The Choice Factory

By Richard Shotton

In order to influence how consumers make purchasing decisions, you need to understand what influences their choices. Marketing Week columnist and Deputy Head of Evidence at Manning Gottlieb OMD Richard Shotton claims that there are 25 key biases that affect consumer purchases, which marketers and advertisers can use to adapt their products and communications and sway their customers’ decisions.

These cognitive biases allow us to make thousands of quick and efficient decisions every day, often subconsciously, without getting overwhelmed by all the available options and information. However, they can also lead us to make decisions and form judgements that are irrational and not based in sound logic.

In this book, Shotton devotes 25 short chapters to each of these biases, from priming to the pratfall effect, charm pricing to the curse of knowledge. He begins each chapter with an everyday example of the bias in action, and then runs through the behavioural science behind these psychological shortcuts, real-life campaigns that have used this insight and simple suggestions to apply it to your own marketing challenges.

The examples used in The Choice Factory are very entertaining and engaging, and the language used in very straightforward and accessible, making it each to digest the information contained within. Shotton also supports his arguments with interviews from marketing and advertising leaders, including Rory Sutherland, Lucy Jameson and Mark Earls.

By explaining why consumers make the choices they do, even if it’s not a logical decision, Shotton makes it easier for marketers to apply these insights to their own campaigns and identify how and when to talk to their customers.

The book provides invaluable knowledge for you to act on. There’s something to learn and apply in every chapter. I particularly enjoyed the irrefutable proof that advertising has to be distinctive, otherwise it’s a waste of money. I loved the Marketing Triage model based on Napoleon’s chief surgeon; as well as Shotton’s brutally logical dismantling of brand purpose – as much use as a brand porpoise.


– Charlie Snow, advertising consultant and formerly chief strategy officer at MullenLowe London

You can read an excerpt from the book

Or buy the book



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