Good Morning. My name is Arwen Folkes and I am the Managing Director of Real Baby Milk a social enterprise based in Cornwall. I have been invited here today to share our experience of using social marketing
I have fifteen minutes to share our experience and therefore would like to give a quick overview of: Real Baby Milk and what we do. The theory of social marketing and the methodology we used. The process of developing the project using social marketing and where it led And finally a bit about the project delivery, evaluation and outcomes.
So, what is Real Baby Milk? Real Baby Milk is a Community Interest Company, also known as a social enterprise, or not for profit. Real Baby Milk is an NGO member of a number of strategic partnerships. Real Baby Milk is run by a Board of Directors, representative of our “communities of interest”. Our directors include a midwife, a peer supporter, a dad, a teacher and me a former breastfeeding mother with a marketing background. Real Baby Milk exists solely to meet its social aims which are ultimately to get more babies breastfed and for longer.
Whilst on maternity leave from my marketing business, and after two personal experiences of breastfeeding with and without good information, I became a breastfeeding peer supporter with the local Sure Start Children’s Centre and also attended a lot of their services as a parent. In 2005 I helped the Sure Start Midwife in North Cornwall to set up their first breastfeeding support group. Through this voluntary role, the idea of Real Baby Milk began in May 2005. With the encouragement of a handful of key individuals and a £1500 grant the project became active in November 2005. In October 2006 Real Baby Milk was incorporated as a CIC.
Our services have all developed and expanded over four years. Under a brand and overarching marketing strategy for breastfeeding, we provide information guides, posters, run a peer support network and training courses and events. We run a National breastfeeding website and online campaign, we organise local and regional breastfeeding conferences, we support groups across the UK with their sustainability and access to good information. We work with public places to become breastfeeding. We produce dvd’s which are used right across the UK. And we carry out our own research and are delighted to be part of the SW Beacon Social Marketing project that is just beginning.
Although we are an independent body, we work wholeheartedly with a wide variety of organisations. This includes local authorities, primary care trusts, volunteers and their groups, Change4life, Government Office South West, private sector organisations where appropriate and other NGO’s with similar aims. Through our partnerships have constant dialogue with our “Communities of Interest” including women and their families, volunteers, support group, public and private sector organisations and other NGO’s. We are open to all sorts of partnerships but are very strict about not working with organisations who violate the WHO code on the marketing of artificial milk products.
The definition of marketing is “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably” this was the principle I used for developing the campaign and placed breast milk as the product and an increase of breastfeeding rates as the “profitability”. The reason for this was that in 2005, when Real Baby Milk began, “Social Marketing” as a term and methodology, had not yet been fully defined by the National Social Marketing Centre. The definition of social marketing is “The systematic application of marketing, alongside other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals, for a social good”. And so, perhaps more by accident than design, we have been a social marketing campaign right from the start.
Traditional market research methods were used to gather initial insight. Gathering information to build a picture of the market. Segmenting the audiences to look for groups. Analysing findings for trends and patterns and then later measuring effectiveness. When it later came to development, the market research informed the application of the marketing mix, again based on a mix designed for commerce. I used the four C’s. Consumer, Cost, Convenience and Communication. This marketing mix was used to define and design the campaign as consumer, convenience and communication were key to any success. I have to add, that if we were to be starting the project today, we would be utilising different methods!
OK, our insight. To build a comprehensive “market” picture it was important to gather good and detailed insight from a variety of sources. This slide shows the various groups engaged with. All research was gathered by me over a 12 month period in total. Primarily, approximately 200-250 women were heard, all on an informal basis in one to one conversations and groups discussions in a peer support group setting. Observations were also made at “drop-in” sessions at the children’s centre which were attended by a wider range of mothers – some breastfeeding some not. The findings from this led to a widening of the net and secondary research being conducted with health professionals, other support groups, wider society and public organisations such as the local authority and NHS provider. Our partnerships definitely began at this stage. The next stage of research covered national studies, the commercial baby market and online parenting forums. Competitor analysis was also researched, not just looking at artificial milk campaigns, but also looking at the effectiveness and reach of the national breastfeeding support organisations.
At that time breastfeeding initiation rates in Cornwall at 69% were lower than the current national average and even worse when compared to other countries in Europe. It became clear that breastfeeding had a real identity crisis. Commonly perceived as alternative, middle class, and old fashioned – this proved to be a negative image for many mums - especially younger mums. The “Breast is Best” mantra was widely known but a good number of mums actually found it judgmental and guilt-ridden. At that time, the government were spending about 14p per baby on promoting breastfeeding and milk companies were spending an average of £20 per baby on promoting their products. The effects of such a market imbalance was quite obvious in reality. The perceived difference between breast milk and artificial milk was very narrow for some women. Mums would reflect back the inaccurate marketing messages of formula milk. Women often only accessed support when things had got really bad. Accessing support late was mainly due to poor prior communication of the support that was available and gaps in provision of support groups across Cornwall. Personally, I had to travel 20 miles to attend a clinic with my first son. Women and health professionals who were pro breastfeeding often reported feeling isolated and under-valued. We also found that a number of brilliant local projects had been started in isolation across parts of Cornwall.
