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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

May 19, 2023

In today's fast-paced world, attention spans are shorter than ever. By making stories concise, engaging, and to the point, marketers can cater to the needs of overwhelmed audiences while still delivering powerful messages. Short stories leave out unnecessary details while retaining the most critical elements, ultimately making them more memorable and easier to digest.

David Paull considers short stories to be particularly useful tools in marketing and communications. He cites the popularity of TED Talks as evidence that people are drawn to concise yet impactful stories. In the podcast, he discusses the importance of refining messages through a careful editing process, distilling them down to their most essential aspects, and making them as powerful and engaging as possible. In this episode:

  • Unleash the potential of behavioral storytelling to revolutionize your branding and marketing efforts.
  • Learn how Dialsmith dials offer an innovative way to non-consciously measure audience reactions.
  • Discover how to implement the RSPCT framework for designing impactful and convincing messages.
  • Realize the significance of concise, emotionally charged stories for capturing your audience's interests.
  • Leverage testimonials and social proof to amplify your persuasion techniques.

Show Notes:

  • 00:00:00 - Introduction,
    Melina Palmer introduces David Paull, CEO of Dialsmith and founder of Lillian Labs. She highlights David's expertise in using storytelling to build brands and introduces his behavioral storytelling framework.
  • 00:04:02 - Dialsmith,
    David Paull talks about Dialsmith, his insights technology company that develops dials used in focus groups during presidential debates and State of the Union addresses. He also discusses the online version of the dials and the consultancy arm of the company, Lillian Labs.
  • 00:11:56 - Storytelling,
    David shares his journey in becoming interested in storytelling through his work on strategic communications and messaging. He talks about how he got involved with the Story Conference in Nashville and the experiments and thought exercises he did on cognitive biases and behavioral economics.
  • 00:15:33 - Behavioral Storytelling,
    David Paul explains how he blends insights and storytelling to create behavioral storytelling. He provides an example of working with clients on climate issues and how they isolate the real problem and test their messaging with the market. The goal is to take the audience on an emotional or intellectual journey that leads to action.
  • 00:19:25 - TEDxPortland,
    David Paul discusses his involvement with TEDxPortland, the largest indoor TEDx in the world. He talks about the importance of having a diverse group of speakers and how they select the speakers for the event.
  • 00:16:25 - The RSPCT Framework,
    David Paull discusses his RSPCT Framework, which involves determining the real problem for the target audience, understanding what's at stake if the problem is not solved, identifying the perfect outcome, crafting an effective call to action, and providing testimonials and social proof for added credibility.
  • 00:19:23 - The Danger of Stressing the Problem,
    Melina Palmer and David Paull discuss how stressing the problem too much can lead to unintentional normalization of the behavior you want to change. Instead, they highlight the importance of including testimonials and social proof to make the audience feel comfortable with the solution being proposed.
  • 00:24:56 - Tips on Delivering a TED Talk,
    David Paull shares his experience as a speaker coach for TEDxPortland. He emphasizes the importance of keeping talks short, with a focus on big original ideas and tangible takeaways. He also recommends a strong emphasis on editing to distill the message down to its most essential elements.
  • 00:27:38 - The Power of Short Stories,
    Melina Palmer and David Paull highlight the power of a short story to convey complex ideas in a short amount of time. They use examples from famous TED Talks, including one that was only two minutes and fifty-two seconds long. They emphasize the importance of making every word count to deliver a compelling message that resonates with the audience.
  • 00:30:24 - Make It as Short as Possible,
    David Paull shares a quote from Albert Einstein about making scientific work.
  • 00:31:51 - Finding the Real Problem,
    The first step in problem-solving is identifying the real problem. Keep peeling back the layers until you find the underlying issue by asking "why" until there's nowhere else to go. Then determine what's at stake and what the perfect outcome would be if the problem is solved.
  • 00:32:34 - Using Storytelling to Evoke Emotion,
    Describing the perfect outcome in a way that can be felt is crucial. Storytelling evokes emotion, making it easier for people to make a decision. The call to action should demonstrate how your solution solves the real problem, alleviates what's at stake, and delivers the perfect outcome.
  • 00:33:13 - Testimonials and Social Proof,
    Sharing testimonials and social proof will help people feel comfortable. It's important to tap into how people process information and make decisions. Using quantifiable data is better than squishy information when demonstrating the effectiveness of a solution.
  • 00:33:47 - Additional Resources,
    The podcast episode mentions additional resources, including episodes on Herding and Social Proof, as well as a link to Michelle Auerbach's episode on the importance of emotion in decision-making. All resources can be found here in the show notes. 
  • 00:34:08 - Conclusion,
    Melina's top insights from the conversation, a recap of the RSPCT framework, and items for you to consider as you implement what you learn. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media -- you'll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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