Behavioral Science Management
and Marketing

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A. Introduction and Abstract
C. Levels of Market Penetration
B. Behavioral Science Logic

D. Protocols for Impact

A. Introduction and Abstract

Knowledge MarketingTM of marketing efforts can be defined as the application of expertise in behavioral science and Interface Management Science TM, to solve marketing problems in a accountable and effective manner for rapid market saturation and promotion or for highly accurate gradual penetration.

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B. Behavioral Science Logic for Knowledge MarketingTM

Rationale and scholarship for the behavioral science logic which follows is based upon widely acclaimed and accepted material in clinical aspects of social science. Specifically, it comes from the model of change developed by clinical application and supported by both quantitative and clinical research from many disciplines within psychology.

It is notable that the model underlying Knowledge MarketingTM is based upon how change is facilitated and how people change and not how personality is explained. The difference is extremely important. The history of the last two decades in psychology has revealed an increased trend to build operational models of how change happens: how a person changes him or herself, how communication results in change, how group variables and family interaction produces change, etc. Much of this work presents a challenge to traditional researchers in psychology laboratories who have years of experience explaining traits and structures of personality and categories of symptoms and behaviors. As a result, some of their models of change often do not have the weight of research at their foundation. Such research provides extremely high levels of confidence and reliability.

We selected the following criteria for the Knowledge MarketingTM model:

1. Is the model and methods are in actual use, guiding clinical interventions in a wide range of difficult case situations: pain control, general out-patient therapy, family therapy, long and short term therapy, hypnotherapy, etc.?

2. Is the model widely accepted by other clinical professionals including those in psychiatry, psychology, social work, family therapy, brief therapy, hypnotherapy, etc.?

3. Is the model published in authoritative and widely circulated sources?

4. Is the model comprehensive?

5. Is the model supported by outcome studies which are researched, is the research published, is the publication of research occurring in referred journals and does it come from faculty members of major universities?

6. Is the model specific, and well articulated, as to reduce misunderstanding when it is shared with others?

7. Has the model been used in corporate business contexts and can the model be readily translated to business without undue baggage and psychobabble?

We decided, therefore, to rely upon the model developed by Lankton and Lankton, as it pertains to the Knowledge MarketingTM, most succinctly detailed in the following authoritative works and represented in part by the graphic illustration below taken from these chapters.

Lankton, S., Lankton, C., Matthews, W. (1991) "Ericksonian
Family Therapy," In A. Gurman, D. Kniskern (Eds.). Handbook
of family therapy, volume 2. Brunner/Mazel, New York.

Matthews, W., Lankton, S., Lankton, C. (1993) "An Ericksonian
Model of Hypnotherapy," In E. Kirsch, S. Lynn, J. Rhue (Eds.).
The handbook of clinical hypnosis. American Psychological

Behavior Science Levels

From The Handbook of Family Therapy, Volume II,
Gurman, Alan S. and Kniskern, David P., (eds.),
Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1991.

What follows is a translation of that model. The change theory was provided by the above authors especially for the context of Knowledge MarketingTM.

From the behavioral science standpoint, the logical point of departure for each of the areas of information processing for any particular consumer, or group of consumers, would consist of a overlapping set of six areas. These overlapping areas are comprised of the following: perception, cognition, emotion, behavior, role, and family or social dimension. Translated into concepts relevant for marketing, the consumer could be expected to behave in the following six ways, respectively: attending, understanding, valuing, using, sustaining the use of and promoting any particular product or service. Each of these six areas should be defined independently and then the inter-relational logic will be explained. The following will serve as brief explanations of each of those six areas.

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C. Levels of Market Penetration

Behavior Science Levels

This chart depicts the different levels of possible marketing impact as well
as the speed of knowledge transfer accomplished by efforts to move "up" or "down"
during a marketing campaign.
[Areas of the graphic can be clicked upon to jump to the related text on this page.]


The Noticing/Attention frame refers to the actual sensory experience of the consumer which has typically only a few moments to respond before losing interest. It deals with those perceptual events which are stimulating the consumer to pay attention to the look and feel of any particular object for at least a brief period of time, but long enough for another level of mental experience to kick in. The consumer will apprehend those bits of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory information which emerge into the foreground because they fulfill a particular need which may not be known to the consumer at the time that the foreground emerges. For example, walking past a restaurant to one person may result in no recognition that a restaurant has been passed, while another person will suddenly have the olfactory experience of smelling food cooking because that person has a hunger. So the perceptual/noticing frame has to do at the bottom line with the organism's needs emerging into their awareness through a sort of feedback process which, unknown to the consumer, is "now that something has my attention, it indicates that I have a need." Usually, consumers do not recognize they have a need; they simply recognize that something came to their attention.

