The psychology of digital marketing. Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy b to b digital marketing

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In his keynote address at our CMO Insight Summit, Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy & Mather explained why “psychological insight is just as valuable as technological advance.”

GDS Group runs international conferences and summits that draw together the best minds across different business sectors.

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The psychology of digital marketing. Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy

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The psychology of digital marketing. Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy
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Frank Franklin 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Mistake number one: basing everything on evolutionary psychology. Aside from that, this man is clearly a genius and has level 1 billion charisma. Awesome talk!

REYSTARR 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

They done let the GDs in the summit I see

S K 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

“No, you have to poison them. That’s how medicine works” 👺💉🐑

S K 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

This was so good. Thanks.

Anthony Santoro 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

2) @47:38 whats terrifying is that the governments job is to make life objectively better for its citizens, and they've managed to convince themselves and each other that a subjective improvement is just as acceptable. FFS if you're going to be in this role, to make decisions that have an astonishing impact on the whole of society, then think about the consequences of applied psychology on the overall health of that society. In psychological terms, what Rory is advocating for in this instance is rule by order of psychopathy. people want hours of their lives back. they want to spend those 2-4 hours a day traveling with their families. cognitive suppression doesn't make that problem doesn't go away. over the long term, people will begin to internalize those emotions which are being suppressed by a sense of short term gratification, and that's going to result in profound effects.

Anthony Santoro 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

man, I appreciate the work but there are jus so many BAD assumptions to unpack here, that lead to horrible business decisions..
1) @46:27 absolutely no one wants to spend a vacation day waiting for the cable guy… I mean, wow, the lapse of judgement there is daunting.

Ray Faiz 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

He is just brilliant! thanks for sharing this presentation

WBT Agency 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

We believe that this talk is a must-heard.

Dylan Harrington 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I just completed a Bachelors in Digital Marketing yet this remains the most profound lecture on digital marketing I’ve ever heard.

Shane Duggan 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

The camera operator was useless. IT'S A PRESENTATION YOU DOLT

Small Business Marketing Coach 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Speaker was excellent. Cameraman was a sleepwalking idiot.

MIKE VON BACH 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I found this old video from 1958. Called (trackdown the end of the world) it is worth a watch believe me. it's about trump they use his name.

Brandy 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

My grandma was in marketing all her life with no degree and now I’m in the same boat. I did take a behavioral economics and group/work place psychology class, but I don’t have a degree and this was only 2 semesters in time. I do really well at my job but I’m about 30 minutes in and he for real just blew my mind a bit with her point of perspective.

Karolis Grabauskas 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Well done Sir!

jason shugart 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

"Change the perspective you look at the problem from"

Don Tump 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

this guy giving a ted talk with his belly hanging out

oscar sarmiento 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Amazing 🤩

greenwood Santos 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Friends I'm not telling you to resign from Your Job or abandon Your business, I'm telling you to create another source of income…..BE wise

Codi 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

AMAZING presentation. Human psychology is the most important thing to understand as a marketer. Perception is key. Really enjoyed the mirror example

Sunil Bhaskaran Speaker Trainer Mentor Author 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Rory as usual, awesome presentation. Camera operator though… hmmmm…

Mr.Sceptic 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

At 4:06 Rory Sutherland said, You can either 1: Find out what people want and work out a clever way to deliver it to them. 2. Or you can find out what you can deliver and find a clever way of making people want it.
I think my fellow video watchers want important notes and highlights from this video so I'm going to deliver it to you with time stamps. Enjoy : )

