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Welcome to Rapport, containing tips, truths, news and views, blogs, tweets, articles and films covering a range of topics currently affecting Research Partnership and the pharma market research world
  • Posted by Dan Coffin
  • August 21, 2020
  • Articles

Why pharma must trust the science of behaviour

Why pharma must trust the science of behaviour

In a recent interview with PME Magazine, Dan Coffin explained why the application of behavioural science will be key to better health far beyond COVID-19.

Last month, as the world began to tiptoe its way out of lockdown, a Sky News anchor declared that COVID-19 had ‘exposed behavioural science’ as ‘a load of nonsense’. The rationale? That behavioural scientists’ influence over the UK government’s COVID response caused a delay in lockdown that cost thousands of lives. The scientists’ logic was that if restrictions were imposed too early, ‘behavioural fatigue’ would soon set in and people might sleepwalk back into dangerous habits before the pandemic had peaked. Increases in road traffic that began three weeks into lockdown suggest the thinking had some merit. But the subsequent death toll – and hindsight – tell a different story. Today, months into a crisis where we’re consistently told to ‘trust the science’, the science of behaviour is under the microscope. However, to debate behavioural theory solely through the lens of the coronavirus – using death as the guiding metric – is to minimise its value. Human behaviour is complex, but understanding what drives it – and designing communications that encourage people to do things differently – is key to facilitating positive change. Dismissing behavioural science as blather – a bitter irony in Sky News’ case, given the broadcaster’s mastery of conscious bias…

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  • Posted by Dan Coffin
  • July 24, 2020
  • Articles

What’s next? How behavioural science can support pharma’s future

What’s next? How behavioural science can support pharma’s future

Dan Coffin, Director explains why now is an opportune time for pharma marketers to embrace behavioural science. Published in PME Magazine, July 2020.

A marketer’s goal is to encourage customers to change their behaviour and adopt the brand. It can be a tough challenge. Yet the pandemic has required billions of people to change their behaviour in the blink of an eye. The reality is that customers have never been so open to change. For pharma marketers, understanding and shaping these changing behaviours could be key to differentiating and optimising their brand potential. This is an opportune time to embrace behavioural science which, in recent years, has been successfully adopted and used by government and private enterprise as a means to enable favourable behaviours that benefit brands. It’s essentially about tapping into the unconscious biases and heuristics we each unknowingly hold when making decisions. If we can understand these biases at play, then we can provide nudges to effect a positive change in behaviour.

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