Historically we have survived from resources provided by the earth and have continued to do so. Only now are we beginning to see the impact of this, using resources at a rapid rate and producing high levels of waste. The consequences of this are increased variability in the global climate, along with decreased availability of the resources we have become so reliant on. (Stern, 2000) http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/p480x480/253148_10151222799424684_1074569199_n.jpg
(Osbaldiston and Schott, 2012) http://www.coned.com/thepowerofgreen/iphone.asp http://www.radiationsafety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/lawbooks.jpg
Research and development of new technology takes a great deal of time, which of course comes with high costs. Most advances that reduce reliance on high carbon emitting resources, such as the energy and transport sector only account for 60% of total carbon emissions. The move to renewable energy sources will decrease the carbon emissions produced, but there are limitations in the ability to keep up with energy demands at one time. Thus a reduction in the amount of energy demanded will need to decrease as well. The problem that arises with here is that energy demands are increasing as the population increases and individuals are increasing their consumption of ‘ gadgets ’ , which require more energy. You can regulate the production of certain goods, the levels of pollution people can produce, the types of things they can buy, but this is not that popular. Politicians want to do what is good for the public but they also want to get re-elected. SO they walk a fine line between protecting people and ensuring individual autonomy. Prohibiting production and consumption brings in issues of economic welfare, people need jobs and job producers need people to buy things, etc. Imposing regulations on production imposes higher costs on the consumer and prohibits lower income individuals from acquiring basic needs. For companies that don ’ t want to impose higher costs on the consumer may opt to move their production to countries with less environmental restrictions, thus increasing emissions in other parts of the world.
Or more specifically our behaviour. Behaviour change will be inevitable with the integration of technology or increasing regulation, but these measures will not reduce emissions to the point necessary to overcome the impending issues climate change presents. So, ultimately the solution to the climate change problem comes down to behaviour change. (Stern, 2000) (Jackson, 2005) http://inafutureage.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/consumption.jpeg
Governments have started to recognise the importance of behaviour change (Jackson, 2005), especially in the UK and Scotland. Over the last decade the Scottish Government has spent millions of pounds on social marketing campaigns trying to get people to become more environmentally friendly. Campaigns have included such messages as “ It ’ s our future, Do a little change a lot, Go greener, and now Go greener together. Where in the past governments have had some success in addressing other social issues, such a vaccinations for children or smoking, they have had little success in convincing the public to be more environmentally friendly. There are many reasons why environmental campaign fail, especially when consumers are faced with purchase decisions, worrying about the environmental impact tends to comes last in the decision process. (Corner and Randall, 2011) http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/06/24/CanFootprint/ http://2012forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=17929
Why? Well for one thing the government sends mixed messages. Looking at some of the campaigns in Scotland over the last decade you see the government trivializes the issues and fails to address some of the ultimate drivers of human behaviour such as our short-sightedness and propensity for self-interest. These campaigns focused mainly on small changes people can make, falsely leading them to think they are having a strong impact on the fight against climate change. These campaigns pushed for recycling, avoiding driving on short trips, only boiling enough water in your tea kettle for what you need, using canvas bags, using energy efficient light bulbs and turning things off. All actions that overall don ’ t address the major sources of emissions which is goods that imported. Over 80% of the UK ’ s carbon emissions are derived from imported goods, thus allowing the government to boast about a decrease in emissions within the borders of the state, but ignoring the emissions produced offshore (Gough, 2012). Secondly, these campaigns display messages that contradict some of our natural tendencies. Climate change occurs very slowly, so for us to worry about future impacts it is difficult to envision and even more difficult to care about. The greener together campaign, trying to get Scotland to unify in going green, what this fails to address is our propensity for self-interest. My time, my money, my life.
This also leads to a disconnect in the real reasons behind climate change. A survey I took last summer within Scotland shows that people think purchasing locally grown food is the most effective way to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Actually insulating your walls has the biggest impact on reducing your personal carbon footprint. The problem with buying locally grown food is that is sometimes more energy intensive than buying imported food, for instance tomatoes grown in greenhouses here in the UK are very carbon intensive, something the average consumer is most likely unaware of.
Complexity of behaviour and changing it – influenced by so many factors such as habits, norms, values, attitudes, income, Lack of engagement, especially with government because of low trust; Osbaldiston and Schott – meta-analysis showing low engagement for low effort (SG has that covered), higher effort PEBs need higher levels of engagement, mention a gap in research, it ’ s lacking creating competition and drawing on intrinsic motivations Social marketing campaigns tend to pick a behaviour change model that appears to fit with the campaign goals, but many models are context and time specific, where environmental issues are not.
http://doingitbetter.blogspot.co.uk/ At this point you may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with marketing, especially when I am talking about behaviour change. Marketers serve as the interface between business and consumers and both are changing. Businesses are swapping out the bottom line for the triple bottom line, finding a balance between economic, environmental and social factors. Consumer needs and values are growing more concerned with sustainability. With rising energy costs, changing consumer demands and increasing regulations on production are all force acting upon the field of marketing. Ottman, J. A., Stafford, E. R., & Hartman, C. L. (2006). Avoiding green marketing myopia. Environment, 48(5), 22 – 36.
