Nick Southgate is one of the leading practitioners in the emerging field of applied behavioural thinking. He looks to use the insights and understanding being gained in behavioural sciences in combination with the creative and communication expertise of a marketer and advertising thinker.
Nick is currently the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s Behavioural Economics Consultant. This role was created in 2009 to embed the insights of Behavioural Economics in the UK advertising industry and to complement then IPA President Rory Sutherland’s agenda for the industry.
In this role Nick has edited and authored five IPA publications on Behavioural Economics, run training events for IPA Members, developed the IPA’s Behavioural Economics Energizer, run workshops for the UK Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street, prepared the IPA’s submissions of evidence to the House of Lords Enquiry in to Behaviour Change including a specific submission on Transport issues and helped establish the IPA’s Fast Track Behavioural Sciences Course with Prof. Nick Chater at Warwick Business School in 2011. In 2014 he worked with the IPA’s Healthcare Group to explore how creative thinking can change the way people look after their own health and adhere to medical treatments. In 2015 he authored Behavioural Economics in Action a survey of best practice in the application of Behavioural Economics to marketing and communications.
Outside of the IPA Nick has worked on Behavioural Projects with Boots, Kraft, GSK, Aegon, The City of London, Hiscox, Drinkaware, The Alcohol Academy, Roche, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and others. He has also run training sessions for clients, advertising agencies, and market research agencies and collaborates with #ogilvychange, the first dedicated behaviour change unit within a global advertising agency. In 2012 he worked with PHD Media to develop a behavioural planning process within media and is currently working on a global project with TNS to apply behavioural thinking to qualitative market research. In 2014 he has worked with Hey Human (formerly Billington Cartmell) on a new creative process and creative brief format designed to embed behavioural thinking in the creative process.
He chaired the Market Research Society’s Conference Session on Behavioural Economics in 2011 for which he was nominated for Best Contribution to Conference and chaired interviews between Rory Sutherland and two of Behavioural Economics founding fathers, Prof Daniel Kahneman (2002 Nobel Winner) and Prof Richard Thaler, author of Nudge.
Nick’s interest in bridging the divide between academia and commerce is longstanding and was the subject of his awarding winning contribution to Market Intelligence & Planning ‘The academic-practitioner divide: finding time to make a difference’ published in 2006. He is also keen to promote publication and learning within the industry and is a longstanding judge on the Market Research Society Excellence Awards and in 2012 an Industry Judge on the internationally respected IPA Effectiveness Awards. He publishes regularly in trade journals including Research, Market Leader and The International Journal of Market Research.
Nick is also a seasoned public speaker giving keynote speeches for Mercer, The Danish Post Office, The Netherlands B2B Forum, the British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association and chairing Conferences for organisations such as the Food & Drink Innovation Network, IPA, MRS and WARC. His public speaking is noted for its wide-ranging references and examples, candour and humour.
Before working in advertising Nick obtained a PhD in Philosophy at Durham University. He continues an interest in philosophy by teaching at The School of Life, the educational institution founded by Alain De Botton. There he teaches ‘How To Find A Job You Love’, ‘How To Balance Work With Life’, ‘How To Make Better Decisions’ and ‘How To Be Cool’. The last class has become an international sensation with coverage in The Toronto Globe & Mail, Brazil, Belgium and Germany as well as Elle, Grazia, The Sunday Express and Monocle. He was even one of Queensland Museum’s ‘Curators of Cool’ helping put together an exhibit installed in July 2014. Nick regularly contributed to the School’s ‘Life Class’ column in The Evening Standard until its demise in 2011. He also writes regularly on adventures in modern music for The Wire.
He has worked at advertising agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Cogent Elliott, dfgw and Grey. He has been independent since 2009. His previous clients include the BBC, Unilever, Kerrygold Butter, Expedia, HMRC, cahoot, Horlicks, Sensodyne, Toshiba, Eagle Star, Arriva Buses, East Midland Trains, The London Development Agency, London Green Homes, Sprite, Lucozade and many more.