E10. Don't engage too late! How to use social marketing concepts reward & exchange

Behaviour Change Marketing Bootcamp

Sep 17 2021 • 28 mins

Don’t engage too late! How to use social marketing concepts: reward & exchange

With Social Marketer Luke van der Beeke

This episode explores how to use the core social marketing principles: Exchange & Reward. It also touches on the concept of customer orientation and the behavioural bias hyperbolic discounting.

Luke explains what the concepts are and why they are so powerful.  He ends with a powerful domestic violence case study.


·       Exchange concept has been around for a long time, in commercial marketing it is a transactional – you exchange money – a marketer is looking to optimise that value for their customers.

·       In social marketing we are looking to is get people to exchange behaviours. More often than not it is swapping out something they quite enjoy for something that is maybe not giving them the same level of gratification e.g. drive safely, smoking, eating healthy.

·       Customer orientation – understanding what you need to do in terms of maximising benefits minimise costs so an individual can take up a new behaviour.


·       Factual based communications are useful but behavioural comms is a different beast altogether.

·       We know through behavioural science people discount long-term benefits …. It informs how we need to go about presenting choices to maximise opportunities (Hyberbolic discounting)

·       Start engagement to understand what the exchange and reward is at problem definition stage! It’s so often late or…..hidden in consultation.


·       Engage to understand intrinsic rewards, the intangibles around the change and what the exchange is through the audience’s eyes.

·       Stop using long term health messaging. Focus on tangibles and move beyond facts to messaging that  motivates the desired action or attitude

·       Use the insight to segment and frame communications messaging rather than what ‘we’ think it should be.

Ultimately the exchange concept is a useful tool to break down benefits and costs as seen by the target audience not how we think!


Strategic Social Marketing by Jeff French & Professor Ross Gordon

Freaknomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (Luke’s go to for behavioural economics)

Optimists Tour of Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer “What’s Next?” Mark Stevenson

Contact & Links



The National Social Marketing Centre | The NSMC

If you would like to know more about how to apply behavioural science and social marketing check out our Autumn Bootcamp.