Behavioral Science In Marketing

Better late than never? Throughout my five-decade career as a Psychologist consulting on matters related to pharmaceutical marketing, I have always believed that the body of knowledge comprising the “behavioral sciences” was essential to understand if a drug company is going to market effectively. For example, ThinkGen’s Habit EngineeringSM paradigm, which focuses on marketing by developing physician habits rather than on influencing their decisions, takes me right back to graduate school and B.F. Skinner. You know, the “press the bar, get the pellet” guy who founded Behaviorism.

But check out this article. What you will see being put forth is the idea that now, in an era empowered by digital media, it is suddenly really important to rely on the behavioral sciences to make the new media really sing and dance.  

Bottom Line. You know what? I think that the experts commenting in this article are correct. The behavioral sciences have been around for a long time, but they are taking on new roles. With digital media, we can use the behavioral sciences as the basis for customizing messages in ways heretofore impossible. We’re even starting to see behavioral science based apps being used for therapeutic purposes like curbing drug addiction, facilitating  weight loss, etc.  

BUT. At a public health level, we are seeing an important failure to utilize the principles of psychology to influence people to socially distance, wash their hands, etc.

My prediction? As set forth very well in this article, one of the most important learnings from the pandemic will be that the people who are making health policy decisions will need to read a book on Health Psychology (there are plenty of really good texts with that title), or at least consult with a member of Division 38, Health Psychology, of which I am a proud card carrying member.

Should be good for business!

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