Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely

Holly AbbottUncategorized

No, this is not a dating ad …

It’s about behavioural science. Over the next few days, we’re talking about behavioural science insights, and how they can help businesses achieve their goals. The British and American governments are both using it to help influence your behaviour in ways you might not be aware of. Can businesses use behavioural insights to do things such as increase employee motivation, make their marketing more attractive, and improve customer satisfaction?

There’s little out there that explicitly talks about this topic. We did find this article, however, from Translate Media, talking about how behavioural insights can use digital marketing. It identified this important principle gleaned from the research of the Government’s Nudge Unit:

Many of the findings of the Behavioural Insights Unit have particular application to digital marketing. The core concept is that if you want to encourage a certain behaviour, you need to make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely (EAST).

In other words, make things obvious and get them in front of people at the right time. The American nudge unit tried to find why people in the US armed forces were not signing up to their pension schemes. It was because the information about it wasn’t obvious. When they started presenting a video and a simple Yes/No sign-up form on base inductions, sign-up rates shot up.

The article – as well as a few other sources – make the following recommendations based on the EAST framework:


This is about reducing the amount of effort people have to go through to get something. Make messages simple, and make signing up for something as easy as possible. Plus, people tend to go for the default option. If you set ‘Standard Shipping’ or ‘Premium Shipping’ as the default option when customers go through their shopping cart, then people are more likely to stick with them.


This is more than making your website, marketing or your shop attractive (although that is important). It’s about offering people incentives to do something you want. A lot of companies now offer discounts for signing up to a direct debit. A lot more reward their customers making bulk orders.


People don’t exist in a vacuum. We are always aware of how others are behaving around us. One of the most powerful behavioural forces is social norming, that is people doing things because they think everyone else is doing them. Making it clear that everyone else behaves in a certain way will encourage someone to act the same. Maybe showing a picture of your bar or cafe full of people will have a better impact than one of it empty?


Get people when they are most receptive. When you’re doing social media posts, find out when your target audience are on lunch and checking their smartphones.¬†Many restaurants now use tablets to enable happy customers to complete their TripAdvisor reviews before they leave the restaurant.