Welcome to the world of behaviour change marketing and communications. Ethical marketing is at the heart of what we do; it’s why we are passionate about communicating important information, in an impactful way, which will benefit society as a whole.
Through the utilisation of motivation, providing opportunity and establishing capability; behaviour change campaigns can successfully reshape behaviours and attitudes of young people and adults for the better.
What is Behaviour Change Marketing?
Behaviour change marketing is all about understanding the audience, building emotional connections, and ultimately persuading people to act. It’s about using smart strategies to educate, engage, and inspire people to make positive changes (or stop negative changes) in their own lives and in the world around them. In order to do this; access to marketing expertise is crucial. It’s likely that a large behaviour change marketing campaign would consider the following:
We’ve all come across behaviour change strategies in marketing, whether you’ve realised it or not. Think of the UK’s Department for Health ‘stop smoking’ campaign where a cigarette transforms into a graphic image of mutated lung, or the Change4Life healthy eating campaign, or even the famous ‘Think Bike’ road traffic campaign. These are all high-profile examples of behaviour change marketing that you’ll have come across.
It’s not just for the big players though, behaviour change can be implemented both as nation-wide campaigns or just targeted to local areas, it can even work internally within specific companies or groups.
Who needs Behaviour Change Campaigns?
If you’re seeking to transform a norm, disrupt public culture or behaviour, or reduce the impact of negative behaviours in society, then behaviour change marketing is the first step. In its essence, behaviour change is about disrupting the social norm and bringing about a more positive reality, therefore if your business is seeking to make a change in consumer behaviour, societal behaviour, or implement a cultural change internally within the workplace, it’s likely that behaviour change campaigns will help you to reach your goals.
We see endless campaigns using behaviour change strategies from not-for-profit organisations and charities. It’s common to see a charitable corporation encouraging positive change. For example, it would be commonplace to see an animal shelter promoting pet welfare, or an anti-violence charity running an anti-knife crime campaign, or even a medical charity encouraging blood donations. You get the picture.
On the flip side, behaviour change marketing doesn’t have to come from not-for-profit companies exclusively. And it doesn’t. You will often see big corporations giving back to society through behaviour change marketing or changing behaviours to benefit their own business goals. Successful companies might participate in anti-racism campaigns, or pride campaigns to give back, or they might conduct behaviour change campaigns that revolve around getting consumers to ditch a less effective product for their new one.
There is a broad spectrum of uses for behaviour change marketing that can be used by any organisation wishing to make some kind of change.
We’ve touched on a few familiar sounding campaigns, but there are some juicy case studies out there – where behaviour change marketing has really worked.
THINK is the UK national campaign for road safety. You will have frequently seen the ‘Think Bike’ posters, and some of you may even remember the adverts on our TVs of the Hedgehog family. The Hedgehog campaign was about encouraging children to take care around roads, particularly in crossing roads. Altogether, the UK Government reported, the THINK campaigns helped reduce the mortality rate due to road deaths in children by up to 90% between 1979 and 2017. With no surprise from its name, the campaigns made people stop and think before making dangerous decisions in the car and on the roads.
An environmental focus was place on Ariel’s campaigns in 2007, when it released the ‘Turn to 30’ advert. The public assumed that the higher the temperature on our washing machines, the cleaner the clothes. Knowing that this impacted the environment, P&G who own Ariel, set out to change that perception. They released an advert about how Ariel works perfectly at 30 degrees, and made it known that the public could wash their clothes effectively and do their bit for the environment too. A year on from this campaign, reports revealed that the number of consumers washing at low, and energy efficient, temperatures had increased by 5 times.
Most recently, we’ll all be very aware of the Governments’ ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign during the Covid pandemic. It’s one that is thoroughly etched into all our memories! But you have to give it to them, it worked. We saw all over the news, in our highstreets, in public bathrooms, and on our social media, the reminder to wash our hands, wear a mask, and to keep our distance from others. The response made the public queue with a 2-metre distance, remove physical contact, and wear face coverings for the best part of 2 years. Partly due to law enforcement, and partly due to behavioural change messaging we all received in our day-to-day lives.
From the change of bad habits to the re-shaping of attitudes, behaviour can be adapted through the use of effective communication and engagement. It’s all about understanding the target audience and hitting the spot with what they want and need to hear.
That’s where we come in…
At MacMartin, we can help you to change behaviours through marketing and can take you through 3 stage process to achieve your goals. From investigation to initiation to implementation, we can research your audience, understand your goals, action an effective behaviour change marketing campaign and report on the results.
Behaviour change marketing is a powerful tool for businesses and not-for-profit organisations that want to incite change. At MacMartin, we’re passionate about understanding your goals and setting out strategies with the purpose of achieving them. Whether it’s encouraging healthy eating habits, promoting eco-friendly behaviours, changing attitudes, tackling toxic cultures, or even reducing health risks, we’re here to help. So, if you’re looking to change public perceptions and behaviours, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can make a real difference.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to chat about all things behaviour change.