Behavioural science lab Moribus will help clients use research findings to sell their products

22 Jul,2014

By Pritha Mitra Dasgupta


Maxus, advertising and PR firm WPP’s media agency, wants to study your behaviour and help clients use that insight to sell their products.


Last week, Maxus launched Moribus, a behavioural science lab in India which will be part of its consumer insights division, Insights. Moribus will be the first of its kind lab by a media agency in Asia-Pacific and will use disciplines of behavioural science, behavioural economics, sociology, psychology and so on to solve real life business problems, said Maxus MD Kartik Sharma. Moribus has inked an exclusive deal with Mumbai University’s Centre for Computational & Social Sciences to carry out customised research projects for marketers. While the unit was officially launched a week ago, Maxus had floated two behavioural study projects about two-and-half years ago, Sharma said.


“Moribus is a Latin name for behaviour and the fundamental thing about marketing is changing behaviour or making people do something which they were not doing earlier,” he said. “It is only for India for now and as we go along we may extend it to a few more markets in Asia.”


While Mr Sharma declined to comment on the investments made by Maxus on setting up the lab, sources with knowledge of the matter said it has invested Rs 2-3 crore to flag it off.


While traditional research is good, it sometimes doesn’t unearth some of the insights that marketers are looking for, Mr Sharma said. “People, when asked a question, will react in a certain way, and when you observe them they react in another way. So this kind of technique will also help us understand some of the insights.” Findings of these behavioural studies will be complimentary to the existing marketing plans of clients, and will not replace anything.


One of the two projects it has carried out was for an impulse category product – usually, things like chocolates, perfumes, music, luxury clothing – and it was called ‘The Ego Depletion Experiment’. “The objective of the study was to understand consumer decision-making when people are under stress,” said Mr Sharma. In behavioural research, the word “economics” has a certain amount of pay off, he said. “Markeunters of impulse products would significantly increase their chances of making a sale by being present in ego-depletion moments.”


For example, it could be their presence outside the classroom in colleges via counters or giving special offers during exam time.” Besides the economic payoff, this experiment doesn’t need a very large sample size. “Because when you study behaviour in a particular way, even with 30-40 people one can get very good insights. You don’t need to run a 30,000-40,000 panel, therefore it is also more cost effective to the client,” said Mr Sharma.


Source:The Economic Times

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