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White Papers

Understanding the People we want to change 


Over the last 30 years Exp Social Marketing has been implementing experiential behaviour change campaigns and programs across sub-Saharan Africa. With wholly owned offices currently in 11 countries  - and a further 5 Countries – Exp Group has designed and implemented thousands of marketing and social marketing campaigns and programs, reaching, engaging and moving behaviour of communities and individuals positively across the continent.


During this time and over all the implementation of the communication programmes we have delivered for our partners, we have learnt that:


  • People make decisions emotionally. You can use reasoning but the behaviour change is emotionally driven.

  • If you deliver the intervention message by not understanding what the target audience need, change will be limited and not at a level that is required to create the impetuous to make a sustainable difference. 

  • There is sufficient evidence that once half the population changes its behaviour the majority will follow.

  • Individual behaviour is influenced and sometimes even controlled by their ‘community’ and often their desire to change behaviour is restricted by social norms and beliefs in their community.

  • The engagement must provide an experience and allow a conversation to move people through the process of change. Change is not linear and therefore the communication and engagement of the target must be integrated and multi-faceted.


It is important to break these points down further to understand the depth of evidence required to first build your strategic thinking, then design the program or campaign before implementing. 

Emotional decision-making


Research shows us that we make decisions emotionally. More than 80% of our decisions are emotionally based and our brains are processing two sources of information in our decisions. 


Firstly, our decisions are based off memory and memory is related to the experiences we have from what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell in everything we do. 


This data is then managed by 68 billion neurons in our brains and our brains are able to process all our life experiences in seconds, about 300 million bits of information per second.

So what is the relevance to the above in designing behaviour change communication? 


If our messaging does not make a connection with the individual experiences it can’t be relevant and therefore has no or limited value to the individual. 


Unless we tap into the emotional drivers/triggers that are motivating their behaviour it will be very difficult to build messages, communication campaigns or programs that will be relevant, real and of personal value to the individual concerned.

Intervention message delivery
Experiences and Conversations 


Over the last couple of decades, communications have moved from being passively driven to a more active approach of engagement.


One way communications such as traditional media, TV, Radio advertising and print is being surpassed by media that allows and builds a conversation. 


Research shows (refer image below) that our recall of engagement that has an experience or conversation, is significantly higher than when the communication is passive.

As a result, Marketers have and are still shifting their focus and consequently their budgets to a more experiential engagement. 

Experiential learnings

Environmental influence

As we start to understand our target audience better, we are starting to realize that human behaviour is directly connected to the environment they live in and the communities they are part of.

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