The 3 Be’s from IIEX Behavior: Be Digital, Be Prepared, and Be Sustainable

Last week, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to attend GreenBook’s IIEX Behavior 2022 held in Chicago, IL on September 13-14. Two days with 50+ speakers, 30+ sessions, and 500+ attendees truly provided quite the experience as we heard from industry experts on the latest insights trends, behavioral science modeling, and how to combine the two in order to create “pure marketing magic”. In case you missed it, here are 3 key themes from IIEX Behavior:

Be Digital

TikTok took the stage first with their opening keynote session, “Finding Creative that Talks the ‘Tok’”. The social media giant presented information and best practices for ways to maximize ad spend and ensure your content is performing to the best of its ability. It’s not all just about how well you can dance when making a TikTok, but ensuring you are proving the “why” to your consumer, while also guiding the “how”. This is where behavioral science comes in.

One of the main points made by TikTok’s Stephanie Walz (Head of NA Research & Insights), Jaclyn Williams (Research & Insights Partner), and Abby Thorsgaard (Research & Insights Partner, Marketing Science) was that small details can have big impacts. That is why authenticity is so important when marketing products. Individuals are smart enough to recognize when something is scripted and lacks the feeling of being “organic”. They want to see real people, using real products, and showing real results. Behavioral science mixed with TikTok’s use of eye-tracking helps them identify what the consumers see, what they do, and what they want. Combining the digital tools along with behavioral science is how TikTok is advancing their platform to be more brand friendly. One stat was presented and really stuck out to me as it almost seemed impossible: For every second of a TikTok watched, brand awareness increases +29%, uniqueness of the post increases +50%, and consideration increases +23%. Now pair that with their finding that organic content on TikTok is viewed longer than that of traditional paid content. It shows just how important the data truly is and amplifies the significance of the findings. In the end, everyone wants their product to be seen, shoppable, seductive, and ultimately selected for purchase.

Our CEO, Alex Hunt’s presentation after TikTok discussed the importance of combining these two components along with digital commerce to achieve that most important moment in marketing: the transaction. Being able to understand how and why people make decisions along with adjusting to the different brands and their categories are what makes Behaviorally stand out from the rest. The speed and scale of modern commerce is accelerating, and these brands need to be able to keep up. That is why with our unique behavioral framework and extensive behavioral database that leverages AI, we can help our clients achieve that most important moment and help them to reach their full potential. It all starts with being more digital.

Be Prepared

If someone was to approach you and ask for your prediction on the state of behavioral science 5 to 10 years down the line, could you do it? This is something on the mind of Erin Sebal (Director of Global Marketing, Merck) as she plans for projects and campaigns that may not see the light of day for years to come. But why? So many things can change in a short time frame and as we have all experienced in recent years, living in unprecedented times seems to be becoming quite the theme. The key reason is the importance of preparation.

Being prepared is a solid formula for yielding positive results. It seems simple enough to not need an explanation, but have you taken the time and analyzed the steps that go into being prepared? In Erin’s fireside chat with Will Leach (CEO of Triggerpoint and author of “Marketing to Mindstates”), she dug a little deeper on the topic and explained why it’s not just as simple as whether you are prepared or not. It’s about the process.

The path to success is rarely a smooth journey. There will undoubtedly be obstacles and challenges that arise that will need to be addressed. Now, one can look at these obstacles in two ways. They can be viewed as an annoyance taking up time, energy, and resources or, these challenges can be viewed as learning experiences that ultimately lead to a better result. This is why, especially in those early projects, one should never be afraid to fail. Try new things, test new methods, introduce new components. The information you gather and the experiences you have are what create that process. Just be sure to always make it actionable and measurable. Gather the insight and understand what it is that you are looking to accomplish. The biggest mistake one can make is to ignore the data. Erin had even noted how she has seen brands make this mistake, which leads to products flopping on shelf and results in lost time, money, and energy. Although it may be a good product, gathering and understanding the insights is what can take it to the next level.

Be Sustainable

As it should be, sustainability was a hot topic at IIEX Behavior this year. We were able to hear some very insightful sessions including, “How to Harness Behavioral Science for Good” with Amielle DeWan from Impact by Design, “Want Environmental Change? Stop Talking About the Environment.” with Sara Isaac from Marketing for Change, as well as the We Better Behave! panel “BeSci to Accelerate a More Sustainable Future” hosted by Behaviorally and Protobrand, with speakers from Frontier Communications, Molson Coors, and Mars Wrigley.

The message from these sessions was clear. We all need to do our part in being more responsible and behavioral science can help. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is what consumers want. In Amielle’s session, she kicked it off with a staggering stat, stating that 78% of consumers say it is no longer acceptable for brands to just be making money and going about their business. They need to do more in making a positive impact in society.

Now what does this mean? More and more, it is being noticed how consumer audiences want to align their choices with companies that share values or purpose that match their own. In the We Better Behave! panel, the speakers discussed how beneficial it is for companies to utilize key behavioral science principles internally and externally to achieve sustainability goals faster to make a better tomorrow for brands and people.  Although educating consumers on how to participate in pro-social or environmental behaviors is helpful, it is not enough to inspire action. Brands need to take that step in being more responsible and using their insights for good.

In Sara Isaac’s session, she explained how consumers like the idea of buying “green”, but when the time comes, they change their mind. Could it be that these products are more expensive, not as effective, or not branded well? These barriers contribute to making it more difficult for consumers to actually make a purchase and support the values that mean the most to them. Brands need to make it easier for consumers by making sure the benefits to going “green” outweigh the barriers, similar to our unique behavioral framework of having a compelling benefit with a low barrier to act.

Thank you to GreenBook as well as all of the speakers for providing such a great experience!

If you have questions on how to get your products Seen, Shoppable, Seductive, and ultimately, Selected, contact us today!


Matthew Krupa is a Marketing Associate at Behaviorally, applying his background in marketing and communications to aid in the company’s global marketing efforts. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, staying active, and getting together with friends as much as he can. Connect with him on LinkedIn!

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