients is will identify, uh, you know, here's the the biggest barrier to people doing what it is you want them to do. You know, opening a checking account, you know, uh, saving money in an I R R, you know, whatever it turns out to be. Here's the you know, the thing, the biggest barriers stopping them. Here are some arguments we can use to overcome that barrier, and here's where the behavioral science plays, you know. And and there might be two, three four different behevil science tactics or principles that we think could actually work, and so you test those to figure out, all right, which is going to do best for this particular audience in this particular product. Right, and you start off the book, and this kind of comes back to, you know, just thinking about change and transformation. You start off the book by talking about the UH, the emotional and the creative elements in decision making, which is why I believe that this is such an important read for financial brand leaders who, it tend to view the world from a rational perspective. Money, on the other hand, extremely emotional. Where might there be an opportunity to empower the mind, maybe even transform the mind of the rational leader to think, view, dare I even say feel, more from an emotional perspective because, as you note in the book, people make decisions based upon emotional reasons, even if they're very smart people. So well, you're absolutely right. There's a researcher named Antonio Dum CEO, and he studied people who had sustained, uh, injury to the part of their brain that controlled emotion, and what he found was these people were virtually incapable of making a decision, even a really simple decision, like what would you like for lunch day? They would go around and around, back and forth, they couldn't land. And what he found was, you know, in order for people to make decisions, they have to be able to access the emotional parts of their brain. So what does that mean to us as marketer as well? It means that our marketing does need, you know, rational reasons, but it also needs the emotional ones, because basically what's happening is people are making the decision for an emotional reason and then there later justifying it to themselves or to other people with the rational reasons. So what we want to do as marketers is we want to introduce both. You know, we we want to understand that, yes, money is very serious, yes, people should be making considered decisions about it, but on the other hand, people are very emotional. UH, they don't always make the best decisions about their their money, Um, and we want to help them make better decisions and in order to help them make better decisions. We want to try to guide them in the right way and in order to do that we can use some behavioral science. We can we can use what science has proven about behavior in order to influence it. Digital growth is a journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone, because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs who are all learning, collaborating and growing together. VISIT DIGITAL GROWTH DOT com slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show. I want to get really practical just for a bit and then take the practicality and then see how this might have been applied within a case study or an example to make it even that much more real for the dear listener through some of the work that you've been doing in the space ace and and it can be anonymized,...

...but but first you know, when when I think about the book and was reading through, there's been many times Um as a digital anthropologist myself, of studying, reviewing, analyzing marketing communication, I see a lot of framing for financial brands encouraging people to save money. So, for example, refire your auto loan with us to save money. But we know that people are more likely to take action to avoid a loss than they are to achieve a gain. And so, with that perspective, where, where are the opportunities for financial brands and fin techs to convey, as you write, customer benefits through loss of version theory and the endowment effect? What does that mean? Sure, so. So this idea of loss of version is, it's going to sound a little counterintuitive to marketers, because in marketing, what do we do? We talk about benefits, we talk about gains, we talk about advantages, we talk about all the wonderful things that will have. But if you just do what I'm asking you to do right just, you know, give me some money, open an account whatever, you know, take out a loan, and we know that benefits work, you know. Don't don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should walk away from them, but a little well placed loss of version can go a long way, because behavioral scientists have found that people are actually twice as motivated to avoid the pain of loss as they are to achieve the pleasure of gain. So what that means is maybe sometimes, instead of saying, you know, take advantage of this great opportunity, we say don't miss this great opportunity. Maybe it means instead of saying you're going to be able to save, you say you're going to have to pay more if you wait, you know, lock in this right now, it's going to go up tomorrow. You'll be paying more tomorrow. So again, we don't want to walk away from the benefits, but a little well placed loss of version can be very, very powerful because people are hardwired to avoid those losses. It goes, you know, way way back to you know, it's it's in our DNA. Goes way back to our ancestors where, uh, you know, we we learned some of these things and you know, back then they would keep us alive, these things that we learned, and now they kind of help us get through the day, you know, conserve a little mental, mental energy. But but loss of version can be very, very powerful. The idea of the endowment effect is this, this notion that we place greater value on things that we own. So, uh, if somebody wants to get something, well, obviously they value with that's that's why they want to get it. But once it's there's they place even more value on it and they're even more reluctant to part with it. So if you can make somebody feel ownership by, you know, giving them a free trial or a free sample or by describing something so vividly that