Anchor and Adjust
The Internet penetration for Canada is 84%%
The landing page bounce rate for site A is 44%.
Is the bounce rate for site A unacceptably high?
Your opinion is heavily swayed by the previous fact, whether you’re conscious of it or not.
The tendency of humans to anchor and adjust is insidious. Even if you hear a number that has nothing to do with the question in question, it’s going to color future perceptions.
Why am I so concerned about this?
Consider how it can impact business decisions:
If people get it into their heads that 40 cents is a really good CPC based on some previous campaign – that becomes the anchor. Then, suddenly, a 4 dollar keyword looks really extravagant. But based on what? The previous 40 cent anchor? What of downstream conversion? What about loyal customer conversion?
I’m saying that the phenomenon is real, and you should be aware of it.
2 thoughts on “Anchor and Adjust”
A number by itself is not good or bad. It always depends of the context. The trick is to define the right context for the numbers and their real value and they will speak for themselves.
Now that you mention it, it I think I’ve noticed the “anchor phenomenon” before. Did I? Or perhaps it is only because I read your post that I convinced myself that I’ve seen this phenomenon before…
Is interesting to see how we can consciously or unconsciously we can trick our own perceptions.
Something similar happens with best practices. You may think that following them you would get the best results. However in this case “best” really means “average”
Oh, Jose, did you just mention ‘best practices’?
That is an example of anchor and adjust for sure.
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