Monday, 4 April 2011

Social marketing - a new way to live your life

Marketing principles could be used not only to drive sales up but to deliver social change in important areas of our lives such as health, environment protection, etc. Social marketing aims to achieve behaviour change in order to increase the public welfare. Its main goal is to sell ideas and encourage positive attitude toward a social problem, so the understanding of the audience needs is vital aspect of the social marketing campaign planning.
In order to persuade people to act responsibly 5 Ps of marketing should be considered.

Product – What is the social change we want to achieve?
People – What are the public needs, expectations? What do they care about?
Place – How to introduce this change to the audience?
Price – What are the benefits for the audience if they change their attitude?
Promotion – How do you deliver information to the audience and impel them to act?

The success of social marketing depends on the people’s perceptions and understanding of the problem and that is why the audience is one of the core elements which should be taken in consideration when developing a social marketing campaign. People might not realise that an issue exists until it is communicated by the organisations and institutions responsible for or interested in its tackling. The understanding of the roots of particular behaviour gives information about the tactics which would be most successful for persuading people to change their perceptions and take action. Researching the audience interests and ideas also gives knowledge of which is the most appropriate media choice for a given social marketing campaign.

Important actors and power institutions can either impede or deliver social change, so choosing the right partners and defining the potential opposition should be on the list when developing a social marketing campaign. As most of the campaigns aim to bring significant behavioural change it is important to consider how it will run for a long time and identify the opportunities and threats which might arise. The effectiveness of social marketing depends on the ability to attract the attention of the audience, manage people’s expectations and persuade them that the targeted behaviour change would bring many benefits to their lives.

Here is an example of a successful social marketing campaign:

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