people can begin to imagine how they would really, you know, enjoy using it, how they would really benefit from having it, that can be very, very powerful. Because then if you say well, you know, we're gonna be removing this, we're gonna be taking this away, people will react against it and say, Oh, I don't know, I want that. You can't, you can't act take that away from me. That's mine. So Um. So it's kind of a you know, a one two punch with the idea of loss of version in the endowment. Effect, you know, make people feel some ownership and then you know, when they feel the threat of losing something, they'll respond by by trying to hang onto it. It's like you can't take this away for me, because it's become the new norm and kind of like their mental pathway and they want to even that much more. I can't help but think of UH, maybe, and maybe we can just riff on this for a little bit and create something in real time, because I enjoy doing this on the podcast. But I know a lot of financial brands try to activate ratings or reviews or referrals. Where might there be an opportunity to apply the endowment effect here to where it's almost like you take something away from someone to encourage them? I would say maybe from a referral standpoint, it's almost like we're gonna, we're gonna gift you this, but if you do maybe we'll maybe, we'll go ahead and deposit into your account and if you make a referral, you keep it, but if you don't take any action, we're gonna take that away from you. I don't know, it's just kind of something I'm thinking about in real time right here. Yeah, well, I mean that's that is perfect example of the...

...endowment effect. It's like you have it and now you're gonna have to do something in order to not lose it, whether or not you know regulations would allow us to do. Course, of course, very different story, you know. But but you know, think about even you know, the different tiers of service that people, you know, that the bank would offer, the financial institution of Credit Union would offer, you know, as you're discussing them with your with your prospective client, or as your creating your marketing materials. You know, you describe that top level one and there's all this great stuff that comes with it, and then there's, you know, the next level down and it's like, Oh wait, I don't get the safety deposit box with this one, but I had already been thinking about all the important stuff I was going to be able to stash in there and how great that was going to be. And you know, so there were, I think there are ways to to use it that way, you know, where, you know, you start to describe something, people start to mentally own it and realize how they're going to use it and benefit from it, and then it's like, you know, and you know, there's I don't know, maybe there's this monthly fee that comes with it and if you don't want to pay that monthly fee, what we can get you one that doesn't have a monthly fee, but you're not going to get the you know, the quarter from percentage point off on your next loan or you're not going to get the free safety deposit box, and sometimes that can be enough to make people say I don't I don't want to lose that. And I think it's a very important point to make because as as I'm visiting this, in my mind's eye I think about a checking account page, for example. Um and a lot of times the checking account page the way that it is traditionally framed, it goes from left to right, and so the most basic product on the on the left to the most advanced product on the right. But knowing how people read from left to right and knowing anchoring and adjusting, can you, can you discuss why possibly flipping those around, tying back in the point of of even putting the most ideal of the option that we're trying to get people into, the most into the middle? What's what's the philosophy and even the psychology behind how even we display communication anchors a something in a person's a lot of times we don't really know the absolute value of something. I mean you know, maybe if it's something we buy every day, day in and day out, you know, but but for the most part we don't know what the absolute value of something is. So what we do is we look at the relative value. And so what that means is we compare things. So the first bit of information we get, you know, whether it's a price point or or something else, but that becomes our anchor. And then what we do is we evaluate everything else against it. You know. So Uh, if you know the first price we encounter is is x, and then we you know, we look at why is? Why better or worse than x? And, you know, everything x becomes our anchor. That first price becomes our anchor. So if we're going to offer perhaps three different choices, if we start with our least expensive option, maybe the free option, and then we have to got to push people uphill. You know, you can have this fors for free or for ten dollars a month. You for for twenty and you're like, because that becomes a big difference. But if you start with the here it is for twenty dollars a month, uh, and then you look at the ten dollars a month, that ten dollars, someone looks a whole lot better than the you know, than the twenty dollars. So some people will go for the twenty because they don't you know, they want the full complement of services. But a lot of people will take that next step down because it's a lot easier. You know, when when you look at it relative to the twenty, the ten looks very attractive. When you look at the ten relative to zero, if it went zero ten twenty, the ten is a problem coming off to zero. When it goes zero, the ten is attractive coming off to yeah, and it's it's I think for the dear listener, look, look for these patterns either in financial services at and this is one of the big reasons I highly recommend conducting quarterly digital secret shopping studies Um and you can look at big data, so the quantitative, or you can start looking at the thick data, more of the qualitative, and really get into why people do what they do. And that's where even you know, doing the user studies and having people talk through what they see, how it makes them feel. Do they feel clear and confident, do they feel confuse? What is attractive to them? I think we understand...