Various factors apply to perception and attention in addition to the recognition of existing needs - such as previous pre-figuration of attention. Accordingly, things which look like something else or sound like something else already brings an excess set of associations or baggage with them.

If a new product or a new idea or a new experience is available in the perceptual field of the organism, but the organism has a lack of training of the sensorium, the organism will not recognize it or attend to it. A far-flung example would be that there could be an alternate dimension right before our very eyes, but since we don't know to organize our perception to recognize it, it simply doesn't exist. On a more practical note, research has shown that cats raised with vertical lines on the walls of their environment will walk right into horizontal bars because they haven't learned to recognize them due to the lack of pre-figuration of their perceptual attention. Similarly cats raised with horizontal lines drawn around their boxes will walk into vertical bars, not even seeing them because their perception hasn't been shaped. There is an educational aspect, a socialization aspect, and a genetic aspect to attention which must be addressed at this marketing level.

In summary, the genetic aspect has to do with the recognition and emergence of a need, and the socialization aspect has to do with the training of potential material for perception. In addition, the socialization aspect has to do with pre-figuring perceptual understanding that may almost be unable to be changed by socialization or need at a later date and time. Once a new product has caught consumers' attention it therefore becomes something that can fulfill a need, something which consumers can be educated about and about which their perceptions can be further refined and shaped. Examples of that could be found in the way people continue to refer to tissues as Kleenexes. The initial emergence of that sort of tissue called a Kleenex continues to pre-figure the perception of tissues throughout the entire life cycles of several families. They continue to call tissues "Kleenexes" regardless of whether another company makes them or not.

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Cognitive processes in behavioral science, as they apply to our consumer, could be considered the "understanding frame." This has to do with the way information which has caught the attention of the consumer, is processed, sorted, stored, and prioritized for further thinking and use. What is at stake here is whether or not someone easily articulates and retains what they have come to notice as a pattern in the environment through the process of perception at the previous level, or whether they are confused. If they understand it, their understanding must be valuable enough that it can be worked with and changed rather than simply becoming a matter of prejudice and bias which continues to hold a limitation upon the cognitive-thinking process from there on out. Certainly what is at stake in something like the launch of a new product is the initial clarity or initial harmony of the product or service with regard to other things consumers understand. If the product or service introduction results in an initial feel of the product that is similar to something else the consumer has a hold of, it may cause an explanation-framework to be used which is difficult to shake. It is not a matter of attention at this level, but rather of continual cognitive bias that comes into play and from which people generalize - "this new thing that I have noticed is just like that last thing." We never want customers of new products or services to conclude "this new thing that I have just noticed is like the last thing" and apply the same understanding-of the earlier metaphorical map to make cognitive sense in a negative manner.

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The next level of personal experience in the behavioral science frame that is important to consider is the emotional domain which takes the shape of the valuing aspect of the consumer. As it plays out for importance to new products or service, this has to do with whether or not the customers feel attracted to it, whether or not it holds some emotional valence for them of one kind or another or none at all. This emotional valence translates into a sense of desiring, a sense of belonging, a sense of indifference, a sense of abhorrence, a sense of "I don't want to get involved with it." In any case, a particular emotional valence comes into play and it is a complicated matrix of perception, understanding, and ease of use.

The emotional element has, of course, been seen for years to be so important that it stands alone as a separate element of the human experience recognized even at the household level. It is extremely personal and not necessarily easily changed by any of the higher Knowledge MarketingTM levels once it is formed. Once a phobia exists, for example, about snakes, bridges or airplanes, all sorts of cognitive understanding and logic fail to change it, as does observation of others who are comfortable. Once a phobia has been formed about flying on airplanes, usage is avoided such that potentially positive usage doesn't get to change the existing emotional impact. While change at this level is possible, just as changing a phobia is possible, it is accomplished by special methods of knowledge and not simple marketing approaches.

