Episode #1555 Jonah Berger: Why Understanding is the Key to Influence

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No business exists without a customer; and no customers exist without marketing outreach -   So, how is it that two businesses selling the same exact product/service can have vastly different results? Wharton Marketing Professor, Jonah Berger rejoins Moe Abdou to discuss the science of influence and why it starts with deep understanding. 


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Jonah Berger

Marketing Professor at Wharton School, Speaker, Consultant, Author of NYT Bestseller View Full Profile

Why understanding is the key to change

Having built, coached, and advised leadership and sales teams around the world, I’ve always felt strongly about the delicate balance between integrity and influence.  Too often in leadership - and particularly in sales - the lines between ethics and technique are too often blurred - with the latter driven more by the desire to meet sales targets and less by an understanding of the customer.   

There’s no denying that value and profitability are the hallmarks of any successful organization; still the ones that endure look beyond the obvious.  In this episode, I’m rejoined by Wharton Marketing Professor, Jonah Berger to explore why push tactics almost always backfire, and what the science of human behavior can teach us about individual and organizational change.  His philosophy is capture by the metaphor REDUCE and is the subject of his latest book - The Catalyst:  How To Change Anyone’s Mind.  Here’s a sampling of the questions that lead our discussion:  

  • The evolution of marketing from 2010-2020
  • What’s less effective, more effective, and essential?
  • The science behind deep consumer understanding.
  • The correlation between language and organizational perception,  particularly in marketing?
  • Understanding and implementing the REDUCE framework. 
  • Why reframing your questions are a key catalyst for change?
  • When does uncertainty become a catalyst for change?
  • The importance of mitigating the distance barrier.
  • Why bragging about how good you are is exactly the wrong thing to do?
  • What it takes to let go?
  • Resources: