Bart De Langhe

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Leading Behavioral Economist with Alternative Models for Building Customer Loyalty; Data Scientist at the Intersection of AI and Human Decision Making; Marketing Thought Leader Helping Companies Optimize Data to Drive Growth; Professor, ESADE

Biography

When it comes to generating new ideas and building customer loyalty, ESADE Business School marketing professor Bart De Langhe offers businesses a unique approach to success at the intersection of humans and AI.

A behavioral scientist and data analyst, De Langhe applies interpretive thinking (the human part) to data (the AI part) so that companies can optimize their resources when composing, decomposing, innovating and delivering on new ideas. As a multidisciplinary expert in behavioral economics, human psychology, marketing and data analysis, and a member of the ESADE’s Institute for Data-Driven Decisions, De Langhe helps companies not just read data, but have it lead them toward their ideal customers and what those customers want.

“If you understand how the mind works and how the data works, you can optimize any area of business including monetization, innovation, pricing, customer relations and more,” says De Langhe.

Rather than simply looking at numbers and analytics, De Langhe identifies behavioral patterns embedded in data, revealing the driving forces behind customer decision making. Recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the most promising young scholars in marketing, De Langhe says the best investment any company can make is to develop a better understanding of how to interpret and process the data they collect.

“Data, machines and algorithms alone don’t lead to optimal decisions,” says De Langhe. “You need experienced analysts who know how to read the data, ask the right questions, segment, visualize and utilize it in optimal ways. If you don’t understand how the mapping of your metrics relates to the outcome, you’re blindly adopting transformations that don’t make sense.”

As seen in his TEDxESADE talk, De Langhe also challenges the notion that companies should react to online reviews when trying to serve customers. Instead he encourages businesses to move in the opposite direction by first identifying customers who are of value to them, then seeking to satisfy those (and similar) consumers by delivering products and services they need. His distinct frameworks for problem solving, decision making and developing new ideas draw on the logic of segmenting, decomposing and recomposing elements in order to create something “useful” to a valued customer.

When businesses struggle to understand why consumers don’t buy their products or services, De Langhe shows them how that is often related to decision environments. To help leaders think differently about their innovation processes, De Langhe’s Harvard Business Review articles, “The Dangers of Categorical Thinking” (2019) and “Linear Thinking in a Nonlinear World” (2017), warn that categorical thinking – the process by which our brain takes in, deciphers and simplifies information – can impair decision-making across various functional areas of an organization and that assumptions of linear relationships can lead to rampant productivity losses.

Ultimately, De Langhe shows companies how to leverage the best of what humans and machines have to offer. The key to success, he says, lies in optimizing the distribution of human work and machine work so operations run smoothly while ideas flow freely.

Bart De Langhe is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, interactive workshops and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group.

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De Langhe, Bart

Biography

When it comes to generating new ideas and building customer loyalty, ESADE Business School marketing professor Bart De Langhe offers businesses a unique approach to success at the intersection of humans and AI.

A behavioral scientist and data analyst, De Langhe applies interpretive thinking (the human part) to data (the AI part) so that companies can optimize their resources when composing, decomposing, innovating and delivering on new ideas. As a multidisciplinary expert in behavioral economics, human psychology, marketing and data analysis, and a member of the ESADE’s Institute for Data-Driven Decisions, De Langhe helps companies not just read data, but have it lead them toward their ideal customers and what those customers want.

“If you understand how the mind works and how the data works, you can optimize any area of business including monetization, innovation, pricing, customer relations and more,” says De Langhe.

Rather than simply looking at numbers and analytics, De Langhe identifies behavioral patterns embedded in data, revealing the driving forces behind customer decision making. Recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the most promising young scholars in marketing, De Langhe says the best investment any company can make is to develop a better understanding of how to interpret and process the data they collect.

“Data, machines and algorithms alone don’t lead to optimal decisions,” says De Langhe. “You need experienced analysts who know how to read the data, ask the right questions, segment, visualize and utilize it in optimal ways. If you don’t understand how the mapping of your metrics relates to the outcome, you’re blindly adopting transformations that don’t make sense.”

As seen in his TEDxESADE talk, De Langhe also challenges the notion that companies should react to online reviews when trying to serve customers. Instead he encourages businesses to move in the opposite direction by first identifying customers who are of value to them, then seeking to satisfy those (and similar) consumers by delivering products and services they need. His distinct frameworks for problem solving, decision making and developing new ideas draw on the logic of segmenting, decomposing and recomposing elements in order to create something “useful” to a valued customer.

When businesses struggle to understand why consumers don’t buy their products or services, De Langhe shows them how that is often related to decision environments. To help leaders think differently about their innovation processes, De Langhe’s Harvard Business Review articles, “The Dangers of Categorical Thinking” (2019) and “Linear Thinking in a Nonlinear World” (2017), warn that categorical thinking – the process by which our brain takes in, deciphers and simplifies information – can impair decision-making across various functional areas of an organization and that assumptions of linear relationships can lead to rampant productivity losses.

Ultimately, De Langhe shows companies how to leverage the best of what humans and machines have to offer. The key to success, he says, lies in optimizing the distribution of human work and machine work so operations run smoothly while ideas flow freely.

Bart De Langhe is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, interactive workshops and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group.

Speech Topics

Effectively Divide Work Between Humans and Machines to Optimize Growth

Algorithms and humans process information differently. Machines are good at sensing and storing information, while humans are good at decomposing and recomposing information, breaking it down and reconfiguring it in new ways. Working together, they form what De Langhe refers to as “collective intelligence.” In this presentation, De Langhe helps companies understand which tasks are best assigned to machines so humans can do better work and businesses can thrive. He shares his three-step framework and then applies it to strategic decision-making, marketing, innovation, human resources, data analytics and other business functions. He further points out that fears around humans being replaced by AI are unfounded, and illustrates his point with references to the history of art. Audiences will gain from De Langhe a deeper, more accurate understanding of what it will take to succeed in a future that requires the best of both humans and technology.

Gain Customer Loyalty by Reversing Your Product Development Process

Traditionally, companies develop products and services they think will be marketable. De Langhe says this process should be reversed, that winning customers starts with identifying what your valued customer looks like then developing products and services to meet their needs. In this presentation, he reviews the principles of his three-step framework for creating and innovating in response to a specific market and shows how data analytics can help companies paint a picture of what their valued customer looks like. His framework asks companies to learn everything about that customer, find more customers like them and focus on serving that group in order to build business and establish lifetime customer loyalty. During his talk, De Langhe shares relevant case studies then fields questions from attendees looking for insights into their own business challenges.

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