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The next level that comes into play is the behavioral level of complexity which in the consumer would translate into the actual using of a product or service. What's at stake here, of course, is whether or not the use requires existing behaviors or whether new behaviors have to be used. If existing behaviors can be used, then it is simply a matter of utilization of pre-existing habits in a way that are slightly altered so that they manifest the mission of the new service, product, or program in some way. If new behaviors have to be learned, the learning of those new behaviors has to be chunked into a small enough groups that they are easily acquired or built. This must be done in such incremental fashion that they do not interfere with one another: In that way the learning curve is very low. So, perhaps to oversimplify, the existence or non-existence of the ease of use is certainly a potential aid or barrier to the new product or service.

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The next level of the behavioral science complexity which impacts knowledge exchange to a human being is the level of social role. This consists of complex groupings of sets of behaviors, emotions. These roles pertain to the sustaining use and involvement of new products or services convey to consumers. This includes how one sees or understands oneself belonging to a certain group, and the role one takes. The customer might ask: "Should I be proud of myself with this role? Shall I be suspicious of using the new product of service because I am not certain of the role that it puts me in or what it "says" about me? What exact image does this convey and how do I identify with that?"

There is a different value to the importance of role depending upon the demographic group and sub-strata within that demographic group. Teenagers who happens to think that they are headed for college might take on the understanding that they are making prudent decisions, feel a value of attraction, understand the ease of use and already have an existing role that says, "I am a very wise, maturing individual and belong to the group of wise, maturing individuals who take such action as using this product or service." But another teenager due to their demographics might simply identify with "this product or service is just another part of the rip-off, mega-corporation, multi-national, CIA-operated, 'big brother is watching me,' anti-heavy metal movement" and decide that they have to disidentify with it due to the stigma they believe it carries. Others will see a product as futuristic and therefore attractive; some will see it as futuristic and not appealing to a desirable life style.

The sustaining element, as far as the behavioral science and knowledge exchange is concerned, requires that companies create a situation through communication, education and marketing efforts such that the "use" and "value" of their product is maintained and becomes automated as parameters for a social role are developed. The human being uses the complexity of the social role to stop solving problems repeatedly - That is, a acquiring a role is like the creation of a wheel that the person wishes not to create every time they have to get somewhere. The role groups together a constellation of behavior, emotion, cognition, and perception so that they don't have to be thought through again and the brain can easily implement a whole group of subsets of behavior, emotions, and understandings by simply playing a role. Once you learn the role of mother, you have a set of behaviors available, a set of feelings available, a set of understandings, and a set of perceptions and only a little bit of deviation is allowable depending upon the "tightness" of that role. There are biological roles, there are roles for work performance, there are social roles, and there are familial roles. Each of these roles that are taken in life - brother, husband, son, worker, inventor, etc. - are held in place by two important types of reinforcement. The first type of reinforcement is what has been mentioned - it solves the problem of how to congeal behavior, emotion, cognition, and perception. The other angle by which the social role is stabilized is the expectations of other people who think one is going to perform that particular role. This later reinforcement is called social structure and pertains to the highest level of Knowledge MarketingTM.

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The last element and most complex level with which we currently need to deal is the social or family level of human experience. The social or family level serves the purpose of reinforcing the retention of a role by indicating through subtle and not so subtle cues how we expect another person to behave. These are conveyed both consciously and unconsciously. Rules of conduct apply here that say, "in this family, only X is allowed," "in this social group, only X is allowed." If a social role fits within that group, it will be accepted. If the group only allows one person to play that social role, then anyone else who plays it well will have to compete in order to remove other main players. For example, in an organization if only one person gets to talk all of the time in a staff meeting, everyone else either needs to comply to that or challenge the person who is present. If a challenge is created, then the social organization is being changed and will move toward homeostasis to try to either create a new notch for two people who can speak or more, or will take steps to remove the person who is challenging the existing homeostasis.

