First, what is behavioral economics? In layman’s term, behavioral economics is the application of encouraging people to buy and sell. People can be very subjective when it comes to their money, which is where behavioral economics comes to play.
- Let’s use a car for example. You have to keep it maintained and get it inspected every year. You want to make sure the money you spend is reasonable and if you want to sell your car, that you are getting the right “bang for your buck”.
With this knowledge, companies directly or indirectly use behavioral economics to promote their products or ideas onto the consumer.
When it comes to appealing to your target audience, you need to understand their behavior and how they will respond given the information thrown at them. Here are some examples:
- If you have a SUV for sale, there is a higher chance of a family buying it so you promote the car’s space and safety features for effect.
- Younger generations might be more interested in the sleek more compact type of car, you can emphasize the design and the technology provided that would be more of interest to them than others.
Why are we even talking about behavioral economics? Why should you care? Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) labels behavioral economic- style incentives and other knowledge of human drives to make work more satisfying, enjoyable, and rewarding.
You want your target audience to feel important and that is very important when you are marketing through the way you are displaying information.
Understanding how behavioral economics works and how to implement it in your business strategies, can promote loyalty, motivation, and help improve communication between you and your target audience.
Behavioral economics covers many different areas or principles, or different sections of behavior to analyze. Today, we are going to be focusing on two; Framing and Anchoring. I will explain both of these principles and why they are so beneficial.
What is Framing
Framing can seem like very basic concept but it is also a very important one. What exactly is framing? The exact definition of Framing is the process of defining the context or issues surrounding a question, problem, or event in a way that serves to influence how the context or issues are perceived and evaluated. How can you use framing?
You can frame all of your information in a way that is easily understood and also provides your target audience with more incentive.
- Let’s go back to cars. You have a team of salesmen and a car available isn’t selling well. You want this car’s sales to go up so you tell your team that the top five sellers will earn a bonus or trip.
All of these salesmen now have an incentive to promote this car to sell because there is now an award attached. They are still doing their assigned job but now are more eager to work. Its a win-win situation.
What is Anchoring
Anchoring can have a positive or negative effect based on the first impression. Of course you want to make sure your target audience have a positive impression of your company or product from the very beginning so you will give them an incentive to encourage a better response. Here are some examples:
- Your target audience finds a car they love but notice the price and it’s too expensive for them. You walk over and let them know about your great financing with great rates to ensure they won’t be overwhelmed with the cost. That would leave a positive impression and encourage them in their purchase.
- You advertise an anniversary or opening for your business and that the first 100 buyers will be a discount on their purchases. This is a positive first impression that we have anchored onto your target audience.
There are also negative effects that anchoring can cause which can heavily impact the way your target audience will view a company.
- If your business heavily promotes a product with a guarantee of fast delivery and their first order is delayed longer than implied, they will probably be less likely to order from that company again.
Their impression was positive in the beginning – my order will get here within 2 business days – and now it is arriving a week later? Why would they want to test their luck twice? This is why it is very important to frame your information properly and provide an easy way to get engagement.
Framing and Anchoring are just two principles of behavioral economics that I explored. Both are very important as they connect to each other and how the clients will perceive the information a company is trying to project.
Both of these principles are heavily used in our programs and motivate our clients to sell or buy more of a product based on the rewards they earn. You need to have an understanding of your target audience and how they will react to the information you are putting out.
It will definitely take trial and error to figure out what is the best way to frame your information to anchor clients but once you have figured it out, your company will benefit from it exponentially.
If you want to learn about the other principles in Behavioral Economics, please take a look at the IRF’s piece on Applying Behavioral Science. They give plenty of examples to easily understand each principle and it can help expand your existing knowledge on these topics.