Why Marketers Need Social Science in Their Tool Kit

The Future of Marketing and How to Win: Part 4

One of the best examples I can give you is from one of our healthcare clients that markets a treatment for an acute condition that is potentially fatal. There were two types of customers. On one hand, there are the very vigilant people who own multiple devices. They keep them in all kinds of locations. They protect themselves very well. At the other extreme, there’s another type of person that is quite lax. If they even own a device, they don’t carry it, and they’re always at risk. The client thought that educating the lax people surely they would do the right thing and carry their device to protect themselves. Unfortunately, people don’t behave based on our rationals. And it is a great example of attraction or a lack of attraction for subconscious reasons.

What we found out was that the lax people were so afraid of the fatality potential that they simply denied that they had this condition, or that it would happen to them. Not unlike how people living on major fault lines in California think the big one won’t come; it won’t happen to me. By allowing the client to understand that there’s no amount of education that’s actually going to change their behavior, we were able to help them understand how to create a different kind of strategy. A strategy that is aligned with their customer’s values. And guess what? It doubled their business!

When you have strategies that are built on a brand purpose, that’s relevant within a cultural context and respects the value of the target audience, you can have a profound impact on your business. The great news for marketers is that technology has made social science investigations more accessible and more affordable than ever before. Every marketer that wants to break out in the marketplace needs these tools as part of your arsenal if you want to develop a strategy that has the power to transform your business.

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