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Behavioral Marketing: Delivering Personalized Experiences At Scale by Bill Nussey, Dave Walters

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15Best Friend BrandsBecoming Indispensable to Your Customer

A real-world example of what behavioral marketing success looks like at the campaign and marketer level is Silverpop's sponsored primary research into a concept we call Best Friend Brands. Generally these are a user's most important 5 to 10 brand relationships. We wanted to document how users thought about their top brands and how a brand can truly make their way into their customer's inner circle. We surveyed almost 4,000 people across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany to ensure we have a well-represented global view and diverse email interaction types.

One of the core truths in regard to the ability of humans to interact socially is that we are limited by the number of people we can interact with efficiently. British anthropologist and evolutional psychologist Robin Dunbar has theorized that the maximum number is 150. As head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, Dunbar has some amazing credibility. He defines his Dunbar's number as:

A measurement of the cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.

That maximum of 150 shows up in all kinds of unique ways. It might be your complete extended-friend group when you were in your mid-twenties and single. Or it might be your friends plus your extended family if you're in your late thirties and married ...

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