...a lot in how people make decisions and start to identify patterns around that. But also look outside of the space and where some of this thinking is applied coming back to the restaurant examples. So, for example, if you look at the wines and how wines are listed, they tend to anchor against more of a higher price wine and then towards the middle of the page you'll see more of the moderately priced wines and because they've anchored against that higher price. So I really this stuff is fun. Like I think once you get see some of the trends and patterns, you start to like pick things apart. Like I get it, I understand what's going on here and I'll tell you, even having some knowledge myself into behavioral science, I still fall victim of of some of these things. And and I think maybe that's an important point, is the philosophies behind this, because it's almost like I can hear the analytical leader saying, man this is this is so manipulative. We're trying to manipulate people and hack people. But the way, like my take on this is I look at this like the force from Star Wars. You can use it for good, we can use it for evil, and it's my hope that we use it for more good, because that's just my my own personal take. But how do we? How do we navigate the complexities that maybe the philosophical could this could come up, and I've heard it come up um in in in boardroom conversations like this. Seems very manipulative. What's your take on that, Nancy? You're not the first person to ask uh, you know, it does come up here and there and you know, my my feeling is for marketers, anything that we have at our disposal we should use responsibly and ethically and we should just think of this is one more thing. You know, if we've properly targeted our our messages and if our our products are genuinely good, we're actually helping people out right, because they're cruising along at autopilot there. Their attention is is drawn in a million different directions and uh, you know, if we use some behavioral science, we can use it to increase the likelihood people pay attention, increase the likelihood they follow through, and what we're asking to do is follow through on something that's going to benefit them. Now, when we start to think about abusing these you know, uh, these tactics, when we're talking about you know, uh, you know, time running out, or today's the last day and then tomorrow is the last day, and then the following days that you know, Um, you know that. I mean that that's just not the right thing to do. And eventually, you know, you might get a short term game, but eventually that eroads customer trust and you're going to get the blowback. It's it's not going to be a good thing. But you know, my my advice is always, uh, you know, we're markers. We want to do the best possible thing we can. We're not going to go and, uh, you know, buy a list of people that we know would have absolutely no interest in our product and mail it. That would be crazy, right, uh you know. WE'RE gonna buy a list of people that we think would be interested in our product. We're gonna buy media where we think our our customers or prospects are, you know. So we do all of these things to increase the likelihood that will succeed. Be hairful science. Adding that to marketing is just one more thing that we can do. You know, it's it's you know, it's not in different than making sure that our media shows up in the right place, right, but there, you know, there is the you know, the opportunity to abuse it, and I would just suggest that any marketer should be ethical and responsible and not do that. I agree with you, and I think too, having some of this knowledge and having some of this wisdom when it comes to financial services, when it comes to money, there are many times people just don't know what they don't know. And another practical example of this thinking being applied, coming back to loss of version theory, is there was an organization that has been in our program for a while. We've been coaching them, and we framed a call to action on the homepage. Do you know how much money you're losing each month? Question Mark Click here to find out in less than sixty seconds, and then it took them to a quick savings quiz to where they...

