Intention gap

As mentioned in the first part of this blog, Bridging the gap between what people say and what they do, you cannot purely rely on claimed data when identifying your audience. This is also true when trying to find the right moment to target your customers.

Leveraging between claimed and actual behaviour

It is important to not trust claimed data at face value when working with focus groups or survey volunteers, something that became clear when we were looking at self-reporting data in the gambling sector. In this self-reporting data, people said they were most likely to gamble when they were on their own or with friends. However, when you delve into the actual touchpoints data where people recorded who they were with alongside the passive data of when they were actually using the apps on their phone, we saw this wasn’t the case.

Although the top moment was when people were on their own, following that they were most likely to be with their partner, then with their children, then their parents, and then with friends. This is not because people lie, but because we tend to remember the peak moments of an activity rather than the hours of betting we may do whilst on the sofa watching TV with family.

On top of who they may be with, it is also important to look at the timings of when to target people. When working with gambling client Kwiff, we used extensive ethnographic research, supported by real behavioural data, and identified 2 key insights that changed their approach. We firstly found that alongside TV, mobile was the dominant sport and entertainment device for 18-34 bettors. Secondly, the lead into games was the key time when they bantered about bets they were going to make and discussed betting brands. By using this data led research, we could then focus on targeting potential consumers at optimal times to increase conversion.

Communicate effectively with your customers

The Behaviour’s Agency suggests that as humans we tend to be influenced by 6 factors when making a decision, which are key to understand when communicating with your customers: money, effort, time, risk, individuality and conscious thoughts. All of these factors are very susceptible to be influenced by biases and nudges. If we take control of these and, for instance, make something feel easier, such as a food subscription box that brings fresh ingredients to our audience’s doors, then we can have an impact on how people react to a brand and therefore influence customers in a particular moment.

Another example of utilising these 6 factors for brands is through having tiered levels of subscription. Gyms, for example, may offer different tiers to accommodate all types of consumers, but through doing this a consumer will be able to clearly decide which is the ‘better deal’, and may even assume they are getting a bargain when comparing it to the top tiered price.

Risk is also a factor brands can tap in to – linking to the power of now many websites use nudges to influence behaviour, such as ‘only 3 items left’ or ‘someone already has this in their basket’ in order to encourage people to make a quicker decision from fear of missing out.

Customers are also heavily influenced by what is happening around them. In a piece of research done by Leicester University, researchers found that when shopping for wine consumers’ choice was influenced depending on what music was playing in the background. For instance, when there was traditional French music playing, they saw that 77% of people bought French wine. However, when this was switched to traditional German music, 63% of people bought German wine. Interestingly, when interviewed as they came out of the shop, only 2% of customers recognised that the music influenced their choice compared to a huge 86% that refused to believe the music had affected their choice.

Test the reaction: Ensuring your message is working

When thinking of all these biases, testing is essential. You may have narrowed down that using social norms is the easiest way to convert your chosen audience, and therefore decide to communicate that everyone is already using your brand. However, without testing thoroughly you may potentially use this bias wrong in practice or be missing out on an even more important bias.

One great piece of technology you can use to test how consumers really feel about your brand or advert is through biometrics. Biometrics can show you the exact points someone gets distracted, where their attention starts to drop or where they feel excitement about a brand.

All of this can be used to improve your marketing within your chosen audience. This can even expand to media platforms by testing how people may use your website or how long they spend watching a Facebook video on your social page. In turn, we can start to understand why certain platforms may be performing better than others and which hold the highest engagement.

Not only is it essential to test your findings, but you must also make sure they have been based on reliable, layered insights and not just through claimed data or topline research.

If you would like to know more about closing the gap or have any questions, then please do reach out to the team on

Will Hanmer-Lloyd - Head of Behavioural Planning

Author:Will Hanmer-Lloyd - Head of Behavioural Planning