Posts tagged “Marketing”

Just who are you talking to?

When we write a blog post, draft a leaflet, design a poster or click ‘publish’, it’s important to think about who we’re trying to reach, and what will get through to them.  This isn’t just about the mechanisms, it’s also about the tone of voice, the words we choose and the messages we decide to present.

Sometimes we get it right, by chance or intuition.  Sometimes – especially when we’re trying to reach out beyond people like us – we fall flat on our faces.

Here’s some ways that you can segment your audiences, to make sure your talking gets heard.  The article was first published in the environmentalist.

Psychology to save the planet

A recent report by the American Psychological Association, featured in the New Scientist, brings together some of the evidence and theory behind the ‘positive thinking’ approach to communicating about climate change.

It goes something like this: people will block up their ears if you tell them the scary facts and make them feel bad.  Instead, discover what already motivates them and makes them feel good, and use that knowledge to promote the new behaviours you’d like them to adopt.  You might not mention the climate change links at all.

The areas picked up the NS article are:

  • social networks
  • immediate feedback
  • competitive instincts
  • fitting in with the crowd

I’m very excited that this kind of psychological analysis is seeping into the world of technical experts and physical sciences.   How have you been using psychology to help engaging people more effectively?

Behave!

Changing behaviour, encouraging and enabling pro-environmental behaviours in particular, is endlessly fascinating.  There are lots of theories of behaviour change, and lots of practitioners getting out there and trying to make it happen.  And some of them even succeed from time to time!  This article – Behave – which I wrote in 2007 – covers some approaches.  There are also other models, like the six sources of influence which I came across recently.

Start your exploration of that model with this great video!

The UK Government’s Defra (Department of Food and Rural Affairs) has its own behaviour change models, which I wrote about here in the context of audience segmentation.  NESTA also produced a great report on the use of established social marketing techniques to sell ‘low carbon’ living.  My September 08 column in the environmentalist covered that.

Which approaches to behaviour change do you see being used by environmental organisations?  And which are used by multi-national FMCG organisations? (That’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods to you and me.)  Clue: the behaviour FMCGs want to influence is purchasing behaviour.

Penny’s blog

Portrait of Penny

Thoughts, updates, links, and essays on creating change for sustainable development.