Nov 1, 2019
Roger Dooley is here to talk about his new book Friction. Roger
is the founder of the Neuromarketing Science website, host of the
Brainfluence podcast, a Forbes contributor, and the author of
Friction, Brainfluence, and The Persuasion Slide. FRICTION―The
Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage is about
making customer’s lives easier by removing friction.
Roger is the perfect guest for me to have on this show because
neuromarketing and behavioral economics are similar in many ways,
and throughout the book Roger gives examples and shares concepts of
behavioral economics: including relativity, nudges, framing and
more. It’s a great book, and a perfect interview topic for this
If you’re a regular listener, you’ve heard me talk about Richard
Thaler (the Nobel Prize winner and co-author of Nudge). Here is his
review of Friction. “What do Amazon, Apple Google and Netflix have
in common? They made life easier for their consumers by removing
what Dooley calls friction. Reading this book will arm any manager
with a mental can of WD-40.”
- [04:08] The book Friction intentionally has a slightly gritty
cover to convey a sense of friction.
- [05:35] Roger began his career as an engineer, but he was
always interested in psychology and advertising.
- [06:03] When he was about 30, he was in charge of strategic
planning for a Fortune 1000 company. This is also the time he chose
the bailout and become an entrepreneur.
- [06:14] He co-founded a catalog marketing company at the very
early days of home computers. Over the years, his businesses have
evolved and become more digital oriented.
- [06:45] About 15 years ago, Roger noticed neuroscience and
marketing beginning to come together. That's when he started his
website about neuroscience marketing. He now has over 1100 blog
posts on the topic.
- [07:48] Books, his podcast, and his website give Roger the
opportunity to explore how neuroscience and marketing come
- [09:20] There has been a recent increase in business interest
in behavioral science. Even Neilson has about 20 neuroscientists on
- [12:50] 95% of the time businesses have too much friction in
- [13:08] An example of when adding friction helps is a
retirement plan that requires a form instead of a phone call for
- [13:50] Amazon reduced friction with one-click ordering. They
actually patented it. Steve Jobs paid Amazon $1 million to use
one-click in iTunes.
- [16:19] Friction is any unnecessary effort required to complete
- [22:05] Total cost, time, and effort need to be looked at when
creating ways to reduce risk. Many burdens are for stuff that isn't
- [23:20] Where there is high trust, there is low
- [24:08] Expense reporting can create extra paperwork. Some
processes can have unintended consequences and waste time and
- [27:40] Think how things can be made easier and how many people
will be affected.
- [29:20] A more difficult form can be a screen. This is a time
when more friction may be better.
- [31:15] To increase phone leads, eliminating the web form
didn't work, instead the form had to made longer and less friendly
to increase phone leads.
- [32:25] BYAF (but you are free) technique. Letting someone know
they are free not to do something relieves the pressure and helps
them comply with the request.
- [34:56] Buffer took all of the friction out of scheduling
social sharing. They even used to have curated content.
- [38:09] Never say “actually” when answering a support question,
because it seems to correct the person.
- [40:36] Loyal customers are more valuable than new customers.
What drives loyalty is low effort experiences. High effort
experience doesn't inspire loyalty.
- [44:23] Eliminating processes can also be an option. To board a
cruise ship people had to go through a check-in process and fill
out a health form. This useless process was eliminated.
- [48:38] Open your eyes and look for things that take longer
than they should. Is there something you can do to reduce the
effort your customer has to take to do business with you?
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