The State of MarTech Report

There has never been a more exciting time to work in marketing and technology. The world was already digitising rapidly, but the pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation. Companies that have been forced to adapt to evolving customer behaviours to survive now have an opportunity to thrive.


Marketing & Tech Book Club: The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton

There had been “too much description of behavioural biases and experiments, and not enough about the practical application” Richard Shotton told us when asked about the motivation behind his book.
Choice FactoryThe Choice Factory, 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy chronicles what Shotton considered to be the most relevant biases that can be applied to marketing and advertising.

Why we loved it

Presenting academic research on behavioural science and its practical application to advertising runs the risk of being dry as dust…but Shotton delivers a book that is insightful, entertaining, engaging and best of all – actually useful.
It will make you take a look at the way you understand your campaigns, your clients…yourself and think differently about why we make the decisions we do.

Interview with Richard Shotton

Our illustrious founder, and host of the Marketing and Tech Book Club Carlos Doughty caught up with Richard to chat about the book and you can listen to the full episode right here;

In this episode;

  • Tech giant Uber's success with the application of psychological principals...and where it might fail due to the consumers inherent bias towards 'punishing unfairness'
  • The application of the Pratfall Effect in recent ad campaigns by Carlsberg and Argos
  • Richard's advice for marketing newbies
  • Why marketers might be failing to analyse their social listening data
  • Why 'Brand Purpose' should not be the focus of marketing
  • and plenty more.

Episode preview

Richard Shotton - Uber


Behavioural Bias #18: The Pratfall Effect

While Shotton offers the caveat that there is no ‘magic bias that is applicable in all circumstances and will be relevant to every single brand’ he does however suggest if he had to choose a favourite of the 25 included in his book it would be the Pratfall Effect.
“My favourite – if you can have a favourite – is the Pratfall Effect, that is people or product who exhibit a flaw become more appealing.”
Two companies have recently employed the Pratfall Effect as discussed by Richard and Carlos – Carlsberg and Argos, but with how much effectiveness?

"Everyone assumes brands are fallible, so if a brand is open about its failings, it can persuade consumers its weaknesses lie in inconsequential areas." is says in The Choice Factory page 126. however as Shotton goes on to say what the best brands do, is admit a flaw that isn't 'crucial' but select a flaw that highlights a mirror strength. That to take advantage of the pratfall effect, a brand must have a perceived degree of competency.

Check out the two campaigns below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Taking it's inspiration from Jimmy Kimmel's 'Mean Tweets' segment, the beer company highlights "At Carlsberg UK, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality."


Argos was quick to recreate a Vogue photoshoot of Kim Kardashian and her children to showcase attainable luxury at their budget prices.

Argos Recreates Kardashian PhotoshootKim Kardashian poses with her children for Vogue photoshoot







Some more useful references from this episode: