Marketing—More Than Just Getting You to Buy My Junk!

I believe that when most people think about marketing, they think of it as just a bunch of ways and methods those shady marketer types use to get us to buy their junk. And, for the most part it probably is.  That said, I see marketing differently than most. Maybe that’s because I am both a researcher and a marketer…paths that generally don’t meet, but in me they do. So why am I different? It’s because I am not just focusing on getting people to buy my product or switch to my insurance. I am merely formulating and implementing a plan to get them to change their behavior. And, once I get them to see the benefits of changing their behavior, I am hoping that my message will be compelling enough to win them over to my side.

It’s this philosophy that really drew me to a Zane Zafrit article a read recently, Can Behavior Change Be Fun? In this short article, he states that behavior change can be fun it you have an incentive and if the behavior change you are attempting appropriately answers these three basic questions:

  • What’s in it for me?
  • Why should I care? 
  • Why should I believe?

To prove his point, he showed a youtube clip from Volkswagen in which the masterminds of the study got people to change their behavior (using the stairs instead of using the escalator) by making the new behavior fun (the stairs were turned into a working keyboard).  I think the first behavior I would like to change in a fun way is making eating vegetables fun so that I can change my four-year old’s non-veggie eating behavior in a fun way. Since I work in one of the B2B insurance industries (workers’ comp), it will be a challenge for me to make changing insurance buying behavior fun, but what fun to try! 

All of this said, I believe that behavior change can be fun if we as marketers take the time to truly evaluate and understand the behavior change that we are asking our prospects to do rather than just focusing on the end result. We might just get more customer “stickiness” if the act of changing behavior was fun rather than a chore.

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