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

Aug 26, 2022

Today I am very excited to introduce you to Nancy Harhut, cofounder and chief creative officer of HBT Marketing. She loves getting people to take action and specializes in blending best-of-breed creative techniques with behavioral science to prompt response – online, offline, and in-person.

She has spoken around the world, including numerous appearances at SXSW, and has been named one of the 10 Most Fascinating People in B2B Marketing, a Social Top 50 Email Marketing Leader, and a Top 40 Digital Strategist. Her articles and work have appeared in Admap, US Ad Review, Target Marketing, DM News, Graphis Magazine, B@B Magazine, Who’s Mailing What, Copywriting Insider, and “Open Me Now” by H.G. Lewis.

Prior to co-founding HBT Marketing, Nancy held senior creative management positions with Hill Holliday, Mullen, and Digitas. She’s helped some of the world’s biggest brands create successful campaigns. Nancy and her teams have won over 200 awards for digital and direct marketing effectiveness, for clients such as AT&T, H&R Block, the GM Card, Dish Networks, and Nationwide. Today, we get to talk about her first book, Using Behavioral Science in Marketing, which just came out this week here in the U.S. Dive into the conversation and get ready to take action. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:44] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Nancy Harhut, cofounder and chief creative officer of HBT Marketing.
  • [02:05] Her first book, Using Behavioral Science in Marketing just came out this week. 
  • [04:20] Nancy shares about herself, her background, and how she found herself in the world of behavioral science. 
  • [06:01] She took principles and research from behavioral science and applied/tested them in marketing. 
  • [07:37] Anything she could find that might give her clients an advantage or extra edge was something she wanted to explore. 
  • [10:20] It is important to test so we know what is working and what doesn’t work. 
  • [11:10] Nancy’s examples in the book are very tangible, clear, easy, thorough, and thoughtful. 
  • [13:49] Social proof is incredibly powerful. Nancy shares examples of using social proof with her clients and the results.
  • [16:31] Nancy shares why she wrote her new book. People were often asking if she had a book, including her now publisher Kogan Page. 
  • [16:54] Behavioral science and marketing absolutely work. Writing a book helps many more people to benefit from it. 
  • [19:19] She wanted to create a book that was short on science and long on applicability. She wanted it to be practical, easy to read, and actionable. (“Mission accomplished!” says Melina.) 
  • [21:30] She started her book with emotional and rational thinking because it was a good foundational factor and from there she started to talk about behavioral science principles that are strongly linked to emotion. 
  • [23:24] Having more good books in the world is always a positive thing. 
  • [25:44] If you present somebody with a couple of options as opposed to just one thing, they are much more likely to make a buying decision at the moment. If there are two options the question automatically changes to “Which of these two do I want?” 
  • [28:29] When saying “You have to make a choice and if you don't, someone else is going to make it for you” leverages autonomy bias. There was a bigger response because people didn’t want someone making choices for them. 
  • [30:04] Behavioral science is not just for marketing. It is applicable across so many areas and professions. 
  • [33:04] Nancy shares an example of using choice architecture with a client that sold voluntary benefits. 
  • [34:47] They made accepting the meeting the easy choice and the path with the least resistance. 
  • [35:57] Melina shares an example of a blood drive on a college campus.
  • [39:22] Melina shares her closing thoughts.
  • [39:42] You are constantly communicating with people and there are small tweaks to your messaging that can make all the difference.
  • [40:13] Melina’s new book, What Your Employees Need and Can't Tell You is coming out on October 11th, 2022. 
  • [42:04] If you enjoy the experience I’ve provided here for you, will you share about it? That could mean leaving a rating/review or sharing the episode with a friend (or 10!)

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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