In a marketing program for a product or service, this applies to the further promoting by each individual who uses the new product or service at the grass roots level. So it is not a minor matter at all; it is not a matter simply for behavior science textbooks; it is a very important factor both in marketing and in solidifying the existence of something that is in its infancy. The promoting aspect of each consumer can take the shape of leadership, guidance, and modeling a large number of subsets when they use the product or service. They model the role to play, the behaviors to use, the value and ambiance to place upon that experience of the product or service, the understandings to have, which ones they should talk about and what things to pay attention to. Socializing other people to use the product or service is what happens at this behavioral science level. The parent who uses the product or service inadvertently trains the children on what to notice about it, its use, and the reinforcement it brings. Children will quickly pick up the ability to use the product or service and be trained to become consumers depending upon how well this social and familial level of promoting the product is done. If it is done in a way that is perfectly natural and usual in a win-win situation, then other people are allowed to play the role of somebody who "belongs to the club" of, one might say, people who use the product or service. It is the way each consumer socializes other consumers in their family, and in other families, to use the product or service. These new "club members" in turn cannot avoid a similar role defining process which will affect still others. In behavioral science terms promoters teach people to teach people the use of the product or service.

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D. Protocols for Impact in Knowledge MarketingTM

Now what? The logic of the way these levels interact has been inferred by the above definitions, because, in many ways this six-part breakdown is an artificial breakdown of things which are meshed together at a very high level of correspondence. A further understanding of the relationships between the levels gives us some clues as to how we can use our understanding to effect change. So, we will now develop three protocols for eliciting change.

The Upward v. the Downward Protocol

The Downward Protocol will deal with, as the name implies, an approach which achieves change by having a direct impact at a high level of personal experience, and letting the lower levels be guided by the experience at the higher level. The most basic human experience and the smallest piece of our six-part system is perceptual recognition. It is held in place as it were, or reinforced, by the cognitive understanding that a person has. Similarly, each higher level is a complex level that holds in place all the levels below it in some very simple fashion. Once I decided, for example, on how I am going to value my emotional relationship to a new product or service it locks me in to a certain understanding and a certain perception that in a very short period of time becomes unchangeable. Once behaviors are learned to help support the emotions that I have, I'll begin to identify all things below understandings and perceptions.

The highest level of impact that can be made by any single intervention is the level of impact at the family/social systems level (the promoting level in our model). We can explain how influence moves downward through each level by a simple illustration followed through each level:

1. If there is good feedback and correspondence between the individuals in a particular social system then all one needs to do to sell, for example, a pair of tennis shoes is to show somebody in the same age group wearing those tennis shoes and explaining what is so good about them (promoting).

2. It may then be possible that a model is set for other people to aspire to by trying to acquire the same role (sustaining).

3. In that role, they have already been somewhat educated about how they will use the product (using).

4. A valence of emotional value becomes an aura around the product by that role (valuing).

5. Once that happens, each individual develops his or her own cognitive understanding to explain why they are holding such values, doing such behaviors, and playing such roles (understanding).

6. As they explain to themselves, they will develop the perceptions that they will then lock in, educate, and continue to observe in existence with their own positive bias (noticing).

On the other hand, moving through these six levels from the simplest to the most complex takes an orchestrated marketing effort. First, getting the attention; later, creating an understanding; next, instilling a value, etc. By moving in that sort of fashion from the smallest to the largest, there is a great deal of accountability that can be carefully orchestrated by whatever marketing, educational, advertising efforts are done.

There are, of course, pros and cons and risks to be taken if one begins from the smallest level of attention understanding, valuing, and using versus the pros and cons and risks that come into play if one starts at the highest level of promoting, developing roles, creating use behaviors and emotional valence. The pros and cons could be quickly summarized in the following way: if one begins at the simple level and works to the more complex, the pro is that there is a great deal of necessary and there is a time factor involved where competing products may work against you from the top on down, from the promoting/sustaining/using on down. So you could be educating your market about what you have captured their attention for, helping them have a positive feeling about it when a famous personality comes out in favor of the competition's product and suddenly forces everybody to take their own created, self-generated understandings to explain why they feel so positive about using the thing the way the famous person uses it.

For example, a clothing company could be carefully grooming and promoting their clothes-horses to sell certain lines of women's wearing apparel, certain hemlines, a certain color, certain fabrics, when Madonna suddenly appears in a movie such as "Desperately Seeking Susan," wearing ragamuffin clothes with the appearance of a street-wise, young teen who is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and being somehow mature and sexy. As a result the carefully orchestrated line of clothing development falls flat because a huge group of females emerge on the scene trying to replicate what they saw Madonna wear. They develop their own understanding to have cognitive consonants about what they think they should feel positive about, and do feel positive about, having noticed how to use it, playing a role of emulating; they are belonging to the family that Madonna has created with that single swipe of that movie. This means that one of the risks involved here, and possibly one of the opportunities, is to orchestrate your marketing effort knowing what the competition is going to do or what accidentally the marketplace is going to bring to you as a potential resource in a total ecological systemic fashion.