...were able to select. Do they have a mortgage? Do they have an auto loan? Do they have a credit card? Do they have a CD account somewhere else? That checking acount somewhere else, and within sixty seconds, through the calculations, they were able to identify they're losing, you know, thirty thousand dollars uh for example, because of the mortgage at another institution, because this organization could come in and Refin. Now, granted, that was when it was a different rate environment, altogether. But they were. They were literally generating hundreds of marketing qualified leads every single month because of this one simple question that I don't think a lot of people take a lot of time to think about, like I've. I've never really considered that before. The same thing too, and I'm want to come back to this point because you talked about when it comes to creating a sense of urgency. Um, there was another organization who had been running campaigns and they were moderate successful, but because of adding a countdown timer, uh to the header of their homepage, to the header of their website, that then translated into the landing page, which was also used in the email addressed, they literally exponentially grew the conversions for this particular campaign and they were so excited, they were so happy, and I said, slow down, you can only use this once a year. Back to your point, but I want to come back to diving deeper into the principle of urgency and scarcity and why this is another effective way to use behavioral science and marketing. Sure so, you know, people don't you know, don't want to miss out. That's the thing. And if something is not widely available, if it's scarce, we actually value it more. So, you know, going back to your example about, you know, how much money are you losing every month? You know, you could you could just hear someone in the margining department saying, let's make that more positive, let's not be so negative. Let's talk about how much they can save every month. You know, and people like to save money, there's no question about it, but what they like even more is not to lose money. So, you know, framing it in terms of loss aversion can be very, very powerful. And the same thing with with scarcity. You know, if you have an unlimited number, you know, I don't recommend that. You suggest otherwise, because that's just not true. But if you are dealing with something where there's a finite amount of time and then the offer is going to go away, or if there's a you know, a finite number of those free, you know, safety deposit boxes, and once they're gone, they're gone. You know, whatever it turns out to be, leverage that, you know, let people know and honestly, people will thank you if they're in the market for that and you give them the heads up that you know, if they don't act quickly, they're they're gonna lose out. That is something that they appreciate. Again, it comes back to, you know, targeting your message properly and having a good product us, and I think you know there's so many opportunities that we can talk through here. What is one story in your mind to kind of tie all of this together through the work that you've been doing over the years with financial brands, with Fintech? Um, that that could really just inspire the dear listener to say, you know what, we should probably be paying attention to this more within our own communication, within our own strategies. What would that story be? Well, I'm thinking about I think about a little case study that I worked on for a Community Bank actually, and, you know, like most banks, they wanted to, you know, get people to open up checking accounts because they're nice and sticky and that would be a good thing. And they had a list of customers who had a relationship with them. But Um, you know, they hadn't really opened up a checking account. They been, you...

...know, maybe they've taken out a loan or maybe a C D or You know, when the rates were good. But uh, so we, you know, we we put together a communication and you know, we we just messaged them and said, listen, you know, you're already a customer of ours. You know, because of that, we'd love to do more business with you. Uh. You know, we've put together this, uh, this special deal on our checking account. You know, here's what it offers. And it wasn't that it was created specially for this group of people, but it was like this is, this is what we offer in our particularly checking account. But we, you know, we acknowledge. Look, you're already doing business with us. We made them feel, you know, kind of special because we were putting this offer in front of them. There's some affinity there and and just the idea of commitment and consistency, like you made the decision to do business with us once before, whether it was a c d or a alone or something. Um, we want to do more business with you. Uh. You know, how about it? It was the most successful campaign that they had run. Like they just couldn't believe it. They're like, Oh my God, we're getting more people signing up for for checking accounts than, uh, than we ever had with any other, you know, campaign that we sent out there. So, you know, sometimes it's it's not rocket science, it's just really thinking through like all right, you know, what do we know about these people? Well, they already made the decision to work with us once. So we can use commitment and consistency, which basically means if somebody says yes to you once, they're much more likely to say yes the second time or third time or fourth time, particularly if your first ask is relatively small. So maybe it was just, you know, one shot deal to open up a CD. But it's like, now that you did that, the same bank is coming back to you saying we've got a really good checking account product, and it's like, Oh, yeah, I know those guys. I you know, I'm doing work with them or I'm doing I'm doing business with them. You know why not? So it's sometimes it's just the way you serve up the message, you know. Sometimes we think if we can just make it accurate and there are no typos in it and it goes out on time, we've scored right, we're good, we've checked all the boxes, but word choice and phrasing and framing and how we serve up the message can make, you know, a huge difference, double and triple digit lift differences. Yes, absolutely, and I think you just hit on a really big pain point that I want to roll back to right here. It was about just getting things out on time, making sure it's copy checked and like it's good to go. I know so many financial brand and even Fintech, but I would say probably more so financial brand, bank credit union marketing teams are running almost in real time, that there getting these request last minute a lot of times from lending or from the depository side. We need X, Y or Z, and so they have a habit of continuously just creating, communicating, delivering and then moving on to the next thing. When it comes to deploying behavioral science and Marketing and using behavioral science and marketing, how important is it to maybe just do some create some space and time to pause and reflect and learn and think about how we could do even better? Otherwise the future becomes the predictable past based upon our behaviors and habits in the present moment. Yeah, you know I mean. My my answer is obviously you. You'd want to in the best of all possible world. You know you want to stop and you want to think, but you know, I heard what you just describe, which is the reality. You know, stuff is flying at your request or coming at your fast and furious and you know you're trying to keep your head abover water and you're trying to keep your job and you know. So you need to you know, you need to respond Um. But but one really simple behavioral science based tip that you can apply that doesn't require a lot of sitting back and reflecting is to make sure that you infuse your work with something called cognitive fluency and conditive fluency. Is a mouthful of a phrase, but what it means is, uh, people prefer things that are easier to think about and easier to understand. So, you know, sometimes when you're talking about money, uh, two things happen. You know. One thing, people don't understand money all that well a lot of times times, and so it can be...

