Daniel Kahneman

Chuck McLeester's blog explores issues about marketing and marketing measurement. He is a marketing strategist and analyst with experience in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services, pet products, travel/hospitality, publishing and other categories. He spent several years as a client-side direct marketer and 25 years on the agency side developing expertise in direct, digital, and relationship marketing. Now he consults with marketers and advertising agencies to create measurable marketing programs.

Frogs, fish, dogs, spiders, hyenas, chimps and others in the animal kingdom all have an innate ability for counting. But we humans are easily fooled by numbers, especially when they’re presented in context. Learning to exploit the power of context can pay off big for marketers, but at the same time, marketers need to be careful not to be fooled themselves.

Our job as marketers is to win the hearts and minds of our customers and prospects. Even though our priority is to clearly understand the intricacies of customers' intellects and emotions, we often major in using intellectual triggers and minor in connecting with them emotionally. We’ve overlooked the fact that, when wielded correctly, emotion is a much more potent persuasive force in forging connections than intellect. In a groundbreaking experiment, Nobel Prize winner and psychologist Daniel Kahneman illuminated this dominant role of emotion by demonstrating that people overwhelmingly prefer to do business with others whom they like and trust.

You probably hate the idea that human judgment can be improved or even replaced by machines, but you probably hate hurricanes and earthquakes too. The rise of machines is just as inevitable and just as indifferent to your hatred. Business people have been having such fantasies of rationalism for decades. Until the last few years, they have been stymied by the cost of storage, slower processing speeds and the flood of data itself, spread sloppily across scores of different databases inside one company. These problems are now being solved.

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