FEATURE31 May 2023

Richard Shotton in seven

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Behavioural science Features Impact People

Answering seven questions about his life and career is Richard Shotton, an author, consultant and trainer, who focuses on applying findings from psychology and behavioural science to marketing. He has written two books, The Choice Factory and The Illusion of Choice. He began his career in media planning and later founded behaviour science company Astroten.


1:  Has the prevalence of digital media channels dampened the ability of advertising to persuade us?

Digital tracking makes it easy to measure the short-term impact of advertising. Unfortunately, people place too much emphasis on what is easy to measure and ignore factors that are harder to measure. As the long-term effect of advertising is trickier to pinpoint, this has led to marketers investing in an unbalanced manner – too much demand harvesting, too little demand generation. That’s not the fault of digital; it’s the fault of the industry misusing the medium.

2: Is the media industry concerned with measuring the wrong things?

Yes. For example, it is unduly concerned about the trust crisis. It’s a fiction. Various reports claim trust in brands or ads is in decline. But if you look at the data – even that produced by organisations claiming there is a crisis – you see a different story. Trust in brands is broadly flat.

3: ...