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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware - very useful.
An illuminating overview of one of the key relationships that defines our existence : that of price and cost. In this, Harden unveuils what many of us feel and unconsciously know anyway, the relationship between setting and serving - why would you pay £3 for a coffee in Starbucks when it costs about 17p to make? Here, it is clearly set in a context how human beings thing,...
Published 18 months ago by Mr. M. A. Reed

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unfulfilling for me
The book has a 6 chapter content:

- Decision Science: Understanding the Why of Consumer Behaviour
- The Moment of Truth: Decoding Purchase Decision
- Decoding the Interface: How the Autopilot Perceives Touchpoints
- Optimizing the Path to Purchase: The Decision Interface Makes the Difference
- Goals: The Driving Forces of Purchase...
Published 15 months ago by Su


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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and useful, 5 April 2013
By 
Thomas Douglas "TD" (Marlow) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Marketing has been becoming more of a science than an art for decades, and this book essentially presents the current state of the game as far as why consumers buy. It draws on Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, and if you have read that you might find the first 30 pages a little repetitive.

However it then progresses into very useful territory if you have anything to do with consumer sales or marketing, with a detailed explanation of goal theory and how it can be applied in a practical way.

Genuinely enlightening and commercial useful, this is an excellent book which will leave you with some concrete actions in your own business, and a list of further reading if you want to get a little deeper into the psychological science.

Five stars.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew marketing was a science all along?, 14 Mar 2013
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Decoded is a paradigm shift in marketing theory and practice. The upshot is that marketing begins with an understanding of people, not `markets'. Mugging up on psychophysics, behavioural economics and experimental psychology will make you better at your job than being able to recite Porter's Five Forces.

Barden is a veteran marketer who ventured agency side after 25 years in the hope that decision science would be the first explanatory framework for marketing to really get to the nub of consumer behaviour.

I think his efforts have been suitably rewarded.

The book does a great job of joining the dots between the scientific ivory tower and the real world of marketing strategy and tactics. It's clearly written and jargon-free, marketing acronyms and self-aggrandising scientific terms are mercifully omitted, allowing you to focus on what we should be doing differently. An achievement in itself.

In short: well worth a read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that deserves a second active reading to extract the juice, 29 July 2013
This is a book best read actively than passively

The book describes many short examples of behavioural science and Behavioural Economics (BE) and relates them to marketing decisions and scenarios. It also provides some simple frameworks and rules of thumb useful to the marketing practitioner. There could have been better referencing to the science studies, as has been mentioned by other reviewers, and some of them I have come across before in other books on BE.

The examples are very FMCG product focused and I would have liked to have seen more application of the ideas related to retail and even Business to business as the insights are about people's behaviour.

The most significant take-aways for me were :

Identify and build marketing and communication around peoples goals- not motivations
Understand expectations of customers
Delve for the implicit and explicit goals people have
Think about your offering in terms of contexts of peoples lives

I will be reading again and this time have a note book ready to transfer the anecdotes and ideas into a practical marketing guide for myself. It's best read with a questioning active and creative mind set - read a paragraph and keep asking "how does this relate to my situation"...and write down the insights that will come.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but a bit superficial., 16 Jun 2013
By 
Kindle Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
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I was slightly disappointed by this book. It looks lovely and is beautifully designed, however there is nothing in the book that has not been in other similar books - it is more a distillation of ideas than a collection of new insights, and it also does not really work as a how to book. Beautiful, but a bit superficial.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read for small businesses - well done, 21 May 2013
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Being a small business, we often fail to consider a marketing approach towards our company. i certainly have, and justify it by being uneconomical ie cost versus reward. This book gives you some great insight into how and why its worth implementing. i love the science and was comfortable with some of the concepts that link into some of the to NLP models. I have already started implementing some changes within my small business