...a little intimidating. And too we sometimes drop into acronym land. Uh, you know, tech speak, jargon and banker knees right. Yeah, yeah, it's exactly you know, and not everyone speaks that. That's the problem our customers and prospects. So, you know, step back just briefly and just try to edit out any of the you know, the jargon. Just try to talk to someone like they were human. And then the other side of that coin is, you know, use the word you. Use what I refer to as an I magnet word. When people are skimming and scanning, which is how they read, they skim and scan as something interesting, then they go in and they more fully consume the content. When they're skimming and scanning, the word you jumps out. The word I. We Are Bank, our Credit Union, our financial institution, doesn't you know, but the word you absolutely does. So when you're sending these messages, it's not you know, we this and our bank this, it's you. You know, focus on you, and that's a really easy fix. If, even if you're quickly turning stuff around to meet all of these dead lines, just always remembering that you know, you should use you way more often than we our our bank, our institution and our Credit Union. That will get you, you know, definitely. That will get you further, that will get you some customers, that will get you some action. I want to I want to tie it back to this point, Um, because when you talk about using you versus I or we, when we use the eye or the we, that's what I diagnosed. Is like narcissistic marketing. It's all about us and we put ourselves as the hero of the story that we tell. You. You touched on storytelling in the book to increase consumer involvement and engagement because, you you write, stories can be magically persuasive for marketers, and science shows us why. What's the science behind the power of story and narrative and marketing? So stories are interesting that there's like a special spot in our brain for stories. I mean, if you think about it, stories for how information was passed on from generation to generation before the written word. Right. Our brains are hardwired to respond to stories. That's how we organize information. And, uh, neuroscientists have studied this and they find that if you're just dealing with facts and figures, two parts of your brain get activated. I think it's broke a's area in Verneke is area. Those are the two parts of your brain that the deal with processing language. But when you're when you're listening to a story, you're reading a story, other parts of your brain get activated. Uh, you know, if you read about somebody you know running into the bank, that activates your motor cortex. And if you, I don't know, if you read about the you know, the smell of freshly printed money right. Maybe that would activate the the old factory cortex in your brain, but the net net is the more parts of your brain that get activated, the better you understand the information and the longer you remember it. And that's why storytelling can be so advantageous for us as marketers. There's a there's a Um Princeton north scientists named Uri Hassan and uh and I may be mispronouncing his last name, I might have the accident in the wrong spot. But what he says, and I'm going to paraphrase him, what he says is stories are the only way that allow us to take the ideas in our head and plant them in the idea and plant them in the brain of our customer so that those ideas become their own. And I mean, you know, when you think about it, people will argue with what someone else tells them, but they don't usually argue with their own conclusions. So if you can get somebody involved in a story and get them to feel like now this is them who have come to the conclusion, that can be incredibly powerful. And you know, one of the ways to do that is you get them to identify with a with a person in the story. You get them to empathize with that person, you get them to create the mental picture as they're reading the story. All of these things help, but the brain is really hardwired for stories and they are infinitely more powerful than and simply just reading the facts and figures. Yeah, that's the story selling methodology that I...

