Editor’s note: Alex Hunt is CEO of N.Y. metro-based market research firm PRS IN VIVO. 

Why do people what they do, and how can we influence their choices in our favor?

This is the question at the core of the insights industry. For roughly the last 20 years, behavioral science has become the accepted, recognized principle for examining this question. 

But the adoption of behavioral science to transform the way large companies run their businesses has been slow. Corporate market research remains behind psychology. This is because behavioral science is a challenge to classical marketing, which presumes everyone operates at a highly rational way. But it is proven that humans are unreliable witnesses to their own actions and intentions.

Despite embracing the power of behavioral principles, behavioral science itself has shown us that it is extremely hard to evolve and change, even when habits and defaults prove contrary to self-interest. The same is true in corporate insight functions and leading insight suppliers. Organizations tend to cling to the very practices they know don’t reflect human decision-making and don’t drive better outcomes or growth. 

So, how can insight teams act as growth architects and lead efforts to embed behavioral science into their organizations in a way that drives growth?

For researchers looking to empower marketers to create influential interactions that guide consumer choice in order to deliver better business outcomes for their companies – and ultimately embed behavioral science into their business process – the following three-step process is recommended. 

As you embrace this three-step formula, here are a few things to keep in mind to help ensure success. 

1. Treat foundational learning like an undergraduate science. Behavioral science is a walk into the marketing unknown, a world where researchers are traditionally uncomfortable. We’re abando...