The Power of Behavior Change
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Or can you?
We all like to think of ourselves as unique individuals, who make our own decisions. But most often the choices we make are influenced by outside factors. Whether it’s deciding what to eat for lunch, which product to purchase or how to make improvements to your life, intricacies of the human psyche and the influences on it are always at play. As a marketing agency, we often work with clients on initiatives that influence audiences to make a behavior change that results in them living healthier and happier lives. Here’s an inside look at the journey they go through, and how it impacts their choices:
Each audience naturally starts here, often unaware of the cause altogether. Before your audience can consider taking an action, they first need to have a baseline of knowledge. Understanding how little your audience knows the cause at hand is needed when designing an effective campaign that drives behavior change.
The first thing we focus on is making our audience aware of how their current behavior impact their lives. For example, parents read the words all natural and Vitamin C on apple juice packaging, and believe it is a healthy choice for their children. But did you know one 6 oz. box of apple juice has almost as much sugar as two donuts? Our Cavities Get Around campaign for the Delta Dental Foundation of Colorado focused on raising awareness on how sugary drinks like juice cause cavities and that water is a better option.
The next step is to get the audience to consider making the desired behavior change. In order to do this you must show them how their new behavior will directly benefit them. We partner with Coloradans Against Auto Theft to remind our state’s residents about the larger impact car theft can have on their community. For instance, 97% of car thieves are charged with additional crimes, such as robbery or drug trafficking. By getting Coloradans to consider those additional crimes their stolen car is assisting with, we can better influence their car-related behavior, such as locking doors and removing valuables.
Now it’s time to get audiences to try out their new behavior and see how it works out for them. Of course, this decision phase has the most impact when it shows the audience concrete results. For instance, our Proud to be PrEPPED campaign for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment promotes the use of PrEP, a pill that prevents HIV. The immediate peace of mind and ability to control their overall health will ideally spur audience members on to the last desired action: advocacy.
5. Sustained Behavior
By the end of their journey, the goal is that the audience is completely on board with their new behavior, and have started encouraging others to make the change. We work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to promote Bustang, the interregional express bus service connecting major populations. Ridership has significantly increased since its launch, and a big part of this is because of riders advocating its service. They often comment on social media or leave reviews for others.
You might have noticed the behavior change journey is similar to a consumer’s purchase funnel. That’s because our minds are wired to not take action immediately, and it takes a little convincing before we are completely onboard – no matter the desired outcome. Our team of strategic minds uses research, proven tactics and a lot of creativity to reach our audience and guide them through this behavior change journey, just as an e-Commerce team would with a purchasing journey.