The Cognitive Dissonance of Rx/Dx Digital Marketing

In the past I have referenced a few of the reasons why I think social media for Rx/Dx organizations have lagged other industries. However, in my search for the true underlying reasons aside from legal and regulatory hurdles I think I have determined the real reason:

Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological term to explain the tension that can be caused by having conflicting thoughts.

From Science Daily: 
In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what you already believe, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce your beliefs.
Why is that important? Because that is exactly what is happening relative to digital marketing across the Rx/Dx industries.
The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions
Cognitive dissonance is why people aren't buying hybrid cars, drink water out of plastic bottles and don't use solar power for their homes. We don't change until we are staring a threat squarely in the face.

Every piece of research you read and have read for the last three plus years indicates that digital is the right thing to do yet due to cognitive dissonance it has yet to become a primary method of engagement and marketing. So let's be clear, in combination with many of the reasons I have laid out in the past, Rx/Dx organizations will not fully move to digital and social media until they absolutely have to; until it is so patently obvious that it is what they should be doing to reach and engage with people.

That's a shame, because by then it will be really too late (see my post on Push or Protect). The opportunity to show that you have interest, to demonstrate goodwill and build ongoing relationships, particularly when it comes to social media, is long before you have to. That's why I think the chasm that is widening in marketing from the product/ brand to the customer and is becoming harder and harder to bridge.

At least now I figured out the reason why....what do you think? Leave a comment.


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  2. Shelley Wilson said...

    So, if for example I was selling a car, I would use the cognitive dissonance theory to dispel any negative thoughts that the customer has about the car. For example if they had been saving up for this car and then realise that there is something more up to date to be released a few months later, I would encourage them that this is the best car for the customer to buy at this time so that they do not have pre-purchase dissonance about the product?

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