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The Biological Basis of Marketing with Geoffrey Miller, Ph.D

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Most Marketing Trends guests focus on a specific strategy, tactic, or technology. But Geoffrey Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, starts with marketing’s most fundamental question: Why do people buy things?

On this episode, Geoffrey talks about biology, evolution, and how psychology affects the way consumers respond to marketing. He digs into how people’s fundamental wants and needs inform what they buy and who they buy from.


Full Notes & Quotes: http://bit.ly/2P8BRKE 

Geoffrey’s LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/geoffrey-miller-002a3710/

Geoffrey’s Twitter: twitter.com/primalpoly

PrimalPoly: primalpoly.com/

5 Key Takeaways:

– Virtue signaling, or the instinct that humans have to show that they are a good person, is an important behavior exhibited by almost everyone.

– “Fundamentally, what matters to people is not material wealth. It’s maximizing things like your social status, your attractiveness. and your prestige.” – Geoffrey Miller

– We have a deep need for story and narrative. Stories are how we learn and how we’ve entertained ourselves for thousands of years.

– “I think innovative brands and psychology-savvy marketers can now add a lot of value to people’s lives in totally new ways that might not even require buying the product.” – Geoffrey Miller

– Consumers rarely know themselves as well as they think they do, and they’re stated reasons for making purchases is often different from the true motivator.


Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychologist best known for his books The Mating Mind, Mating Intelligence, Spent, and Mate. He has a B.A. in Biology and Psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Stanford University, and is a tenured associate professor at University of New Mexico. He has over 110 academic publications (cited over 14,000 times) addressing sexual selection, mate choice, signaling theory, fitness indicators, consumer behavior, marketing, intelligence, creativity, language, art, music, humor, emotions, personality, psychopathology, and behavior genetics. He has also given over 200 talks in 16 countries, reviewed papers for over 50 journals, and also worked at NYU Stern Business School, UCLA, and the London School of Economics.

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Episode 25