Social Marketing is so popular.
“I’m not a doctor,” runs the joke. “I just play one on T.V.” Television and other forms of mass media, it seems, are often highly adept at making complicated tasks look simple.
This is especially true when it comes to marketing. A thirty-second ad for toothpaste will seem incredibly simple, even a bit silly–yet we’ll find ourselves humming the jingle in the car on the way home. When we stop by the grocery store a week later, we might pick up that toothpaste, caught by its colorful box and placement on the shelves. We’ve been grabbed by a successful marketing campaign. It might seem so simple, we’re barely aware of it–but it really represents a huge amount of research, design, and testing done by the toothpaste corporation.
Social marketing is based on the same principles used to sell that tube of toothpaste. It means to use commercial marketing techniques to try and improve social problems. A social marketing campaign might be used, for example, to try to reduce violence against women, or to increase the number of people who sign up as donors for the national bone marrow registry.
Managing a social marketing campaign might look fairly simple–like you’re just putting up more posters to raise awareness of the lead poisoning problem in your community, for example. In reality, however, it’s much more than that. Social marketing is no less than a shift in how you view and run your program or organization. It can be a very effective approach, but it’s one with many details to consider.
On the following few screens, we’ll try to make concrete how you can accomplish many of these details. We’ll start by touching briefly on the importance of social marketing and when might be a sensible time for your group to draw up a social marketing campaign. Then, we’ll dive into the details of how to manage a social marketing program. We’ll include how to separate consumers into individual groups and how to find out what those groups want (and how you can give it to them). Then, we’ll discuss designing the message, choosing the medium, and finally, implementing and evaluating your work.
A marketing philosophy centers on making customers happy — and doing it better than competitors can. Social marketing is a means to change behaviour in individuals, the people they interact with and the surrounding environment.
The Journal of Social Marketing (JSOCM) publishes double blind peer reviewed research that develops and integrates marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviour that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good (across a wide array of health, environment and social issues) in any of the following areas:
- Conceptual social marketing studies
- Social marketing theory development
- Literature reviews examining the social marketing evidence base
- Evaluation of social marketing programs/interventions
- Formative research and consumer/market insight studies
- Segmentation studies
- Studies evaluating and/or experimenting with any aspect of the social marketing mix
- Behaviour change studies
- Downstream/midstream/upstream social marketing programs/interventions