Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why a PULL strategy is better than a PUSH strategy when you want people to change their behavior

Advertising is not about creating awareness. Sometimes clients measure success by how many in the target audience who has SEEN the ad, but that can never be the intention. “Awareness” doesn´t say much about preference, consideration or willingness to take action (dig up the credit card and press the pin). Every marketing strategy must aim for the last step in the purchase funnel – otherwise we are just producing a lot of entertainment, not useful work for the brands we are responsible for.

In 1977 James O. Prochaska of the University of Rhode Island and colleagues developed the transtheoretical model, based on an analysis of different theories of psychotherapy, and it´s really similar to the classic funnel, just presented in a fancier language…
In the Transtheoretical Model, change is a "process involving progress through a series of stages":
·         Precontemplation – "people are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and are most likely unaware that their behaviour is problematic"
·         Contemplation – "people are beginning to recognize that their behaviour is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions"
·         Preparation – "people are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps towards change”
·         Action – "people have made specific overt modifications in their life style, and positive change has occurred"
·         Maintenance – "people are working to prevent relapse," a stage which can last indefinitely"
·         Termination – "individuals have zero temptation and 100% self-efficacy... they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping”

I would word it: Ignorance, Awareness, Consideration, Action, Liking, Loyalty
But this gives us nothing but a tool to see what level we are on, and where to aim… How to actually make people start giving to charity, care for the environment or give up the lollies is another issue…
I´ve written several articles lately on the power of fun when you wish to change people´s behaviour. Today I want to highlight the power of complimenting.
Psychologists wanted to find out how they could make 5th graders clean up the school yard.
One group of kids were simply told to pick up.
One group got to listen to lectures about the environment and the consequences of not cleaning up.
One group got to hear how great they were at picking up garbage!
25 % of the kids in the first and second group followed the instructions and cleaned up, while a whopping 85% of those who had been complimented did the same.
It´s easy really, still so many leaders, bosses and marketers fail to see this.
Aren´t we all more eager to do well for those who give us a little smile or a thank you? Don´t we all know we work better when we are recognised for what´s good than when we are criticised for what´s bad? Yes.
Research has also shown that doctors who get a little present, no matter how small, before meeting a patient will be more thorough. Bring out the best in people by flattering, encouraging and being warm. Shouting won´t work in the long run.
It´s better to pull than to push, at least to some extent. Feeding egos with too much wowing isn´t going to make people work hard, but a little of both will create great results.
One thing is sure: If your campaign brings in some positivity to the mix, it will get closer to the “termination” state. If you wish to get rid of darkness, turn the lights on! Which is what this campaign definitely has done... Be stunned!

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