Using Behavioral Science to Create Stronger FI Marketing

We would all like to think that our decisions are thoughtful, deliberate, and rational. But behavioral science reveals that it’s more pragmatic than that.

Our minds have two distinct modes of decision making—“System 1” and “System 2.” As Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize–winning behavioral economist explains, System 2 thinking is slow, conscious, effortful, explicit, and reasoned.

But 95% of our daily decisions are made using
System 1 thinking—fast, intuitive, and prone to error.

Consider modern financial norms that we take for granted, like automatic enrollment retirement plans (vs. opt-in plans). Options like these help eliminate the mental turmoil often involved in financial planning by simplifying the decision to enroll. This is System 1 thinking in action.

If we apply this same thinking to financial marketing, we can strengthen creative elements by making them more noticeable, easier to understand, and simpler to engage with. Remember, your customers are on autopilot. If you make your marketing do the hard work for them, it will work harder for you.

It all starts with four basic criteria of creative effectiveness, or the 4 C’s: COMMAND attention, CONNECT with the target customer/member, CONVEY information, and CLOSE the customer. To begin assessing a marketing element, ask yourself a few key questions:

COMMAND: Is your marketing attracting immediate interest and inspiring engagement? Command attention with distinctive color, shape, size, and sound as well a compelling call to action.

CONNECT: Is your brand and its equities immediately recognizable? Link your
message to an existing memory to quickly and effectively connect with shoppers.

CONVEY: Is your message clear and simple yet compelling and rooted in insights? Use visuals, text, or both to tell a captivating story.

CLOSE: Does the communication overcome the target audience’s primary purchase barrier? Eliminate doubt and inspire clicks and engagement.

Marketing communication and creative rooted in behavioral science has the power to deepen consumer relationships and drive loyalty. Consider System 1 thinking and the 4 C’s as an insurance policy—a tool you can use to create stronger communication that not only connects and engages with shoppers throughout their journey, but produces real results.

* – System 1 vs System 2 Thinking