How Many of These Nudge Marketing Examples Do You Recognise?
Nudge marketing refers to tactics used to help customers make fast, beneficial purchasing decisions. While nudging has been around as long as marketing itself, methods have evolved along with consumer behaviour.
How many of these nudge marketing examples do you know about and apply to your brand? Which have influenced you as a customer, whether aware of it or not?
Know a Nudge from a CTA—and a Shove!
Sometimes customers hesitate at the cusp of buying. “Is this the best option? Does this satisfy my need?” these are routine questions to ask yourself just before committing to a purchase. We, as marketers, bank on it—and that’s why nudges exist.
What Is Nudge Marketing?
A nudge, as we will use the term, is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior [SIC] in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. – Thaler and Sunstein (2008, 6)
Simply put, it’s about presenting things in a way to help customers make better choices faster.
The Characteristics of Nudge Marketing
Paraphrasing the guidelines for a marketing nudge, Richard Thaler and Case Sunstein’s nudge theory further states:
- Nudging should be kept thoroughly transparent and straightforward.
- It should take minimal effort for users to withdraw from an existing nudge marketing campaign if they wish.
- The nudge should be in complete welfare of the consumer, intending goodwill if the company is appealing to the psychology of an individual to encourage specific behaviour.
- Human psychology is always enticed towards the new and creative, so the nudge campaign must include novelty.
- It’s a win if you manage to even fractionally anticipate your targeted audience’s mind and alter their attitude positively.
Nudge Marketing Is Not Coercion
When brands claim that their nudge marketing backfired, chances are they weren’t nudging in the first place. Customers should never feel “forced”. They don’t respond well to trickery and, especially, shaming (think of those negative opt-outs, “No thanks, I don’t want to save.” 🙄)
Finally, remember that a CTA (Call To Action), is precisely that. It tells a user what we want them to do next. In contrast, a nudge presents choices in a way that makes the most beneficial one apparent and appealing.
Top Types of Nudge Marketing
Your brand personality strongly influences your brand design and plays a part in connecting to your customers.
There are numerous types of marketing nudges, and they go by just as many names. They generally fall into the below examples, in no particular order.
Hands down, Discovery Vitality is the best South African example of nudging by gamification. Medical aid members choose to join as Vitality members to earn points based on making healthier lifestyle choices. Vitality members are rewarded for their choices, such as daily exercise and buying naturally healthy food, with points that earn them a higher status, vouchers and discounts.
Again, there are many ways that product labelling can nudge customers, all of which ultimately fall into two categories:
- Functional benefits. For example, showing that a sports watch is waterproof. In Pick n Pay’s case, showing which products will earn them vitality rewards.
- Phycological triggers. These labels appeal to the emotional motivators like the novelty of a new item, or its exclusivity, like a deal that is only valid for one day. In this example, a shopper may be more motivated by the exclusive price instead of the product’s rating.
Inline Product Guidance
Similar to product labelling, product guidance gives shoppers more information that could persuade the sale. Here we would typically see tooltips (display text when the mouse hovers over the product) or a walk-through on more complex products (software packages). Builder’s warehouse lets you see which nearby stores have stock of your desired item with “click and collect”.
Recommendations or Reviews
Social proof like testimonials and product reviews (even the bad ones) help customers to make informed decisions. By reducing their perceived risk, you increase their propensity to purchase.
We know this one all too well. Anchoring is where the price of a product is displayed against a comparative benchmark figure to illustrate the value in the deal. For example, a name brand windbreaker worth R899 being sold for R599, typically shown as “was R899 now R599.”
Decoy comparisons refer to placing starkly contrasting items next to each other, making one appear more lucrative than the other. Restaurants will often put one fanciful option in the starter menu, making all the remaining options seem relatively well-priced. Raw Wagyu beef tartare with white truffle shavings, anyone?
A pre-selected default option on-screen usually takes any taxing decision making out of the user’s hands. They are only too happy to go with the flow. The most common example is the “standard delivery” option with a reasonable shipping cost and delivery lead time. Users can then decide if they would rather pay more for express delivery or buy more to qualify for free delivery.
User experience design will tell you to make the checkout process as smooth and short as possible. Applying a progress bar or goal gradient is a handy way to nudge customers to complete the goal. C’mon, only two more steps.
Exit Intent Overlays
As soon as a user gestures that they are going to the close window, a pop-up appears saying, “You haven’t finished shopping, can we place these items on your wish list, so you don’t lose them?” This is a helpful nudge to get customers to stay or ‘commit’ to buying later.
Cross-channel emailing can effectively nudge customers to resume their shopping, provide feedback or complete any other desired goals. In fact, automated or drip email campaigns are designed entirely to nudge customers through a process, like the sales funnel.
Source: Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2008). Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. London: Penguin.
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