What is Social Marketing?

Social marketing is neither too old nor too new a concept. It was first coined by Kotler and Zaltman (1971) and regarded as “the use of marketing principles and techniques to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify, or abandon a behaviour for the benefit of individuals, groups, and society as a whole” (Kotler, Roberto & Lee, 2002). So far, social marketing has been developed by both academic researchers and practitioners. Its methods and practices have been adopted in a number of fields, most notably public health, family planning, road safety (Fox & Kotler, 1980; MacFayden, Stead & Hastings, 1999; Rothschild, Martin & Miller, 2006; Smith, 2006), smoking prevention (Gordon, McDermott, Stead & Angus, 2006; MacKintosh, MacFayden & Hastings, 1999), waste recycling and environmental protection (Kassirer, 1997; Tabanico & Schultz, 2007).

However, the power of social marketing is still not fully perceived, both as a downstream and upstream approach (Andreasen, 2006). There is relatively little research on the application of social marketing in demand reduction. I am providing consultancy service on the application of social marketing in reducing demand for rhino horn through behaviour change in Vietnam.


How to develop a Social Marketing program?

Executive Summary

Brief summary highlighting plan stakeholders, background, purpose, target audience, major marketing objectives and goals, desired positioning, marketing mix strategies (4Ps), and evaluation, budget, and implementation plans.

1.0    Background
    Who’s the sponsor? Why are they doing this? What social issue and population will the plan focus on and why?

2.0    Situation Analysis
2.1    SWOT:  Organizational Strengths & Weaknesses and Environmental Opportunities & Threats
2.2    Literature review and environmental scan of programs focusing on similar efforts: activities & lessons learned

3.0    Target Audience Analysis
3.1    Demographics, geographics, relevant behaviors (including risk), psychographics, social networks, community assets and stage of change (readiness to buy)
3.2    Size of target audience

4.0    Social Marketing Objectives 
4.1    Campaign Objectives: specifying targeted behaviors and attitudes (knowledge and beliefs)
4.2    SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound changes in behaviors and attitudes

5.0    Factors Influencing Adoption of the Behavior 
5.1    Perceived barriers to targeted behavior
5.2    Potential benefits for targeted behavior
5.3    Competing behaviors/forces
5.4    Influence of important others

6.0    Positioning Statement
How do we want the target audience to see the targeted behavior and its benefits relative to alternative/preferred ones?

7.0    Social Marketing Strategies 
7.1    Product:  Benefits from performing behaviors and any objects or services offered to assist adoption
Core Product:  Desired audience benefits promised in exchange for performing the targeted behavior
Actual Product: Features of basic product (e.g., HIV/AIDS test, exercise, # daily fruits & vegetables) 
Augmented Product:  Additional objects & services to help perform the behavior or increase appeal
7.2    Price:  Costs that will be associated with adopting the behavior

  • Costs:  money, time, physical effort, psychological
  • Price-Related Tactics to Reduce Costs:  Monetary & Nonmonetary Incentives and Disincentives

7.3    Place:  Making access convenient
Creating convenient opportunities to engage in the targeted behaviors and/or access products and services
7.4    Promotion:  Persuasive communications highlighting product benefits, features, fair price and ease of access

  • Messages
  • Messengers
  • Creative/Executional Strategy
  • Media Channels & Promotional Items

7.5 Four additional Ps in social marketing: Public, Partnership, Policy, Purse-string

8.0    Monitoring & Evaluation
8.1    Purpose and audience for monitoring and evaluation
8.2    What will be measured:  inputs, outputs, outcomes (from Steps 4 & 6) and impact
8.3    How and when measures will be taken

9.0    Budget
9.1    Costs for implementing marketing plan, including additional research and monitoring/evaluation plan
9.2    Any anticipated incremental revenues, cost savings or partner contributions

10.0    Plan for Implementation and Campaign Management
Who will do what, when – including partners and their roles?


Behaviour Change Models & Frameworks

1. Learning theories: emphasize that learning a new, complex pattern of behaviour, like changing from a sedentary to an active lifestyle, normally requires modifying many of the small behaviours an overall complex behaviours.

2. Health belief model: stipulates that a person's health related behaviour depends on the person's perception of 04 critical areas: the severity of a potential illness, the person's susceptibility to that illness, the benefit of taking a prevention action, and the barriers to aking that action.

3. Trans-theoretical model: behavior change has been conceptualized as a five-stage process or continuum related to a person's readiness to change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.

4. Relapse prevention model

5. Theory of Reasoned Action & Theory of Planned BehaviorA person's behavior is determined by the intention to perform that behavior. This intention is determined by 03 major factors: attitude towards the behaviour, subjective norm and perceived control of the behaviour.

6. NOA Model (Need-Opportunity-Ability) (Charles Vlek et al.): Consumers are shown to require a combination of needs (largely emotional motivators), opportunities, and abilities (e.g. adequate discretionary income) in order to purchase a product.

7. Diffusion of Innovation Theory: demonstrates that the first to adopt an innovation (e.g. new behaviour) are "innovators". These persons could have large influence on target audience at large.

8. Social Learning Theory


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