How We Create Powerful Engagement Strategies and Initiatives
Engagement Strategies and Initiatives are hugely important in the success of your business. Being able to communicate with and influence healthcare professionals and patients is often the difference between failure and success. This playbook outlines our approach to your engagement initiatives and how we utilise behavioural science to persuade, influence and grow your top line.
When starting a project we need to clarify what we are trying to achieve so we can achieve it. Too often in engagement initiatives we leave them open to interpretation for success judgement. This earliest stage is the exact point whereby you define success and make it accountable. Without accountability how can we satisfy return on investment. What is a fair return on investment because all of these initiatives take Time (money) and Money.
- The Composite Parts
Any ‘initiative’ requires the contributions of more than one person or groups of people. Step 2 is to identify the ‘composite’ parts of your initiative. 1. Who is the initiative dependent on and 2. What is required from them. Do not leave anybody out because success and failure can hinge on the even the smallest component.
- Barriers to Engagement (Sludge)
Removing friction is often much more vital than incentivising. Many initiatives fail because too much emphasis is given to motivation (which is much more challenging) than simply facilitating. Systematic barriers are the logistical hurdles that need overcoming, most initiatives will outline these and prevent or reduce their impact. Sludge is a term coined by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, the modern day Godfathers of popular behavioural science and behavioural economics. It describes any heuristics or cognitive biases that create friction and resistance to behavioural change.
- Incentivise Engagement (Nudge)
Most commonly companies will focus on the systematic incentives to motivate participation. Whilst every motivation helps, you would be surprised at how weak or often unhelpful these motivation strategies are. One key reason is that people resist persuasion and this kind of incentive highlights a persuasive attempt. A Nudge as a term denotes any heuristics (subconscious rules of thumb) that may motivate your target audience into adopting their identified behaviour. These are surprisingly powerful, FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a really strong motivator. Studies recently showed that exclusion from a group activates the same section of your brain as a pain stimulus. We are very motivated to avoid pain..
- Building the Infrastructure
This may well be the most consuming stage in terms of time and money. The importance of behavioural science being built into your infrastructure will probably be well received by App/Software development companies – as they should be well versed on the topic. Gamification is a very well known and utilised human behaviour hack that is utilised in Apps all over the world. We are just looking to build in even more of those motivators.
Also make sure that your metrics for measuring success are accessible/reportable where possible. You can track and record a huge amount of customer activity on digital platforms but you often have to stipulate which metrics you would like before development. These are often called ‘touch points’. App downloads, new prescriptions and website conversions are three common metrics.
- Creating the Content
Whilst the infrastructure provides the platform for your initiative to work, the most influential and persuasive step is the creation of ‘marketing material’. For want of a better word, any material created to convey a message tied to your initiative is ‘marketing material’. It is this content that has the greatest opportunity to persuade and motivate your target audience into adopting (or trialling) a new behaviour. I have written a playbook for content creation focused on Leave Pieces and Point of Sale, however the framework applies to any marketing material and I strongly recommend the methodical approach to content creation to maximise the chance of initiative success.
- Launch & Support
When launching your initiative, you may need to support it whilst it gathers momentum. I liken this to the stabilisers on a bike, to begin with they are necessary even though a bicycle works perfectly without them. Until the behaviour has been learned/perfected you need to keep them on! It never hurts to have built in some Growth Hacks to try and encourage a viral element to your initiative. The easiest ‘hacks’ to integrate are social sharing buttons though Growth Hacking is a science in itself with many forms.
- Release & Measure.
Time to remove the stabilisers but as you do so you need to keep an eye on your metrics to ensure you have not removed support before the initiative is ready. We are always accountable for our work and we are confident that you will see results. Measuring the ;success’ of the initiative allows us to prove it but also allows for deeper analysis. You can use online metrics even to measure physical forms and documents.
- Data & AI.Data.
It is essential that we provide a deeper and more scientific analysis of the conversion data. This allows for sub group analysis and glocalisation. The lessons learned in this stage can be applied all across your business and provide insights that you never would have predicted!
If you wish to have a free consultation on engagement initiatives and strategy then send us an email.