Conduct exchange analysis
What is it?
Assessing what rewards, benefits, costs and barriers are associated with the desired and problem behaviours.
It is useful to think of the behavioural change in terms of a cost-benefit analysis from the target audience’s perspective. We can ask how rewards/incentives can be increased and barriers/blocks reduced to improve the cost-benefit relationship.
Why do this?
It is important to know what the target audience perceives it is gaining and giving up if it adopts a desired behaviour.
For example, it might be difficult for someone who has never smoked, and can therefore only see the wasted money, unpleasant smell and potential health problems, to realise the many perceived benefits which smoking can offer, including a sense of social inclusion, lower weight, feelings of confidence and maturity and a source of relaxation and comfort.
By identifying the perceived costs and benefits of both positive and negative behaviours, social marketers can aim to change the cost-benefit relationship. This makes positive behaviours attractive and negative behaviours unattractive.
Incentives and Barriers – for both positive and problematic behaviours
Understanding what the audience would perceive as rewards for behavioural change is vital as these can be developed into incentives.
For example, a number of organisations are offering interest-free loans to employees to buy bicycles for travel to work. This reduces the financial cost of travel and therefore improves the cost-benefit relationship. Similarly, it is important to identify barriers to change, such as the lack of availability of public transport which prevents employees reducing their CO2 emissions generated by travel.
How might you do this?
It is important to continue to focus on both positive and negative behaviours.
- Draw on the experience of your team and use workshops to discuss the costs and benefits of both negative and positive behaviours.
There are a number of ways you could do this:
- For example, one team could focus on the positive and one on the negative behaviour .
- Alternatively, one team could focus on rewards and barriers across the behaviours, while the other concentrates on identifying the cost-benefit relationships, again for both the positive and negative.
- Assess the cost-benefit analysis, and also the rewards/incentives and barriers, from the perspective of the target audience.
- Use role play exercises to help generate insights.
- Use information collected during scoping to gain wider understanding.
Questions built around the following four key considerations could form a basis for your consideration and discussion:
- Cost – Benefit Analysis: perception of the target audience.
- What are the costs of the desired and problem behaviour in terms of money, inconvenience, risk, opinions of others, self-perception and so on.
- What are the benefits of the desired and problem behaviour in terms of financial savings, lifestyle, opinions of others and self-perception.
- Are there differences between the perceived short-term and long-term costs?
- Are there differences between the perceived short-term and long-term benefits?
- Incentives/Rewards and Barriers Analysis: the current situation.
- What is known about the factors that help maintain and reinforce the desired behaviour?
- What incentives and rewards help maintain and reinforce the positive behaviour?
- What barriers or blocks currently limit or restrict the desired behaviour?
- What is known about the factors that help maintain and reinforce the problem behaviour?
- What incentives and rewards help maintain and reinforce the problematic behaviour?
- What barriers or blocks limit or restrict the problem behaviour?
- Understanding how people have managed to successfully change previous behaviour and what supported this. What worked for them, and why?
- What were the incentives/rewards that worked? What benefits did they get from making the change?
- What barriers or blocks had to be addressed and overcome?
- How were barriers or blocks reduced or eliminated? Or how might they be for others?
- Proposed action plan.
- How can existing incentives for the desired behaviour be enhanced and strengthened?
- What additional incentives might be developed?
- How might incentives for the problem behaviour be removed or reduced?
- How can barriers or blocks to negative behaviour be enhanced and strengthened?
- What additional barriers or blocks might be developed to help limit or restrict the problem behaviour?
- Test your conclusions about costs, benefits, rewards and barriers by validating the outcomes of the exercise against your research data and expert opinion.
- When deciding on your plans for increasing rewards, ensure that these are of value to the target audience/s.
- Consider how other programmes comparable to your own have worked.
- Cost-benefit analysis for both the problem and desired behaviours.
- An Incentives/Rewards and Barriers Analysis for the current situation.
- A plan for developing, sustaining or removing rewards or barriers in order to influence behaviour.
- Appreciating the costs and benefits of both the desired and problem behaviours from the target audience’s perspective.
- Understanding the role of rewards and barriers related to the specific desired behavioural change.
- Appreciating how rewards and/or barriers can be included as an element of the intervention in order to change the cost/benefit relationship and consequently behaviour.