The podcast for corporate Insight leaders
Dec. 15, 2022

Episode 20: Nudging decision-makers

Episode 20: Nudging decision-makers

In this 16-minute episode James looks at how successful Insight teams learn from the world of behavioural economics to improve their influencing tactics.

In the last 20 years, there’s been an enormous advance in our understanding of the way we make decisions, and an entire field of study – and a whole library of popular books – now focuses on the topic of behavioural economics, or behavioural science.

We now all accept that we are not rational decision-makers; instead we know that we repeatedly do things based on a half-hearted and subjective evaluation of imperfect information, constantly taking the path of least resistance, then justifying our behaviour afterwards.

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An understanding of behavioural biases is critical for anyone who runs market research projects; you’ll know that there’s always been a gap between what consumers claim is important, and what they actually do when you can observe their behaviour. 

But the IMA believes that our corporate Insight teams need to pay just as much attention to understanding senior stakeholders as they do to understanding the company’s end customers. 

If we don’t know how corporate decisions are taken in our own head office, we stand little chance of influencing those decisions. And if we don’t influence those decisions, there was no point in doing any analysis or research on consumers in the first place. 

So how can Insight teams use an understanding of behavioural biases to nudge decision-makers? Please listen to find out more!

Topics Discussed

  • The trouble with market research (4.02)
  • The connection to corporate decision-making (5.38)
  • Do we all need to be experts on behavioural biases? (7.43)
  • Making the use of Insight socially acceptable (11.18)
  • Embracing behavioural economics (12.56)


  • “As David Ogilvy is reported to have said, ‘The trouble with market research is that people don’t think what they feel, they don’t say what they think, and they don’t do what they say’
  • “A knowledge of behavioural biases can be just as useful to Insight teams who want to influence their stakeholders as to those who want to learn more about the drivers of consumer choice. It can help us to develop a list of handy tactics which we can use, almost irrespective of how well we know the decision-makers concerned. 
  • “The UK Nudge Unit have used the EAST framework to categorise behavioural biases, but there is a lot of merit in keeping things simple to start with and just using the four EAST factors themselves. If we want Insight to be influential, we have to make adopting our ideas Easy, Attractive, Socially acceptable and Timely.”

This is episode 20 of the Transforming Insight podcast. 

If you have the ambition to transform your Insight team and the role it plays in your organisation, please tune in to future episodes. Not only will we explore the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams as outlined in the Transforming Insight book, we will also talk to senior corporate Insight leaders, delve into books that have inspired us, and discuss new best practice research carried out with the IMA’s corporate members.

You won’t want to miss this! So please hit subscribe - and thank you for listening. 

About James Wycherley, the author ofTransforming Insight

James Wycherley was Director of Customer Insight and Analytics at Barclays from 2005 to 2015 when he became Chief Executive of the Insight Management Academy (IMA). A popular keynote speaker and acknowledged expert on Insight leadership, strategy, and communication, he is the author of the book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams, and over 35 IMA publications. He has provided thought leadership in the UK, Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, India, and the Middle East, and regularly hosts the IMA’s Insight forums - London, Manchester, UK Online and US Online.

The Insight Management Academy is the world’s leading authority on transforming Insight teams.


If you would like more information on any of the ideas discussed in this episode of the Transforming Insight podcast, please visit

Copies of James Wycherley’s book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teamscan be purchased direct from


The Transforming Insight podcast is published by the Insight Management Academy and produced by Zorbiant.

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