Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Second order decision making

Second order decisions are the rules we make up in our lives either to avoid making complex trade offs or remove the need to continuously reassess everyday choices.

So for example ...

* Sticking to one commute route regardless of traffic and weather conditions
* Putting your credit card in the freezer to avoid over usage.
* Deciding to buy - before entering the shop - what ever shower gel is on offer.
* Selecting an IFA you like rather than researching the product itself.
* Repeating your grocery order on line.

Identifying which decisions (and when) are second order and which are primary is a really good way to think about both categories and consumer decision making. If your market displays a high degree of second order decision making then the chances are the persuasion model of marketing may be less effective, your job is to break the habit get consumers to do something different.


  1. I guess this can be divided in two ways: Those second order decision we do out of low involvement and those that we use out of trust. Trust as the ultimate trigger of relationship complexity reduction (see the operations of the Mafie, e.g.) solves the problem of information overflow and makes tasks more efficient. Interesting to read would be Coleman and his sociology theories.



  2. Thanks for that. Useful.

    From a marketing perspective we could classify as disinterest in the category (its boring) or habit. Really important to differentiate between the two before we invest millions solving the wrong problem really really well.

  3. I think that it is boring and i
    dont think that i would invest
    my hard earned money into this
    without the survey.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


About Me

My photo
United Kingdom
Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.