Read on! The promo Chaitanya mentions after the jump is especially brilliant.
Influencing Human Behavior.
At a fundamental level, that’s what Marketing is all about. Think of any marketing activity - right from the branding that you see, the product/packaging/experience (UI) design, the TV commercials, print ads, digital ads, promotions/offers - everything is essentially an effort to change our behavior in a very specific way. Given this, marketing is intricately connected to a number of other ‘behavioral disciplines’ like Behavioral Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience, Praxeology, Cognitive Science etc, and each year a number of research papers are published based on the intersection of one or more of these disciplines with marketing.
One such seminal research paper was recently published by Dr. BJ Fogg, (Stanford University), titled: A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design. Here he posits a simple model by name FBM (Fogg Behavior Model) that delineates 3 factors affecting human behavior: Motivation, Ability and Presence of Triggers.
(Image source: Paper by Dr. BJ Fogg)
In summary, it says, for any behavior ‘change’ (B) to occur, it needs to get the user to an activation threshold, which is a factor of:
- Motivation: (M) Is the person high or low on motivation to perform the target behavior?
- Ability: (A) Does the person have the requisite ability to perform the behavior (is it simple enough to be performed)?
- Triggers: (T) Does it have the necessary triggers to instigate the target behavior?
While motivation and ability can ‘trade off’ (People with low motivation may perform a behavior if the behavior is simple enough (meaning, high on ability), and inversely, people who find a behavior being not so simple (meaning, low on ability) may perform it if they have sufficiently high levels of motivation), triggers can happen only when they are ‘timed’ - i.e. they need to be triggered right at the moment when we have the requisite levels of motivation and ability to perform a behavior. Hence it could be instructive to qualitatively think of this relationship as:
B = m.a.t (at the same moment)
(Image source: BehaviorModel.Org)
While he champions this model as a framework to guide persuasive design of web services, online interaction design etc I believe that it is equally if not more applicable to more traditional instances of product marketing / brick and mortar retailing etc.