Technology works in a world that exists; people live in a world that needs imagination.

Data analytics and behavioural science are changing marketing approaches

For marketers, the ability to see what isn’t immediately apparent is shaping new-age business success stories. The data gathered and analyzed is only a part of these stories as it is more important to assess the context in which the collected data is applied. There are many facets that shape an individuals’ purchasing decisions; mental models, behavioural tendencies, mental drawers, attitudes,  and individual life experiences can shape one’s choices. Marketers must not ignore this fact.

Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky eloquently outlined how different characterizations of outcomes influence the decision-making, process. A very large cohort in the marketing world believes that a detached, rational decision-making, hard data-driven approach, analytical reasoning is the only way forward. I beg to differ. Marketers must relish the conflict between emotion and reason, gut feeling and deliberation. AI will be brilliant to answer what is asked for and we should all acknowledge this fact. The rest of it will have to be imagined for by application of human mind.

The fusion of Data Science and Behavioural Science is the way forward for marketers. Traditionally, most marketers have looked at both as separate activities and hence both these functions have been operating in silos. While Data Science is focused on analyzing large transactional data, Behavioural Science is focused on gleaning deep insights from smaller samples on the attitudes, behaviour, and the underlying motivations.

Data Science and Behavioural Science are two sides of a coin that offer perspectives that are as interesting as they are varied. While transactional data throws light on customer data points that are the determinants of the who, what, where, how, and when about a customer, behavioural data explains, why. Why do customers behave the way they do? Using qualitative parameters for assessment such as Attitudes, Interests, Values, Personality, Lifestyle and Buying Motives, imagine what the marriage of Data Science and Behavioural Science can yield!

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]The underlying motivation behind a customer behaviour is something the marketer never comes to know purely by analyzing the data. The psychology of how the customer is being influenced by the environment is a big missing piece. Understanding this crucial piece of the puzzle enables marketers to successfully guide customer actions and engage with them better.[/box]

Both Data Science and Behavioural Science offer different perspectives and solve different pieces of the puzzle. Behavioural Science can help overcome the last-mile problem of Data Science.  Organizations will be able to benefit if they can integrate the results of data and behavioral science and present a unified picture; such an approach will provide marketers the unique ability to leverage complementary benefits and have the best of both worlds. The time is now ripe for this integration. Hansa Cequity is at the forefront of the data and behavioural sciences driven analytics movement in India, and we are happy to share the first ever such research findings in association with Analytics India for the Indian market. I am confident that our research will help marketers think more clearly about the need for collaboration between Behavioural and Data Sciences and its evolution.

Authored by Neeraj Pratap Sangani, CEO, Hansa Cequity

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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