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The Marketing Book Podcast: "The Business of Choice" by Matthew Willcox

The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers' Instincts by Matthew Willcox


Matthew Willcox is Founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Decision Making, a part of the global integrated market­ing communications company FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding).

The Institute of Decision Making was established to bring the findings from scientists who study human behavior and how people make choices into the practice of marketing.

Matthew has more than 25 years of brand strategy experience that spans the globe, and is a frequent speaker at business schools and at marketing and communication events.

The Host's Perspective:

Although the author uses the word “consumer” in the book title, he explains that he prefers to use the word “chooser” instead. And that’s because today your customers are facing more choices, through more channels, in a sea of information, in a world that is moving faster and faster. So whatever your marketing objective is, you’ll be far more successful if you understand how humans choose.

The book takes us back a few million years and explains how human intuitions have evolved and how evolutionary factors helped us prosper as a species.

That background helps us to better understand why a lot of human behavior can seem so irrational, when there are actually very logical reasons behind it once seen through the lens of human nature.

The book then overlays recent findings from neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and the behavioral and social sciences to help marketers make their brands the easiest, most instinctive choice.

One of my biggest takeaways from reading The Business of Choice as a marketer is to better understand why people make the decisions they do, and then stop swimming against the tide trying to get them to do things they don’t want to do.

“The Business of Choice” is about how marketers can embrace what science has revealed about how people choose. It’s a fascinating read. 

Listen to the Interview:

Show Notes: 

"The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers' Instincts" by Matthew Willcox

"Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman

"Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely

"Influence" by Robert Cialdini

"Misbehaving" by Richard H. Thaler

Matthew's Twitter (@MWillcox)

Matthew's Website (TheInstituteOfDecisionMaking.com)

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Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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