I have had thousands of people attend my CBSM seminars, and I begin each one of them by asking everyone present to raise their hand if they think donating blood is a good idea. It is rare that there is someone in the room that does not raise their hand. People have the attitude that giving blood is a good thing to do.

I then ask people to tell me why giving blood is a good idea. They readily tell me that it can save lives, it could save your own life or that of a loved one, blood cannot be manufactured, it is a way of giving back to society, etcetera. People have very good awareness that giving blood is a good thing to do.

I then ask people to raise their hands (and keep them raised) if they have given blood in the last month. The last 6 months. The last year. The last 5 years. By then, a handful of people will have their hands up in a group of one hundred.

Less than 5% of Canadians donate blood. To recap in round numbers:

  • 100% of Canadians have the attitude that donating blood is a good thing to do;
  • 100% of Canadians have the awareness of the benefits of donating blood;
  • Less than 5% donate blood. That means more than 95% do not perform the desired behaviour of giving blood.

Blood donation campaigns should focus on behaviour. Mass-media advertising campaigns to convince us that giving blood is important are a waste of money because we already know that. Marketing campaigns need to get us off our butts and into the clinics. And that takes a different marketing approach, one for which the traditional advertising tools such as TV ads and billboards are ill-suited.

Next post: Do you mean attitude and awareness don’t matter?

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3 thoughts on “Behaviour Versus Attitude and Awareness

  • February 21, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Behaviour does not necessarily follow attitude and awareness.

  • February 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    So what are some of the key techniques that can be used to motivate action?

    • March 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      Reminders, like signs, work well. But the 2 strongest elements are obtaining a commitment and creating a social norm. More on those coming soon.

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