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EDITION 123 // 27 JULY 2016



Behavioural science and Psychology.. Are Our Customer Relationships becoming complicated.

I’ve worked in the creative/marketing/communication industry for over 20 years and I have often said to my colleagues that it would really help to have a degree in behavioural science or Psychology to help understand our clients and their customers ever changing buying habits.

Does it all come down to relationships and how these influence consumer behaviour... Hell Yea!!

After all, you need to get your customers to:
- Know you
- Like you
- Trust you

And depending on what you are selling and the emotional buy-in makes all the difference to the level of relationship you need. Getting to know your customer definitely helps you understand their needs and wants so that you can deliver a successful outcome for them.

It’s evolutionary psychology at its basic level. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that we come from the animal kingdom. In a way, it’s kind of alarming to observe behaviour because so much of it is ‘animal-based.’

In ‘friend or foe’ analysis, for example, we realise that for ‘communications’ among people or customers to be successful, we must first see them as friends. The sub-conscious mind will and do the rest of the work – ensuring our communications to an individual or group are successful and having a desired effect.

If we see a person or customer as ‘foe’ however, the reverse will occur. Our subconscious mind will ‘freeze’ our brain – the brain is a muscle, if it is not moving, it is not working. If this occurs, we will neither register what the other is saying, nor will we be able to respond appropriately, and thereby, effectively.

An interesting process occurs when we see a person or customer as a foe

A danger signal is alerted in our brains that hits our amygdala region – the region responsible for processing fear and danger among other things. Based on our perception of the threat, our fear response is activated before our brain has assessed the threat in a logical and methodical manner.

The result is, we ‘react;’ most often, inaccurately.

We take a potential friend for a foe, and by treating them that way, ensure they become one. Friend or foe instincts, when managed, can help us move from ‘reactionary’ to ‘reflectionary’ and improve customer relations, interpersonal ones too.

By slowing reactionary speed, we improve cognitive skills and relationship skills in the process too. It’s a skill that is essential to marketing if building relationships with customers and other stakeholders in the business are considered key to it.

It is also a skill that is worthwhile acquiring in personal life. As it greatly aids and abets the creation of relationships within it that define success too!

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