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Can Marketing Cure What Ails You?

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A recent article in the New York Times got me thinking about the psychology of marketing again, and how some basic principles are used or under-used in social media marketing.

Warning: Habits May Be Good for You” explores how an anthropologist turned to marketing experts from CPG companies like Procter & Gamble to help increase the incidence of hand-washing with soap after using the toilet in the nation of Ghana to improve the health of children.  Obviously, this was an important effort and I was encouraged to see marketing practitioners as instrumental in helping achieve success in this endeavor.

As I was reading the article, it struck me that many of the techniques used are found in Robert B. Cialdini‘s classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I’d lent out my copy a few years ago and, thankfully, had to buy a new version which includes an epilogue written by Dr. Cialdini in 2007.  My re-read then triggered a few thoughts on social media.

If the social media crowd can stop navel-gazing long enough to do some quick research and scientific work, boy will money be made. [More after the jump.]

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