Given the gap in the research identified by Osbaliston and Schott, I am applying an EP framework to PEB. EP explains the ultimate reasons why we behave the we do.
Starting with status - Many of us have heard of Maslow ’ s hierarchy of needs, after food, shelter, safety we have the need to belong and for self-esteem. This is accomplished via peer groups. Within peer groups there tends to be a hierarchy, creating differing levels of status. Belonging to a peer group fulfills the the need to belong and moving up the social hierarchy, whether it is perceived or real, builds self-esteem. Studies show there is even a physiological affect associated with this, such as changes in cortisol, adrenaline, serotonin and androgen. The higher up we are, or perceive we are, the better we feel. Again going back in time to ancestral groups, high status within the group meant you had access to better resources (more food, better protection, etc), other people within the group were more willing to form alliances with you, and because you had access to alliances and resources you had better mate choices. This type of status was typically earned through physical dominance, today this is done a bit differently – through displays of wealth http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/political-graffiti-212-social-hierarchy/
http://wallpaperswide.com/peacock-wallpapers.html http://johngushue.typepad.com/blog/2009/09/fivefact-friday-1.html http://www.blogs.com/2010/04/09/best-in-blogs-ipad-apps-mania-tigers-confession-and-im-a-mac-is-no-more.html Otherwise known as conspicuous consumption. The example of the peacock is not new, nor is the idea of signaling status through the display of costly goods. The peacock is a good example of this because it ’ s plumage is costly. It not only makes the peacock more susceptible to predators but it also requires a lot of time and energy to keep up, but the peacocks with the best plumage attract the best mates. It ’ s same reason why we can sell expensive watches, cars, clothes, houses etc. They show they world that the owner has the time and energy to afford these things. They signal status. This has been done through various methods, across cultures and time - primitive men owning women, Romans paying for expensive gladiator fights, noblemen and their militias, money and political influence. Now this serves as a means to create identity, through differentiation of goods an individual expresses who they are through the goods they consume conspicuously.
Status was was something that was difficult to come by, especially within smaller peers groups, so people competed to have better access to resources, mates and alliances. Today this is done through other means, as expressed through the popular notion of “ keeping up with the Joneses ” . People often compete through conspicuous consumption, who has the biggest house on the street, the best car, the nicest clothes, etc. Yet, there are other ways to compete for status and that is through pro-social acts, such as environmentally friendly behaviour. Much like other forms of cost signaling, pro-environmental acts signal to others a person ’ s ability to make sacrifices for the public good, provided these acts are visible. These acts are much easier for people to adopt since they often require less resources than traditional forms of status symbols, thereby increasing the ability to compete for status. The issue here is that not all pro-environmental behaviours are visible. In fact, many are not, which makes it difficult for people to go beyond doing the small things like recycling, canvas bags, electric cars. http://www.nextgenpe.com/article/Keeping-Up-Appearances/
People subconsciously copy each other, this is an adaptation in human behaviour that developed as a way to avoid risky situations, such as eating a poisonous plant. Norms have such a powerful influence over us, that fear of failure to adhere to them often prevents us from adopting other behaviours. This does not account for risk takers or early-adopters. A study on normative messaging in hotels examined the impact of descriptive normative messages on the instance of reusing towels during a hotel stay. Certain guests stayed in a room that had a general message regarding the environmental benefits of reusing towels while staying at the hotel. This led to a reuse rate of approximately 35% another set of guests stayed in a room where the message stated that 75% of the guests that stayed in the specific room they were staying in reused their towels this led to an almost 50% reuse rate of towels.
How can this be done?
Power to build social capital and close knit relationships/peer groups that would allow this model to work through social media networks. As people are more connected and build more intimate relationships through virtual environments. Currently there isn ’ t anything in the wider research to suggest that social media actually changes behaviour. But we know that social media does build social networks and social networks or groups are instrumental in creating norms and thus behaviour. http://www.engage365.org/2012/10/18/are-event-marketing-and-sponsor-dashboards-the-next-big-thing/social-media-icons/
Still researching the details but aim to take an experimental approach utilising economic game theory, cooperative and non-cooperative games (to see self-interest and group behaviour), prompts for status and normative messaging, competition and conspicuous environmentalism via social media platforms Studies with online environments, prompts, and games
Applying this to other behaviours, could be used for other marketing methods, besides anti-consumption. Other types of social marketing an behaviour change
The role ofcompetition ininfluencing pro-environmentalbehavioursDanielle EisemanHeriot Watt University
The big question…Image source Greenpeace USA Facebook page
How do we overcome this?Technology RegulationImage source Con Edison Image source Radiation Safety
Technology Long time lines High costs Increasing demands onelectricity generationRegulation Political tightrope Drives up costs to theconsumer Off-shoring pollutionThe problem with thosesolutions…
What’s left…Changing howwe consume!Image source In a Future Age
Pro-environmentalbehaviour (PEB)Behaviour that decreases the negative impacthuman consumption has on the environment.Image source 2012 ForumImage source The Tyee
Mixed messagesIt’s our future 2006 – 2007 Temporal distanceGo Greener Together 2012 – present Ignoring the propensity forself-interest Do a little, change a lot 2001 – 2004 Trivialises the real cause of theproblemGo Greener 2008 - 2010 Again trivialising the real issue
Disconnect0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40Purchasing locally grown foodTravelling to work by trainRecycling your household wasteInsula ng your internal wallsInsula ng your lo /a cPercentage of ResponsesWhich ac vityto youthink would have the biggest impact onreducingyour personal GHGemissions?
