Will Leach, How to Use Behavioural Science to Strengthen Your Marketing – InnovaBuzz 399

Will Leach

Will Leach, Marketing to Mindstates

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, William Leach, the world’s leading expert on subconscious mindstates and the best-selling author of Marketing to Mindstates: a practical guide to applying behavioral design to research and marketing, and a Behavioral Design instructor at SMU’s Cox School of Business BLC and the Texas A&M Human Behavior Lab.

Will consults with today’s most innovative brands and advertising agencies to increase the effectiveness of their marketing creative through behavioral science. He is also the founder & CEO of TriggerPoint, a behavioral science-based research firm, and The Mindstate Group which helps marketing professionals apply behavioral psychology through subconscious mindstates to design marketing that gets customers to listen, care and act.

In our discussion, Will talked to me about:

  • Why an understanding of your ideal customers’ emotions and behaviours is critical for good marketing
  • How time and context play a role in buying decisions
  • How to find your one thing, that makes you stand out

Steve Brown in episode 363 introduced us to Will.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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When you associate your company or brand to your customer's higher-order goals, you become top of mind and you can expand your sphere of influence. @Trigger_Pointer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Will Leach, author of Marketing to Mindstates

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Behavioral Science allows anybody to optimise their marketing. 
  • You may have a nice business when you build it around people’s functional goals, but you could also easily go out of business because everybody provides the same value.
  • All customers have aspirations in life that can be found in the majority of their behaviours. If you don’t understand these aspirations that your customers have, you will always just innovate based on your product’s or brand’s features.
  • When you associate your company or brand to your customer’s higher-order goals, you become top of mind and you can expand your sphere of influence.
  • A mindstate is a temporary state of high emotional arousal. You become more open to influence in these moments. 
  •  A mindstate allows you to overlay moments in time. It allows you to understand not only the persona of your customers – their attitudes, beliefs, and preferences, but also how those beliefs and attitudes are influenced at that moment.
  • Timing is important. These moments of time that are trigger points matter a lot. These are the moments where people are susceptible to influence under the umbrella of a mindstate. They are more open to suggestions because they are using that emotional process.
  • Moments of change are usually good trigger points but you should also recognise and be more interested in moments that frequently happen in a day. 
  • Numbers are important for people to recognise. People are usually in an emotional state when they interact with numbers, where they actually make an emotional decision. If you can figure out ways that can get people to pause and take a moment, you can more likely persuade them in a good way and have them consider the numbers.
  • The Four Different Social Sciences That Influence People’s Behaviour:
    1. Goal Theory – People make decisions towards their goals. 
    2. Motivational Psychology – the emotional fuel that helps people go after their goals.
    3. Regulatory Fit Theory – People seek to either maximise gains or minimise losses. In order to lower the resistance to decision-making, you have to understand the way people approach it.
    4. Heuristics – are intuitive shortcuts to decision-making that help people to decide faster and easier.
  • When you understand trigger points and the mindstate, you can begin to activate somebody’s goals and apply that motivation to your marketing.
  • Mindstate marketing or behavioural marketing allows us to understand the science behind people’s “why.” 
  • Using scarcity and social proof as triggers to drive somebody to make a quick decision is becoming less meaningful. Everybody uses them. As a business owner, you need to figure out other triggers that drive decision-making.
  • The entrepreneurial middle class is the most important thing that we can build as a society.
  • Start with a clear vision of what you want to achieve at a very high level and then build the pathway to achieve that, AND you also have to recognise that in order for that to happen, you cannot be the bottleneck in your business. 
Mindstate marketing or behavioural marketing allows us to understand the science behind people's "why." @Trigger_Pointer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Will’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Realise that there are now very few absolute truths in this world. Go and create your latest absolute truth.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Find relationships and connections between two things and create your own version of it. 
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Google Scholar
  4. Keep project/client on track – Set a compelling vision that everybody can agree upon. Make sure that you have something in writing that everyone agrees to.
  5. Differentiate –  Bring two of your passions together. 

To Be a Leader

Innovation and differentiation come from the integration of multiple passions. Whatever your passions are, find a way to marry them.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Will through their website and on LinkedIn.

Suggested Guest

Will suggested we have a conversation with Stephen Genko, author of Intuitive Marketing. So Stephen, keep an eye on your inboxes for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of William Leach.



Cool Things About Will

  • He is the only two-time winner of the EXPLOR Award for his work in behavior design.
  • He received the Grit Award for being one of the top 50 most innovative consultancies in the world.
  • He is known as America’s foremost authority in applying behavioral science to marketing.
When you understand trigger points and the mindstate, you can begin to activate somebody's goals and apply that motivation to your marketing. @Trigger_Pointer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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