0:11 Richard Thaler won a Nobel prize on behavioural economics
0:19 Behavioural economics observes what people ACTUALLY do in PRACTICE. It's opposed to developing fictional mathematical models that DECIDES what people SHOULD do instead. Proper Economics is ridiculous.
0:46 Charlie Munger's quote, "If economics isn't behavioural, I don't know what the hell is?"
1:29 Funny example from the movie Airplane.
2:11 There are areas of life where complete logic and developing objective measures of reality works.
2:31 However, there are large areas of life where that's the worst thing you can do.
2:41 There's a distinction between how to do ATC and how to run a military. One require precision and predictability, the other requires the opposite.
2:59 You can't be logical and efficient if you do military strategy because you'll become predictable.
3:09 So there's an evolutionary reason why humans aren't logical and consistent because those that are would be predictable, a total sucker.
4:06 There are two ways you can create new, economical value. You can either 1: Find out what people want and work out a clever way to deliver it to them. 2. Or you can find out what you can deliver and find a clever way of making people want it.
4:26 The economic value is just as great either way.
4:41 Alphabet x looks for moonshots, where you take something and change it by an order of magnitude. Make something 10x cheaper, better, cheaper etc.
5:21 Improving objective reality by a factor of 10 has become increasingly harder. It's easier to improve subjective reality.
6:10 Instead of making trains 10x faster, how about we make them 10 times more enjoyable, like providing wifi.
6:40 For eg: if you hired supermodels to serve drinks, people would actually ask for the trains to be slowed down 😉
6:55 No one asks for psychological innovation. It's usually the last resort. 🙁
8:51 Economists assume people have perfect info and perfect trust. So they see marketing as an inefficiency that doesn't need to exist. So everyone knows exactly what they want to buy and how much they want to pay for.
9:28 For most of evolutionary history, we only had 10% of the info to make the perfect decision.
10:23 A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.
12:40 Yield management will allow you to get on trains earlier if you arrive earlier. It's a better and cheaper solution.
15:23 Train overcrowding problem. 10% of the people standing 10% of the time is not the same as 1 person standing 100% of the time.
16:06 If you solve the problem for the worst affected, you've solved the problem.
17:43 German physicist quote, "You're not thinking. You're merely being logical."
22:27 TVs are designed for higher apes. They only have three colours. The brain is fooled by it. Marketing is just like that. There's no point in being objective. Only perception matters.
26:32 Wine tastes better when you pour it from a heavier bottle. Pain killers are more effective if they are branded. They are more effective if you tell they're expensive. Chocolates taste sweeter if they are round. Your car drives better after you've got it cleaned. 50% extra free feels better than 33% off.
28:31 Reinforcing visual example
31:17 Our brain is designed to accentuate differences/ contrast between things.
31:45 Examples
32:15 Our perception of price is completely relative.
34:29 Nothing hot about chilies. Nothing cool about Menthol.
35:25 Nature just produces a fruit that feels hot since it can't really produce a hot fruit.
35:38 So there's the thing and there's the perception of the thing. And the only thing that matters is the perception of the thing. And the connection between the thing and perception is not exact.
35:56 Austrian economists believe value is highly subjective. Therefore they can be well disposed to marketing and advertising.
36:12 There is food itself and the context in which it's consumed. Ex Michelin-star meal in a restaurant smelling of sewage. So context matters.
36:22 There is no perceived objective thing in the human mind. Everything is mediated by environment, context and setting. And everything that's set is affected by who says it. Paying attention to something and the kind of attention you pay, changes the nature of the thing.
36:54 Treating humans like weighing scales is completely wrong.
38:03 Ed Shareen's Eg of however good a product is objectively if you market it poorly, it's worthless.
44:00 People themselves don't know why they feel a particular way. So they post rationalize.
45:30 Evolution didn't need to provide an explanation for emotions. And it relies on emotions over rational reactions. Cos emotions are inherited. Rational stuff needs to be taught.
47:00 People hate the uncertainty that comes with the delivery window.
47:40 London UG reduced uncertainty by providing boards that displayed when the train was coming. So you can create high level of satisfaction without high level of cost.
48:30 Elevator example.
53:30 Pills example
1:00:00 people actually make diet coke/ redbull and other medicinal wine taste disgusting so people perceived a medicinal value.
1:02:02 Airlines had to explain why their airline was cheap by highlighting the negatives. So marketers have the role of justifying higher price or destigmatising a lower one.
1:04:00 Wine example
1:06:00 Flight example
1:09:00 Ferrari example/ Framing
1:11:00 Real-life decision-making is 2 d. Avg vs. the worst-case scenario.
1:15:00 People buy from big brands to minimize risk.
1:19:00 Cooperation increases in repeated games. Long-term selfishness is indistinguishable from cooperation. Short-term selfishness is indistinguishable from conflict.
1:22:50 Costly signaling theory
1:23:45 Nobody sends a wedding invitation over email even though it's the most efficient way to send it. TV ads are popular because they are costlier.
1:25:00 We shouldn't think about advertising as messaging but as signaling.
1:26:30 Test counterintuitive things because your competitors won't.
1:27:10 Don't be logical becasue that's exactly what they'll expect you to do.

Thank you!

Bad Neighbor 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I feel better about my belly now…but not my brain.

James 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I love this! I can't wait till I can attend in person talks like this. I am hoping the rest of my team gets as much out of this as I did.

Bobby Kotick 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Who can argue with red pants and brown cardigan?

Abhimannue R.Sreekishan 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

the drink he is talking about in context to the coke example is red bull

Tea Break 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I want to know which is that competitor to Coke he talked about.

TypicalRocky 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Why didn’t I see this earlier …..

Ntando 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

You search "Cucumber behind a cat"

You did


Ntando 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

How more minutes do we have, 2mins, 5mins?

20mins later

Ville Porttila 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Rory is the OG

S Minter 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

This guy is the 350 pound British, more charismatic Malcolm Gladwell

RPMX Info Dot Com 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Looks like "Hamish & Andy" were trying too hard to "go viral"

RPMX Info Dot Com 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

"Marketing is just Pixie Dust". Brilliant!

Education Central 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

He apologizes for taking up our time but the information is gold

Viking Actual 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Absolutely loved this conference. Now the logical thing to do would be to leave a like. So I will do the illogical thing and leave a dislike.

I feel my life improving.

rory chockman 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

The reason psychological innovation doesn't always stick is that sometimes people dont want pleasure and just want speed. I get the idea but it only sits in a world that is totally fixated on experience and not cost. he raises a compelling argument with clever thought experiments but it only works on side of the coin, which is focused on experience over cost. No one is going to pick super models on a train if you are married and have to close a deal in 10 minutes.

Because Reasons 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Brilliant talk. Many wonderful take-aways (Science based) Psychology focused. Hell yea.

Sigvard Björkman 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Isn't behavioral economics as aiming to understand the world from that same vantage point quite similar to Mises idea of Praxeology?

Robert Brook 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I wanted to see how a parrot would perceive the TV screen… Great talk, but it's let down by not showing certain slides of the presentation.

Onr Alpy 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM


Ham Burger 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

This material is BETTER than having someone hand you a brick of GOLD. Many thanks!🙆‍♂️🙆‍♀️

ExplorerLink 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I am odd as I love BlaBla car! :). I just watched this all the way through twice!!!! WOW I have 2 pages full of notes!!

ExplorerLink 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

OMG This was amazing!!!! It popped up on autoplay after I watched a video for the book "Scientific Advertising". I am soooo impressed. I have spent a lot of money on courses that I didn't take nearly as many notes!!! I will be clicking the link to see the full video!! I liked and subscribed!!! THANK YOU for sharing!

Edwin Loarca 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

I think I have to comment that Rory really kills it here. His talk was un-selfish and clear. Thanks.

Laguayari Ekio 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

This is very enlightening

Chloe Brown 22/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

Would have loved to see the cat reaction haha!


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