Understanding Why We Buy

Understanding Why We Buy

A few weeks ago, I attended the SMPS Southern Regional Conference (SRC) in Oklahoma City, and it did not disappoint. Not only was it our first in-person SRC in two years, but the learning opportunities were, in short, stellar.

For me, one of the highlights was our keynote presentation by JonRobert Tartaglione. If that name rings a bell, it should! He authored the 2018 Foundation report The Neuropsychology of Influence and Decision-Making. The report is fantastic (if you haven’t downloaded it, I encourage you to do so. It’s complimentary to SMPS members). In it, he detailed a suite of notable psychological concepts of which marketing professionals should be aware due to the critical role we play in shifting consumer attitudes and decisions. Those concepts include:

  • Psychological reactance and trust
  • Agenda setting
  • Paradox of choice
  • Framing information
  • Contrast effects

The focus of JonRobert’s keynote was a sneak peek of the follow-up report, which we expect to release later this spring. It’s a guide designed to assist firms in identifying opportunities where the above concepts could be integrated, based on collaboration with a few A/E/C firm representatives. It moves from concept to application, focusing on how to put the insights into action.

During the keynote, a few key takeaways really hit home for me:

  • Are we striking the right balance between logic and emotion?
  • Is our communication deliberate?
  • Are we speaking the client’s language?
  • Do we understand our brand?
  • Do we understand the competitive landscape?

I won’t give away the findings uncovered, so you’ll have to wait for the final report to be released. However, JonRobert’s work is a good example of the types of projects the SMPS Foundation spearheads to support your marketing and business development efforts within your firm. And, thanks to generous donors and support throughout the years, we’re able to carry on these efforts.

What burning topic would you like to see the SMPS Foundation tackle next? What types of research will help your firm build business? We want to hear from you! If you have an idea about an upcoming initiative, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I’m all ears!


Article written by SMPS Foundation President Andrea Goodwin, FSMPS, CPSM. She can be reached at AGoodwin@bgeinc.com.

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