Moving in the other direction from the promoting/sustaining/using value and understanding back down to the simpler is not always the best marketing move either. What is to be gained is that less education and less time is necessary for saturation for the consumer to develop their understanding and emotion. What is at risk is that there is a highly symbolic nature at play which means a great deal of indirection or ambiguity comes into the equation; This will allow users to arrive at something other than what you thought was going to happen. You could, for example, promote with the wrong role model or your could select several role models in order to cover a broad range of demographics and still be using 50 percent of the wrong ones for the demographics you are actually speaking to. This is, of course, controllable somewhat by understanding your demographics, understanding your role models; but often, unfortunately, hunch and guess do this. An embarrassing example is a series of breakfast cereal ads speaking about how 'rad and groovy' their products are - 17 months after those terms have actually dropped out of usage by their target audience.

In general, the recommended marketing strategy for launch marketing would be the down protocol. The down protocol introduces an idea from the largest chunk of human social experience with the spin, or angle, being that a person can model for another person use of the new product or service. In so doing they simultaneously train the usage, the role, the emotion, the cognition, and grab the attention in the mind of the user while stimulating grass roots effort to spread the use of the new product or service.

For subsequent marketing efforts aimed at introducing-evolutionary steps in a new product or service, we recommend the "up" protocol for the logic previously described regarding the way people apprehend, understand, come to value and put into use things which have been brought to their awareness. There is a great deal more marketing effort involved in that and there is also a great deal more accountability.

The Lateral Protocol

What remains in looking at these directional protocols is what we see as an approach to dealing with only particular level of experience at a time. There are really only two scenarios in which targeting directly to one of the layers of human experience or another would come into play - dealing with status association building, or consumer educational matters. We refer to this as a "lateral" protocol.

The more likely of the two needs for the lateral protocol arises when, once a program is underway, a need arises to increase the momentum of the program through status association, (e.g., if a major television or movie personality were associated with the use of the product or service).

In this scenario, where the emotional value and status is being the single target, the lateral protocol suggests that you do not need to further attract attention or educate. One only needs to speak to the emotional level of the behavioral science system of the consumer. However, if it were found that the status association seemed premature because people had not noticed something about the product or service, it would be recommended that you not use the lateral protocol, but rather go back and use the "down protocol" to create further recognition for the product or service or use the "up protocol" to build a greater degree of accountable recognition for the existence of the product or service. Again, once those two protocols have been successfully employed, then and only then, would it be reasonable to use the status association to maximize the marketing effort for product or service.

The second case might arise as part of an educational marketing effort. Suppose, for example, it is discovered that debit card consumers are bringing their debit cards to grocery store merchants and are attempting to use them, and even are prepared to feel fine about the use of their debit cards. But, they are having difficulty understanding how to use the Point Of Sale terminals themselves and are somewhat embarrassed to ask for help. In such a case, further marketing could be done which educates consumers about how to use the Point Of Sale terminal. You would be appealing to that layer of the behavior science system that could be depicted on our model as the cognitive level. In the case of the cognitive level, it would be necessary to make certain perception is shaped very carefully at the same time the education is being provided. That is, a lateral marketing effort into the behavioral science system of the consumer should take into account, and need only take into account, two aspects - focusing the perception of the consumer on the events that needs further cognitive education and providing that education.

In summary then, the lateral protocol is recommended for a direct targeting to specific aspects of the consumer's mental clarification and education or the consumer's emotional status association and valuing. It would be used only as a secondary follow-up marketing measure in those special instances listed above and should take into account the communication strategy of appealing to the perceptual training and then the cognitive training when an educational approach is needed. Similarly, it would be used for appealing to the emotional status association alone only in those cases where it can be validated that the perceptual mechanism already had been trained to the existence of the product or service.

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Stephen R. Lankton provided the text in this section. Significant parts of this section are copyrighted by Stephen R. Lankton in previously published works and are reprinted here with the express permission of the author. The icons were created by Strategic Solutions, Inc.

© Stephen R. Lankton, 1995, 1996, 2000.