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Matthew Willcox    

Author of "The Business of Choice - Marketing to Consumers' Instincts" winner of Marketing Book of The Year 2016 and American Marketing Association Prize for best books in marketing

"We're all in the business of choice"

Matthew is the author of "The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts" (Pearson FT Press), winner of Sales & Marketing Books "Marketing Book of The Year 2016", and the American Marketing Association Berry Book Prize for best books in marketing. His book investigates what behavioral science and neuroscience can teach us about how people naturally choose, and how practitioners can align their programs with human nature. He runs a behavioral insights and choice architecture consultancy that is appropriately called The Business of Choice.

Previously, Matthew was Founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Decision Making, a group that brings findings from scientists who study human behavior and how people make choices into the practice of advertising and marketing.

Matthew is fascinated by how intuitions and emotions drive human choice and behavior. In his talks and workshops he shows how the most effective ideas tap in to human nature at an instinctive level.

He has more than 20 years of brand strategy experience throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Over that time he has helped organisations such as Levi Strauss and Co., Electronic Arts, Unilever, Nestle, Shell and GlaxoSmithKline get their products chosen, and in the process, helped his clients win eight Effie Awards.

He has acted as an expert on behaviour change for the US Food and Drug Administration anti-smoking programs, and for NGOs in areas that include sexual and reproductive health and healthy eating for kids. He is a frequent speaker at business schools and at marketing and communication events, including Most Contagious, the Cannes Lions in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015, and was one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural global Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit in Addis Ababa in 2016.

Matthew grew up in Ireland, is married to an Italian and lives in San Francisco.

Speech Topics


How to AIign Innovation with Human Nature

We tend to think about innovation from the perspective of the future. What's new? What's coming down the pipeline? But, paradoxical as it sounds, innovations don't succeed because of their modernity, but because of how well they work with a 6 million year old operating system -- the human mind.

In this session Matthew Willcox, author of "The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumer's Instincts", a book that explores how what we've learnt from evolutionary psychology reveals how people make choices, applies the same thinking to what makes innovations successful. How do innovations tap into human nature?

Willcox will give examples of innovations that do just this, and explain why. He'll also show how as technology and innovation evolves that surprisingly, it connects better with our more primal, ancient selves.

Format: Keynote (40 mins); Workshop (20-40 people; 1 day)

How to get your brand chosen: the business of choice

Whatever your marketing or behavioral objective, you’ll be far more successful if you know how humans choose. Human intuitions and cognitive mechanisms have evolved over millions of years, but only now are practitioners beginning to understand them. The Business of Choice helps you apply new scientific insights to make your brand or behavior the easiest, most instinctive choice. Matthew Willcox integrates the latest research advances with his own extensive enterprise marketing experience at FCB’s Institute of Decision Making. Willcox explains why we humans often seem so irrational, how marketers can leverage the same evolutionary factors that helped humans prosper as a species, how to make decisions simpler for your consumers, and how to make them feel good about their choices, so they keep coming back for more!

Format: Keynote (40 mins); Workshop (20-40 people; 1 day)

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