Why is behaviour change sodifficult?Behaviour is complex!EngagementFrameworks that are time andcontext specific
What does this have to do withmarketing?• Environmental, economic,social• Rising energy costs• Growing consumerconcerns for environmentalissues• Increased regulation onproductionImage source Doing it Better Blog
Applying to PEBGain status within a group by adopting pro-environmental behaviours, signaling pro-socialityCompete with peers within to gain status byconspicuous displays of pro-environmental behavioursOthers will subconsciously copy these conspicuousbehaviours by making normative messages morewidely available
All through the power ofsocial mediaImage source Engage
Methodology framework Non-cooperative games Strategies and payoffs Better for status motives Cooperative games Combinations ofoutcomes Conspicuous vs.Inconspicuous
Wider applications andconclusionsThe same concepts can be applied to any typeof behaviour not just environmentally friendlyonesMarketing messages can be tailored to addressthese ultimate drivers of behaviourGiven the failures of traditional social marketingcampaigns that appeal to proximate drivers ofbehaviour the combined effects of this modelshould prove to be more successful
Consumer Culture Theory“…consumption is a historically shaped modeof sociocultural practice that emerges withinthe structures and idealogical imperatives ofdynamic marketplaces.” (Arnould andThompson, 2005)Image source Beyond Berlin
Gender differences Women tend to avoiddirect aggression whencompeting (Campbell,2010) Sex differences incompetition are not just asociocultural condition(Deaner, 2006) Study by Bunnk and Massar(2012) Men tend to be moregenerous or pro-social in thepresence of a woman The women’s pro-socialitywas not affected by thepresence of either sex
References Arnould, E. J., & Thompson, C. J. (2005). Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research. Journal ofConsumer Research, 31(4), 868–882. Retrieved from http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/426626 Campbell, A, 1999. Staying alive: evolution, culture, and womens intrasexual aggression. The Behavioral and BrainSciences, 22 (2), 203 – 214. Chaudhuri, H. R. (2006). Of Diamonds and Desires : Understanding Conspicuous Consumption from a ContemporaryMarketing Perspective Of Diamonds and Desires : Understanding Conspicuous Consumption from a ContemporaryMarketing Perspective. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 11. Corner, A., & Randall, A. (2011). Selling climate change? The limitations of social marketing as a strategy for climatechange public engagement. Global Environmental Change, 21(3), 1005–1014. Destin, M., Richman, S., Varner, F., & Mandara, J. (2012). “Feeling” hierarchy: the pathway from subjective socialstatus to achievement. Journal of adolescence, 35(6), 1571–9. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.06.006 Goldstein, N. J., Cialdini, R. B., & Griskevicius, V. (2008). A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to MotivateEnvironmental Conservation in Hotels. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(3), 472–482. doi:10.1086/586910 Griskevicius, V., Cantú, S. M., & Vugt, M. Van. (2012). The Evolutionary Bases for Sustainable Behavior: Implications forMarketing, Policy, and Social Entrepreneurship. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 31(1), 115–128. Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., & Van den Bergh, B. (2010). Going green to be seen: status, reputation, and conspicuousconservation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 98(3), 392–404. doi:10.1037/a0017346
References continued Hargreaves, T. (2012). Questioning the virtues of pro-environmental behaviour research: Towards aphronetic approach. Geoforum, 43(2), 315–324. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.09.006 Heffetz, O. (2011). A TEST OF CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION : VISIBILITY AND. The Review ofEconomics and Statistics, XCIII(4), 1101–1117. Jackson, T, 2005. Motivating sustainable consumption. A review of evidence on consumerbehaviour and behavioural change. A report to the Sustainable Development Research Network,Surrey: Centre for Environmental Strategies. Murayama, K., & Elliot, A. J. (2012). The competition-performance relation: a meta-analytic reviewand test of the opposing processes model of competition and performance. Psychologicalbulletin, 138(6), 1035–70. Osbaldiston, R. and Schott, J.P., 2012. Environmental sustainability and behavioural science: Meta-analysis of pro-environmental behaviour experiments. Environment and Behaviour, 44(2), 257 – 299. Saad, G., & Vongas, J. G. (2009). The effect of conspicuous consumption on mens testosteronelevels. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 110(2), 80–92. Stern, P., 2000. Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behaviour. Journal ofSocial Issues, 56(3), 407 – 424.