...wrote about in banking on digital growth. You have a consumer persona that has specific questions and concerns who meets a helpful and empathetic guide that must first build trust through content, and it's that building trust through content that's how we make those emotional deposits into one's mind. Uh, it's like, you know, out of the gate, uh, Daniel Larusso and the karate kid didn't automatically trust Mr Miyagi. Mr Miyagi had to earn the trust. And so when we take on that role, that of the hero, because if we look at literary structure, there can only be two heroes in a story. You have the protagonist, you have the antagonists, you have the hero, you have the Anti Hero. And when we try to position ourselves, I think, as the hero and the narrative, which it makes sense of why we do that, um, but we end up introducing ourselves. If, if, if a person, they're like no, I'm the hero of my own story. Um As we all think that we are and we try to come in. It's like no, people don't need a hero. People need a helpful and the empathetic guide to guide them on the confusion and complexity, to give them some clarity in the present moment to get to the bigger, better, brighter future, whatever that is for the individual. That's, I think, right there the power of story. And you're right, it lights up the brain in so many other areas. So, Nancy, I appreciate all of the thinking that you have shared today with us. Um there's so much opportunity. Where where do we get started? Because when you think about using behavioral science and marketing, it can feel a little complex, it can feel a little bit confusing, it can feel overwhelming, and I can hear the deal. Listen, I like I agree with everything that you said, Nancy. Where do I start? What do I do next? And the way that I want to frame this is what is one small step, one simple step, not something big, but a small next best step that they can take on their journey of growth. And I'm already gonna say it number one. Go get the book period. You know, full stop on that one. But, more practically speaking, what is one thing that they can do next to use behavioral science and marketing at their financial brand, at their Fintech? Sure, sure, well, thank you for mentioning the book. I've got seventeen chapters, or so I think, you know, most helpful to a marketer or behabal science principles in there. Um. But but we gotta start small. We absolutely have to start small. People are busy people and maybe working in organizations that are a little resistant to change. So, you know, what we want to do is we want to remember that. Uh, you know, people aren't always um operating with their thinking caps on. They're not always making the most well thought out, well considered decisions, decisions they they're relying on decision making shortcuts and as a marketer you can get out ahead of that. So what you want to do is you want to remember that. You know, people are going to be making decisions without really thinking through things. They're going to be making decisions emotionally. So anything you can do to guide them, not force their hand, but guide them to the right decision is a good thing. So it would be uh, introducing a little bit of Lasso version, introducing a little bit of emotion, remembering that it's all about the customer and less about the financial institution. Um, you know. Also, you know, when people aren't certain of what to do, they look to others, particularly others like themselves. They follow their leads. So social proof is a great thing to introduce. So, uh, you know mentioned. You know the number of customers you have used testimonials. If you're using a testimonial and someone says act me bank is Great, I love it. You think I've got a fabulous testimonial, but a better testimonial is you know, I used to think all banks were the same, but then I had to switch because I moved and I went to act me. Oh my God, there's so much better. You know, you want to start at that place of skepticism and then bring people along on the journey, because that isn't even stronger testimonial. So I would say, you know again, people aren't always making these, you know, really well thought decisions. So, UH, they're using decision making sure cuts. They respond to loss of version, they respond to emotion, they respond to social proof and they're more interested in themselves and anyone else. There's there's five right there. If you start with those, that should begin to guide you on a on a...

...nice journey towards embracing behavioral science in your mark. Well said, Nancy. And if someone wants to continue the conversation that you and I have started today, what is the best way for them to reach out say hello and where can they get the book? So you can follow me on twitter. I'm at N H A R T and her hut. You can connect with me on Linkedin. Nancy Harhut, facebook, Nancy Harhot Um. I am the CO founder and chief creative officer at HBT marketing. HBT stands for human behavior triggers and our website is HBT M K TG DOT COM. We kind of abbreviated. Uh, we have a lot of Um, you know, articles and Um interviews and things like that on the website, so you can find more information. And then the book is available on Amazon. So I'd love it if if people checked it out and also through my publisher cogen page. And UH, soon it'll be in I don't know, hearted and at the airport and all these great places the publisher has described to me. But right now pre orders are really, really important, so go to Amazon order the book. I would really thank you. Get the book. CONNECT WITH NANCY, learn with Nancy, Growth Nancy. Nancy, thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth. James Roberts, thank you so much for having me. Totally enjoyed our conversation, very much so. And, as always, be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay. To get even more practical and proven insights, along with coaching and guidance, visit digital growth dot com slash insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs. Until next time, be well and do good. Two.

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