This morning Eleanor sent me the website link to a social marketing article, Commitment: From Intention to Action.

It’s a fascinating read about how to gain the commitment to act from a target audience through a sort of double-layered plan of contact: if you want someone to do what you want, start by making a simple request. If they agree to that, bring out the big guns and ask for what you really want because they are psychologically primed to agree to that too.  Why?

According to the article, “[w]hen individuals agree to a small request, it often alters the way they perceive themselves.” They end up feeling committed to a course of action once the idea has been planted. One of the examples they use is a case involving the Canadian Cancer Society. People who were asked to wear a Canadian Cancer Society lapel pin were almost twice as likely to donate money to the cause as those who were not asked to wear the pin. The article is chock-full of other examples of this marketing psychology at work.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hooked by this kind of social marketing more than a few times—some might say it’s because I’m overly impressionable, but it looks like I’m not the only one.

This technique is a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal. Have you encountered examples of this approach? What was your reaction? 



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