How can behaviors be changed?

Marketers' goal is to convince the consumer to choice his product or brand, to like it and become a fan of it, a loved brand. What can a marketer do when he needs to convince the consumer to change his behavior and change his favorite brand or change his daily routines? How can he reach his goal?

For once you can try doing it online. While all of us spend a great deal of time online,  the digital world has become a convenient gateway to the audience a marketer needs to reach. And because behavior change happens over a period of time, digital is an affordable way to stay in front of your targeted audience. "Behavior change marketing, also known as social marketing, involves adapting the principles of traditional marketing in order to effect a positive behavior change. It involves a deep understanding of an identified target audience in order to better understand the barriers that exist and what might be helpful in motivating them to change," wrote Vont Performance Digital Marketing.

Moreover, according to the website, the message needs to be fun, easy and popular. Targeting is key and enables you to more closely reach your specific audience. Social media platforms offer you good targeting capabilities, ads are not targeted based on a keyword being searched, but rather on rich demographic and psychographic data known about social media users. Ads can promote content designed to inform and engage the target audience and, therefore, "capture" the wanted audience.

You can also do programmatic digital advertising and use Landing Page/Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)."Targeted ads with calls-to-action that lead to specific landing pages work in tandem to lead your audience to you – and to the specific action you wish them to take. Optimizing the landing page (CRO) further increases the likelihood that the action will be taken," added Vont.

"Your target audience is (usually) not you. You may think you know them – but do you really? One of the most important pieces of Behavior Change Marketing is having a deep understanding of your target audience. How they think, feel, act…where they hang out, how they talk, who they trust, etc. Don’t assume – do your research. In-depth quantitative and qualitative research is critical in developing an effective behavior change campaign," explained Ethos Marketing on its blog.

Moreover, the blog shows that when it comes right down to it, Behavior Change Marketing isn’t entirely different from traditional marketing, in which we attempt to convince people to buy a product or service. Behavior Change Marketing is also transactional, but instead of goods we barter with behaviors. "Before you can make someone change their behavior, you need to uncover what’s in it for them. What matters to them enough to change the way they act? Research tells us that this is different for different audiences. In order to affect behavior change you need to alter the perception of the desired action (or inaction). If the goal is to recruit those teenagers back over to Facebook (or away from social media in general), we need to convince them there is a fun, easy, and wicked cool reason to do so."

Start step by step and keep it up.  Be in continuous connection with your target, follow it, research it, interact with it, use an integrated communication to make sure the consumer feels you are with him all the way.  Don't just use digital and PR, digital, use traditional and interactive tools as well. Social media, video, direct mail, and experiential marketing all play a part in giving the target audience the knowledge, will and skill to change.

Moreover, make sure you are measuring all the time, in all the campaign's stages. It's the only way you can actually see if your process has results or not.