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Influencing behaviour change: Looking beyond market research

These strategies will give you the insight you need to influence behaviour change by creating a meaningful pharma customer journey.

When it comes HCP engagement strategies, marketing gives us all manner of methods, to influence behaviour change, and convince targets of how good our brands and products are.  These strategies are devised after some pretty thorough market research such as surveys, focus groups and social media listening exercises, to name a few. Through the market research process, and as time passes we start to understand how our customers are likely to respond to our messaging and start influencing behaviour change.  

But what, is missing from that research?

To answer this question, focus on those times in life when ‘the facts’ just weren’t enough. Anyone with children will know how a guilty kid gives the game away with blinking eyelids or a quivering lip; or why, even after all the evidence has been given at a trial, jury members may find a defendant ‘not guilty’ simply because of their body language. Simply put, we are not robots.We are human beings, and as such we don’t always make decisions – and form opinions – with facts alone. Indeed, some experts say that around 90% of everyday decisions are made subconsciously, before any kind of internal logical debate begins. And by ‘everyday decisions’ we can certainly refer to consumer choices as such, and assume that ‘gut instinct’ is something marketers need to aim for when reaching out to consumers.

Neuroscientific research and marketing

Surveys and the like are effective ways of collating information about customers, but they don’t give the full picture. Even when respondents are being as honest as they can be, even they can’t know all the answers about themselves! In choosing a particular product, for example, the brain may say one thing (weigh up the pros and cons) while the heart says another. The first mistake for pharma brands is to assume the pharma customer journey begins with logic, because gut instinct is as strong – if not stronger – than the objective mind. To understand humans is to understand that we are emotional beings as well as rational ones. 

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27th March 2017



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