A Glimpse Inside Our Minds and How We Make Decisions

A Glimpse Inside Our Minds and How We Make Decisions Through a Journey of Interactive Brain Games

Sean Doyle is the CEO for local Birmingham firm FitzMartin. Over the course of his career – which spans more than 27 years of sales and marketing experience – Doyle has developed his own philosophy of marketing, one based on cognitive and behavioral science.

In the early 2000s, Doyle read a book called Changing for Good. He was careful to clarify – this is not a marketing book; it’s a book about people. Author John C. Norcross outlines six steps to changing behavior and the processes that come with that journey. While it’s not specifically a book about marketing, much of its content may feel familiar to us marketers, sounding a lot like a discussion of the customer decision journey.

After reading this book, Doyle began using the Changing for Good philosophy to shape his own marketing strategy to identify problems and enact change. Rather than looking at problems themselves (or even the end solution), he suggests that we ought to spend our time focusing on the in-between, or the process by which we can reach a solution.

This sort of thinking takes practice. It’s a shift from the normal way of thinking and may even feel counterintuitive.

Doyle reminded us of a few truths:

  1. We (as people) are confident that our own point of view is correct.
  2. We all experience something called cognitive discovery, where our brains automatically fill in what we know.
  3. The concept of cognitive discovery goes hand-in-hand with inattentional blindness, or the idea that we often fail to notice something that is fully visible but unexpected because our attention is elsewhere, or we are not looking for it.

This tendency toward familiarity plays out in the marketplace daily. For example, we as consumers will purchase the brand-name product that costs 30 percent more than the generic brand even though the product contains the exact same ingredients. That familiarity and trust can certainly work in a marketer’s favor, proving that brand awareness is a great way to build ROI.

“So, if familiarity is good, why disrupt?” asked Doyle. Why think outside the box for ideas that will jar an audience out of their state of inattentional blindness?

The answer is simple. Engagement is more valuable than impressions. Inattentional blindness can get in the way, which is why marketers must force reevaluation. When you force reevaluation and break through people’s inattentional blindness, you’re able to cause an audience to think about your brand or company or message.

Doyle has found that when the foundation of your marketing strategy is grounded in an understanding of cognitive behavioral change, you can transform your marketing efforts and, by natural extension, your profitability.

At AMA, we have the privilege of gleaning wisdom from a variety of marketing professionals like Doyle. Thanks to their insight, Birmingham’s marketing community can be better prepared—both as individuals and on behalf of the companies and organizations we seek to represent, serve and grow.

If you’d like to find out more about Doyle’s marketing philosophy and understand how this model can benefit your business, check out his book, Shift, a grounded, practical approach to marketing, derived from the established science of behavior change.

Interested in more marketing insights from other successful executives in our community? Check out our next Signature Series Luncheon in March.

Visit www.amabirmingham.org for more information.

To find out more about Sean Doyle, visit https://seanmdoyle.com/.

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