Using Behavioral Science to Drive Engagement Strategy
An insightful commentary by Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge, was published in a recent New York Times post. His work primarily relates to government policies, but has intelligent applications about how we think differently about directing behavioural choice in health and changing behaviour.
The presence of his Great Britain Behavioral Insights Team formed by Prime Minister David Cameron shortly after he took office in Chicago, was highlighted by Professor Thaler, who lecture at the Faculty of Economics and Behavior science.
First, for a public agency of every nation it is very refreshing to engage in behavioral science to help direct policy approaches, and then there seems to be a clear opportunity to benefit from this experience and bring it into effect for the changing of health behaviour.
Thaler underlines 2 important criteria for his involvement in discussions: Thaler’s
If you want to promote any activity, make sure it’s simple
Although these sound like standard truisms likely to permeate the field of behavioural economies, his examples go beyond the small trials that have been noted in the many books on this topic that appeared some years ago. You can’t make evidence that policy decisions are based without evidence.
Looking at a specific challenge (how more Englanders would pay their taxes on time), he introduces another factor to the mix by referencing Robert B. Cialdini (author of Influence: Psychology of Persuasion):
Individuals are much more likely to follow a social expectation if they recognize that many people are complying.
This idea led to the winning formula in the top-lever letter to those British citizens who had not paid their taxes on time (with comments such as “9 out of 10 people pay their taxes in Exeter on time”).
With the introduction of a variety of health services today and wellness programmes through a “welcome letter” or some other written mail, it is time for our industry to look more closely at how we interact in the interest or even action-driven manner.
There is a lot about conduct science in our area and a lot of opportunities to design intelligent and easy experiments to find out what really activates the desired response.
Interestingly, the Federal Government in the UK recently announced that all officials are taught behavioural science. Today, all people interested in health reforms have a brilliant idea …
Many wellness and well-being projects are on the road today. You prefer to use similar letters, telephone and scripts.
There is a lot to be done and the concepts on which behavioural science is centered are a creative toolbox of tools to be used.
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Find fun ways to try different communication channels and see what works best. Have a direct marketer reference page and experiment constantly.
There is no perfect way to communicate, and testing new methods – with good measuring criteria – can provide a boat load of good insights and knowledge.