Empowering your Prospect Through External Forces (CogMar Process B)

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Social liberation is one of the most effective conversion tools, though most people may not be using it. The key to social liberation is to provide an alternative to the external environment that allows negative behavior to continue. 

In other words, your job is to give the prospect a reason to want to change. This is also possible by altering the social, business, or regulatory environment– giving the prospect a reason to have to change.

It works well from the pre-contemplative, contemplative, and action phases of the buying journey. Let's explore some of the techniques you can use in the social liberation process.

Availing Alternative Problem-Free Lifestyle Solutions

Social liberation begins with the acceptance by a buyer and businesses that there are other non-problematic alternatives. For instance, a fast-food restaurant can accept that providing healthy meals is a non-problematic alternative. This may help them attract and retain clients keen on losing weight as they continue serving other fast foods.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, some restaurants had to adjust their menus to accommodate the needs of in-door, inactive, and health-conscious customers. By offering them an alternative, non-problematic menu, they helped them eat healthy foods. The restaurants won by getting business opportunities from this category of clients who may have left to look for healthy meals elsewhere. 

With the heightened awareness and outcry about the health problems the lockdown and stay-at-home lifestyle would leave on its trail, authorities responded by providing problem-free alternatives. People were advised to leave their houses to walk around so long as they protected themselves from infections. This may have made people more co-operative and less resentful towards the Covid-19 containment measures.

Empowering For Better Choices

A perfect example of clients' empowerment for better choices is the Super Size Me documentary that featured a man living for a month on McDonald's foods. In the documentary, viewers followed how this made him gain excessive weight and the unexpected, unsafe side effects he experienced. 

During the experiment, Spurlock was the film director and main character. He ate three meals a day at McDonald's for 30 consecutive days. As a result, he added 11.1kgs, 230mg/dl cholesterol, and 13% body mass. The fat deposit on his liver increased, and he had other side effects such as sexual dysfunction and mood swings.

It took him more than a year to regain his health and lose the excess weight. As he tried to recover, he was on a strict vegan diet and a controlled healthy lifestyle to help him get over the effects of the experiment.

The aim was to empower viewers to choose healthier foods since, according to Spurlock, McDonald's was a major contributor of the increased obesity rates in the US. As a result, the company had to review its menu to offer choices that support a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

This was a win for the restaurant and its clients. The clients had a reason to change their lifestyles, while the restaurant could continue operating but offer more non-problematic alternatives.

Policy Interventions

To help consumers see, accept, and adopt alternatives, authorities passed legislation prohibiting smoking in public and introducing smoking zones. Some smokers may have considered looking for a smoking zone an unnecessary bother and decided to quit smoking. 

Restricting smoking in public may have helped some smokers to reduce the number of times they smoked in a day.  Policy intervention helps customers make aware of problem-free alternatives.

When restaurants introduce smoking zones for their customers, they may increase patronage from non-smoking customers who may consider the restaurant a safe, healthy environment. They end up with satisfied smoking and non-smoking customers.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities and business owners announced interventions to help people assume safe, healthy alternative lifestyles. As states lifted the lockdown restrictions, some businesses announced they would only allow customers with face covers. 

This has continued to escalate, with some authorities now requiring Covid-19-free certificates and documentation showing customers have been vaccinated. These policy interventions may seem disruptive, but they help customers take up non-problematic alternatives, such as wearing face masks to access specific premises.

So, how does this apply to B2B?

A prime example: Occupational Health Department (OHD) is an international manufacturer and distributor of respiratory protection equipment. Specifically, they manufacture equipment that tests the fit of the face masks that first-line responders wear. 

OSHA regulations dictate that first-line responders and others who have to wear oxygen systems in the line of duty have to have their masks tested regularly for fit. After all, for a firefighter in a burning building, an ill-fitting mask can be fatal. 

Speaking to this regulatory framework causes OHD US prospects to think about why they have to change, even if they do not want to change. Now, OHD is helping the EU roll out new of regulations in parts of the world where there's no regulation control -opening up a whole new market for OHD.

Celebrity Endorsement 

Pre-contemplators seek safety. That's why so many organizations use influencer marketing to add glamour and credibility to their brands. Today's buyer is more inclined to listen to a celebrity than a random sales person, as they are conditioned to know that sales people and marketers typically have an agenda. 

You can take advantage of a celebrity's social status and fame to influence people to accept a problem-free alternative. This increases your message's reach and impact, leading to better recognition and recall of a brand, a course, or issue.

Weight Watchers' efforts to minimize the backlash against women who struggle to lose weight is an excellent example of celebrity marketing. In their campaign, they brought in Jessica Simpson, a celebrity who was struggling with weight gain. 

They wanted to pass the message that weight gain is a natural process in women, especially those who have carried multiple pregnancies. During pregnancy, the women experience cravings that may result in weight gain.

 If Jessica Simpson could struggle with weight loss, so can any other woman.  The non-problematic alternative that this celebrity endorsement sought to present is reducing the stigmatization of overweight women and reducing the pressure to lose weight on women who have recently carried a pregnancy.

What next? How do I set up my prospect for success?

We're glad you asked! Check out our next post to learn about the following process in the Cognitive Marketing framework: emotional arousal 

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