Friday, 11 November 2016

Why marketers should think ‘selfish, scared, stupid’

‘Selfish,’ ‘scared’ and ‘stupid’ may not be inspiring words, but business strategist Dan Gregory claims these should be on top of marketers’ mind when they think about their brand, product or campaign.
Mr Gregory is co-founder of strategy and branding agency The Impossible Institute and co-author of the book Selfish, Scared and Stupid. He argues that three instincts--self-interest, fear and simplicity--guide human behaviour, and urges businesses to exploit these tendencies.
‘We tend to think of selfish, scared, and stupid as negatives… The truth is, they’re not,’ Mr Gregory said in a 2014 interview. ‘It’s actually a recipe for success. But because it doesn’t sound good, we tend to ignore that and pretend that we act in other ways.’
When businesses ignore human selfishness, fear and bias for simplicity, they ‘end up with strategies built around human ideals versus human reality,’ added Mr Gregory, whose portfolio includes top brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, News Corp, Vodafone and the NRL.


The so-called behavioural design strategy works not only with brands but also with ideas. It is easier to influence or persuade a target audience, Mr Gregory says, when statements are framed simply, answer the question ‘What’s in it for them?’ and address fear of loss or risk.
Mr Gregory, who is also a sought-after motivational speaker, is scheduled to give a talk during the University of Sydney’s End of Year Master of Marketing Reception on November 17, Thursday, 5:30 p.m., at The Refectory, 5F, Abercrombie Business School Building.
Besides Mr Gregory’s talk, the event will showcase presentations from the three finalists for the AMI Prize for Best Consulting Project for 2016 awarded by the Australian Marketing Institute, which accredits the University of Sydney’s Master of Marketing Program.

This year’s AMI Prize finalists are Lis Churchward, who focused on revitalising the brand of the Centre for Veterinary Education in the University of Sydney; Jessica Ratcliff, who developed an on-premise sales and marketing plan for Taylors Wines; and Maria Ignatia Gharib Andrigehetti, who drafted a new marketing plan for Tigerlily Swimwear.

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The consulting project is a key feature of the University of Sydney’s Master of Marketing program. It allows students to apply frameworks learned in class to actual business scenarios. The students’ clients and mentors have been invited and will take questions during the event.
The End of Year Reception is an opportunity for students to interact with faculty, lecturers, mentors, alumni and industry guests. Those who have received invitations for the event are requested to confirm their attendance before Monday, November 14.

Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

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