Behavioural Economics (BE) is having a research ‘moment’, with agencies and their clients using the approach with varying degrees of success. Recognising an increased interest in the subject, AQR recently presented an inspiring session looking at behavioural economics from a client perspective. Held in the magnificent Wallacespace Clerkenwell building, with wine, nibbles and plenty of networking opportunities, the session was introduced and hosted by the inimitable Crawford Hollingworth of The Behavioural Architects.

This session kicked off with Emma Williams from Barclays Premier explaining how embedding a behavioural economics framework in everything it does has reframed how it approaches research, bringing the customer’s way of thinking to the forefront of its decision-making process. This has not just influenced how Barclays talks about its products and communicates with its customers but has also led to an improvement in overall customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores.

Damian Stevenson from Swim England discussed how using
behavioural economics and making small changes to the way we
approach swimming can have big impact, helping reverse a longterm
declining trend in UK swimmers.

Christene McCauley from Diageo showed the way BE has changed how big organisations think about marketing challenges, influencing not just the research commissioned but also the overarching brand strategy. She illustrated this using a recent example from Baileys which, despite numerous projects to revitalise the brand, had until recently been in gradual decline. Its upturn in fortune was attributed to applying behavioural economic principles on top of existing deep-dive and exploratory work.

Drawing on his own wealth of expertise in the field, Crawford rounded up each talk with thoughtful questions and observations, before opening the discussion out to the room. A hugely insightful and energising session which offered valuable insight not just into the way that clients use research, but also how behavioural economics can provide a valuable framework to drive and embed insight within an organisation. AQR clearly has its finger on the pulse with current research trends and delivered two stimulating and valuable sessions on this topic