Episode 11: Ogilvy

The Power of Behavioural Science in Email Marketing

We have a slightly longer E-telligence Masterclass episode for you today as we delve into the world of behavioural science and speak to the force that is Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy.

“To find that psychological magic trick, you must embrace the idea that anything — from consumer behavior to people’s perception of a product — can be transformed, so long as you’re willing to think like an alchemist.”

Rory is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, and co-founder of a behavioural science practice within the agency.

Rory was previously a copywriter and creative director at Ogilvy for over 20 years, having joined as a graduate trainee in 1988. He has been President of the IPA, Chair of the Judges for the Direct Jury at Cannes, and has spoken at TED Global. He writes regular columns for the Spectator, Market Leader and Impact, and also occasional pieces for Wired. He is the author of two books: ‘The Wiki Man’ and his most recent title: ‘Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense’.

In this episode, Rory and Kate chat about the power of truly understanding your customers and how this can impact your marketing (and email marketing).

Some of the key takeaways from this episode include:

  • In order for marketing to work its full magic you have to have great creative, media and behavioural science in equal measure – get everything in alignment for marketing to work its magic to the full.

“40% of the success [of a direct campaign] will be attributable to the targeting. Maybe 20% to the creative. (These are merely averages – a really clever creative insight can have a huge effect.) And there was always 30% which was ‘something else’, it wasn’t the targeting and it wasn’t the creative.”

  • How Uber uses behavioural science to its advantage
  • Reducing the friction of completing an action, making it as easy as possible to do, is a key part of behavioural science… but sometimes you want to add friction to make an action seem worthwhile (counteract something being too good to be true)
  • One of the reasons behavioural science is frustrating is that the opposite of a good idea can be a good idea – there are no completely hard and fast rules.
  • As marketers always question what you’re doing – particularly the ‘obvious’ things as the opposite may actually be a better option! Be unafraid of questioning conventional logic to improve your results.
  • Start at the end – if your Customer Experience is no good, there’s no point in doing great conversion work as people will only buy from you once. Get your experience right and then work on your conversions and THEN your advertising. Optimise the bottom of the funnel first otherwise you create desire without action.
  • Figure out what your customers REAL problem is that they’re trying to solve and how is it impacting on their live – solve that.
  • Pay attention to your copy and individual words (how you frame things and the way in which they’re put) – for example, there is a huge difference between saying we want your opinion and we want your advice; in terms of the engagement that will generate.

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Ready to skyrocket your results?

If you want help to create a customer-centric, personalised, intelligent email marketing programme, get in touch with eFocus Marketing and discover how we can help you skyrocket your results.

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