for this money the risk - reward ratio is a no brainer!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Marketing for Everyman, 22 April 2013
By 
Hugo Minney "hugie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
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I've just saved a lot of time. Instead of searching for the 100 most recent articles on the science of marketing, wading through them and understanding them, and then trying to work out the practical application of them, I've read Phil Barden's book "Decoded". It brings me instantly up to date.
Marketing is moving on. We've gone from snake oil (any claim that will make you buy, true or otherwise) to attention-seeking colours to selling the concept. But Marketing is moving on again.
Brain scans (using MRI - I'm afraid not something you can do at home) have taken us a whole lot further - we now know how people actually make their decisions. Daniel Kahneman's Nobel-Prize-winning explanation of the three stages of decision-making (Perception > Intuition > Reflection) has been, like so many elegant explanations, impossible to act on until now. With MRI scans seeing what is really going on, we know that the decision was made well before the conscious mind started trying to justify it.
Barden confirms that there are no prizes for coming second - you are either the first thing people want, or you don't get bought. But here's the twist. You don't need to be the most attractive product overall, you don't need to have the highest brand awareness, you need to be the most attractive product to fulfil a specific human goal (Enjoyment, Security, Discipline, Autonomy, Adventure, Excitement etc). In fact if your product isn't all that well aligned with a specific goal, or the advertising is dissonant with the nature of the product, then it doesn't matter how much "brand awareness" there is, that might not translate into actual sales.
The book opens with Cadbury's iconic gorilla advertisement. It reminds us that the Dairy Milk bar is synonymous with comfort and fun, with freedom and being yourself. The book explains each point throughout its story with clearly explained and relevant examples - all the way from understanding how the Autopilot works and how the conscious mind only plays catch-up after the decision is made, through to how marketeers and even ordinary folks can make use of this information to identify what their product means, and then make it first in its class in the mind of the person with money burning a hole in their pocket. In a twist of fate, the book closes by comparing Cadbury's "Trucks" advertisement with the "Gorilla". "Trucks" as the second advertisement for Dairy Milk - a high-budget production to capitalise on the success of "Gorilla". It tried to open the market up to masculine, high adventure. The trouble is, Milk Chocolate (high calories, eaten slowly, a comfort food - and certainly NOT for sharing) doesn't fit well with adventure and adrenaline. How could it have gone so wrong? Well Cadbury is a few £ million and wiser. We manage to be a whole lot wiser without losing the money thanks to this book.
If you are curious, then this is a good book. If you are a professional, then it will bring you up to date very fast, which has to be a good thing!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An ok but slightly disappointing read, 30 May 2013
By 
H Jackson (England) - See all my reviews
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First let me start with the book's plus point. The author tries to justify his arguments using some academic studies. This distinguishes him from the majority of marketing authors who base their recommendations on their own personal and possibly idiosyncractic experience.

Unfortunately, the author often writes about a piece of research but then doesn't tell you who did the research (and it's not clear from the references at the back of the book). This was a let down given that many mainstream business books such as the excellent Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything give comprehensive and easy-to-use references. A second edition of this book needs either superscript numbers in the text indicating which reference it refers to or some other system to let interested readers such as me track down the studies.

Also, I've come across a lot of these studies before in earlier books such as 59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness and I is for Influence: The new science of persuasion.

Another criticism is that the book covers a lot of background theory but then provides almost no practical insight. But, thinking about it, this approach makes sense. This is a beautiful looking book with many full colour images. Each chapter uses a different colour for its headings and quotations. The book looks amazing and it's a visual feast. It looks as good as a glossy brochure and this is ultimately what this book struck me as: a brochure for the Decode consultancy, the company that the author works for.

I imagine that the author didn't want to give away too much practical advice. He wants the reader to get in touch with his consultancy. He wants the reader to pay for any proper advice!

I'm sure as a piece of marketing literature to impress their clients, this book will be a spectacular success. As a book aimed at the rest of us, it was a moderately entertaining read but didn't tell me anything particularly useful.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars was expecting more, 22 Mar 2013
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Overall it was pretty basic stuff, however it was well laid out and gave a good over-view of the the industry.
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