Understanding Customers: Behavioral Psychology Becoming an Essential Skill


Share on LinkedIn

Behavioral EconomicsIf you are a marketer, customer experience professional, or business strategist, you should become a behavioral scientist.

When I was a couple years younger, I would like a song on the radio and purchase the CD (or was it a cassette tape?) For some reason, once I owned it, I found the song to be a little less interesting, as it had lost its appeal once I had purchased it. Why?

The answer is in the concept of variable reward. It also explains the thrill we observe in a casino when people pull down the lever in the slot machine and why people keep spending their cash on slot machines despite most of us knowing very well the odds are stacked against us.

Variable reward is only one of the four steps to build addictive products explained in Hooked, the book from Nir Eyal, along with many other behavioral science concepts that are critical for business people and marketers who want to create products and services that result in repeat customers and a higher lifetime customer value.

Another one of these concepts is FOMO, the fear of missing out, which explains why we keep checking our smart phones every five minutes, looking at our Twitter stream and Instagram feeds because of our fear of that special moment that could be lost forever.

Choice architecture, behavioral economics, the science of persuasion, behavioral psychology – whatever label you prefer, we are all in the persuasion business. Business people, product managers, growth hackers, and especially marketers must pay attention to the science of persuasion and manufacturing desire.

Psychology (not product quality) explains why so many of us buy from Starbucks and is a key to the success or failure of our marketing and business strategies.

Just last week I read a great book on the topic: Nir Eyal’s book Hooked. One way to describe it is Made to Stick meets The Tipping Point and Predictably Irrational (three of my favorite books).

In this book, Nir describes the Hook Model, which explains the rationale behind the design of many successful habit-forming products we use every day.

It’s fascinating. And it is important.

And if you want to become a behavioral scientist (you should), I invite you to read Nir’s latest post on the 4 Steps to Building Habit-Forming Products where you will learn more about the Hook model.

Gerardo Dada
Marketing Strategist, Technology Marketer, Entrepreneur, Photographer, Foodie and family guy. I have been lucky to be at the heart of the Web, Social, Mobile and Cloud revolutions working for companies like Microsoft, Rackspace, Motorola and BazaarVoice. Today I work as VP of Product Marketing and Strategy for SolarWinds a public (stock: SWI) fast-growing technology company. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on strategy, marketing and leadership.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here