Effective Communication with Vulnerable People
Abstract Billions of people worldwide experience vulnerability in different ways. States, nonprofit and even private organizations develop offers to support vulnerable individuals. It is however unclear how to best encourage such individuals to engage with these offers that are designed to help them. We conducted a field experiment study, in the form of a direct marketing campaign. A total of 9002 randomly selected unemployed people received one of six support messages by SMS, informing them about trainings that could help them find a new job. The support message was either a plain message plus a link to the courses (control), or communicated additional monetary or psychological value. We measured whether participants engaged with the offer. The results showed that all the support messages that communicated additional value generated less engagement compared to the plain control message. Moderation analyses using primary and district-level secondary data associated to vulnerability further highlighted that the level of vulnerability indeed enforces this tendency to mistrust value communicated in messages. The findings suggest that for vulnerable people a more defensive, careful, communication approach is required to foster engagement in well-intentioned offers.
Keywords Vulnerability, unemployment, marketing communication, engagement, poverty, value communication
Citation Puntiroli, M., Alavi, S., Bezenšon, V., & Kocher, B. (2022, 9 June). Effective Communication with Vulnerable People. Paper presented at Marketing and Public Policy Conference, Austin.
Type Conference paper (English)
Name of conference Marketing and Public Policy Conference (Austin)
Date of conference 9-6-2022
URL https://www.ama.org/events/academic/2022-ama-marketing-an...