Principles of Influence in Healthcare Marketing: Commitment and Consistency
In my last post I wrote about Social Proof and how it can be applied in the healthcare field, specifically to healthcare marketing. This is based on information presented in Robert Cialdini, PH.D.’s well-known New York Times bestseller “Influence”. The book defines 6 principles of influence. These six principles are Social Proof, Commitment, Reciprocation, Liking, Authority and Scarcity. In this post I’ll explain how Commitment and Consistency can be applied to your practice.
The principle of Commitment and Consistency describes the way in which people want their beliefs and behaviors to be consistent with their values and self-image. We also use commitment and consistency as a mental shortcut to simplify our decision-making by using past decisions as a reference for the next related choices.
They are more likely to show up and not cancel their appointment if they write it down and commit to it.
You can apply this to marketing strategies in your practice by finding a way to have patients agree to commitments. This could be as simple as a “next appointment” card for them to fill our when leaving. They are more likely to show up and not cancel their appointment if they write it down and commit to it. You can also take this a step further and set up a discount program rewarding patients who schedule out their 3 next visits. If you motivate them to continue, they will feel compelled to remain consistent.
Another way to apply this to marketing strategies is by offering a free trial. Once they start with a program and become familiar with the product/service, they are more likely to continue. This gives them the chance to see the benefits and value of the product/service. Giving them something will create a feeling of need to give you something back in exchange. This transitions us into the next blog post which will be on Reciprocation.