IDM Award in Behavioural Economics

This course is ONLINE, e-learning

Learn how unconscious biases can be harnessed in your marketing campaigns and understand the theory and practice of assembling simple experiments and applying the results.

During your Award in Behavioural Economics, you will learn:​

  • How the study of behavioural science can benefit marketing practices
  • How classic campaigns have put behavioural economics into practice to harness bias
  • The EAST framework for nudging behavioural change
  • Why using data to inform decision-making is more reliable than opinion
  • The processes you should follow to achieve robust results from your experiments


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Course Availability

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Qualification Information

You will be required to complete two x one hour online examinations.

  • What is Behavioural Economics?
  • Why we should use behavioural economics in marketing
  • Three ways you could be harnessing behavioural economics
  • The danger of claimed data – why it is better to observe behaviour than listen to consumer claims
  • Overestimating the importance of target audiences
  • Give more emphasis to target contexts
  • De Beers – anchoring
  • Nespresso – price relativity
  • Frame works MINDSPACE and EAST
  • The government implementation of Behavioural Economics
  • How small pieces of friction can have a disproportionate influence on behaviour – look at the example of suicides (North Sea gas and paracetamol)
  • How many brands suffer from choice paralysis and what they can do about it
  • Setting up your hypothesis
  • Understand the context with in the data
  • Reach meaningful conclusions
  • How consumers don’t have enough time or energy to weigh up decision rationally.
  • How prices can be made to appear more attractive – scope insensitivity & payment method
  • How promotions can be made to appear more attractive – plausibility
  • Counter-intuitive ways of boosting attractiveness: pratfall effect
  • How consumers look to others when making decisions
  • Show how social proof can backfire
  • Show how social proof can be used creatively
  • How the same message can have a markedly different effect depending on when people hear it
  • Why talking to consumers after a life-event is a window of opportunity
  • How brands can capitalise on the fresh start effect
  • Why brands should give disproportionate emphasis to the peak and final moment of the experience they create


Enjoy the flexibility of devising your own personalised study routine with your programme deadlines via a stream of online content run over 12 months. You will receive email support and 24/7 access to course materials.

Exams and assessments

In order to attain the Award in Behavioural Economics you must successfully pass two x one hour online exams.

Pass marks and grades

To pass this programme you will need a minimum of 60% in the exams. In the event that the minimum pass mark is not met you will have the opportunity to resit at a later date.

To drive content development for this programme, the IDM has engaged with a number of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to ensure that what we develop is not only engaging but more importantly relevant and up to date. You can find out more about each of the SMEs below.

Richard Shotton

Richard Shotton is the author of The Choice Factory, a best-selling book on how to apply findings from behavioural science to advertising.

Richard started his career as a media planner 17 years ago, working on accounts such as Coke, Lexus and, before specialising in applying behavioural science to business problems. He is currently the Head of Behavioural Science at Manning Gottlieb OMD, the most awarded media agency in the history of the IPA Effectiveness awards.

He regularly runs training session with brands, big and small, using insights from behavioural science to help solve their problems. He has run sessions with brands such as Virgin, Renault, Molson Coors and Specsavers. Richard is a regular conference speaker and has featured at events such as Cannes, Ad Week and the Festival of Marketing.

He writes about the experiments he runs in a monthly column for Marketing Week but also for titles such as Quartz, Mumbrella, Campaign, AdMap and the Drum.

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland is Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and is an expert on consumer behaviour, trends and the influence of the internet. He believes companies should alter their perspectives of their clients, and Behavioural Economics is one of the means to achieve this. He is a prolific speaker and writer, of the ‘The Wiki Man’ column at The Spectator and Campaign.

Nick Southgate

Nick Southgate was a philosopher before turning his attention to planning and applying Behavioural Economics to advertising. He worked at agency Grey London before moving into training marketers and advertisers to apply the principles to their work. He also works extensively for both the IPA and The School of Life.

Cliff Van Wyk

Cliff Van Wyk is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, with special emphasis on Behavioural Economics, strategic planning and applied creativity. Before joining Bournemouth University in 2007, Cliff spent 30 years in advertising and marketing at Lintas, Lowe Worldwide, Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Dulux, 3M, Mercedes-Benz, HSBC and IBM.

David Alder

David Alder is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University with a special interest in Behavioural Economics, creative strategy and advertising history. He is writing his PhD on the advertising and popularisation of gin from the eighteenth century to the present.

Mark Cross

Mark has a long history of using Behavioural Economics to promote better outcomes for brands and their clients and customers. Mark now leads his own Behavioural Economics consultancy Chartroom with clients including the Royal Mail.
As Communications Planning Director at the COI he was heavily involved in the foundation of the Behavioural Insights Unit (commonly known as the ‘nudge’ unit), which has been copied throughout the world. Mark has also been media director at Young & Rubicam, chief executive at PHD Compass and Senior Partner at Dentsu Aegis-owned Behavioural Economics consultancy Equal.

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