Our primary segmentation was to identify the different audiences we needed to reach in order to address the issues. Our core audiences were also our stakeholders and we immediately sought to build relationships with them and gain further understanding of their situation and influences. On the slide you can see our key audiences. Through engaging with these different audiences and identifying their specific needs, a strategy to reach each audience was developed. In practice, it was clear that our key interventions had the potential to adapt and be multi-functional. This stage of segmentation was also fantastic for identifying our key stakeholders and beginning to engage with them on a regular basis. This would later become a fantastic partnership which is still effective and active today. This stage of segmentation also led to further segmentation ...
Each segmented group could be segmented further, primarily by demographics, but sometimes by unforeseen clusters, this then gave an opportunity to identify key trends. We identified many segments but one example was a clear attitudinal segmentation amongst women. Mums who had decided to “not breastfeed”, “try to breastfeed” or “going to breastfeed”. Key trends among the “going to” group of mums were highly motivated to succeed and actively sought information and support. The “going to” group of mums were passionate about breastfeeding and had huge potential to support other mums but often felt isolated in their passion. The most interesting group proved to be the “try to” group of mums were often poorly informed and heavily influenced by common myths and misconceptions, passed on by mothers, mother’s in law, friends and even health professionals. Formula feeding was so culturally normal and they frequently had bought in formula “just in case” they failed. Barriers to breastfeeding were much more likely to affect the “try to” mums. This group of mums was also very anxious about feeding in public. It was clear that the “try to” group of mums needed much easier access to good information. These mums were highly responsive to good information once given – they were just not motivated to actively seek it out. For the “not breastfeed” mums; group formula marketing messages were often reflected back, there was not much knowledge of the vast difference between breast and artificial milk, were squeamish and that breasts were for sex and bottles were for babies. Partners opinions were highly influential and this group had often never seen anyone breastfeed.
Once the insight and segmentation had been used to define the specific needs, it became clear that using a marketing and communications strategy could really help. Although we had found we had different audiences we absolutely needed to reach them all under one identity and with a clear message. Among the needs we identified, the process for accessing good information and support needed to be much easier and effective, a tool was required for women to assess the myths and misconceptions perpetuated by well meaning people. Volunteers and support groups in Cornwall needed to be equally marketed in one place and also networked and brought together to meet each other and share good practice and strengthen morale. The breastfeeding friendly places scheme needed more places and some landmark places to be engaged to publicise and encourage industry leadership.
The slide here shows the actions within the initial campaign. Due to only having £1500, interventions were not all delivered at once, but have all been delivered in the three years since. Communities of interest were engaged at every step often enabling market-testing alongside development which enabled us to be effective and avoid wasting funds on ineffectiveness. The very first step was the design and distribution of our Essential Guide to Breastfeeding, made available to every woman who had a baby in Cornwall. It includes where to find support, breastfeeding information to fill gaps in knowledge, common myths and we recruit and publish a list of breastfeeding friendly places and issue them with window stickers on adoption of a positive breastfeeding policy. We also included information about how partners could feel involved in their baby.
The campaign was deliberately planned to be bright, broad and inclusive focussing on the principles of better information, reducing barriers to breastfeeding and improving access to support. Real Baby Milk was developed as a brand name with an accompanying logo. The brand is friendly, shows happy babies, is colourful, re-enforces the difference between fake baby milk and real baby milk. It was also important that the brand name was also easy to remember. Internal marketing and distribution of the guides enabled us to begin our awareness raising amongst health professionals – today, the Essential Guide is used as a tool by health professionals when supporting women with breastfeeding and as a reference guide by women. We engaged with the local press and got breastfeeding covered in a variety of local publications. Our website has since evolved and is now an online portal for all the best information, free picture guides and access to support.
Evaluation of mums can be difficult due to data protection issues, however, we do our best to gather all sorts of evidence from a variety of sources. Our methods include, a survey of mums, results of the UNICEF BFI audit, feedback from volunteers (survey and in person), feedback from health professionals and in the last six months we are using facebook and twitter to enable us to consult and evaluate our online effectiveness. In Cornwall our work happens in full partnership the Local Authority and NHS in Cornwall. It is a dynamic and effective partnership that has succeeded in raising initiation rates from 69% to 80%. We are thrilled to be recognised as having played a key role in this and were described as an “Example of Best national Practice” by the Department of Health National Support Team last year. Evaluation, in it’s many guises, enables us to be able to evolve and improve. As a result Real Baby Milk is very much committed to being a constant work in progress.
And so how are we doing on our social aims? By the end of 2009 we will be well on the way to reaching 20,000 women with our Essential Guides to Breastfeeding and have interest from many other areas. Our website traffic has doubled since our national launch and is growing. We are now using Facebook and Twitter to engage further and consult with our online community. We now, train volunteers, help set up and sustain support groups and run a big peer support network in Cornwall of 150+ volunteers – over a hundred of whom attended the first Real Baby Milk Conference in 2008. We increase our breastfeeding friendly list by 20% each year. Our DVD has sold more than 3,000 copies right across the UK, largely on word of mouth alone. This year we have begun using the Change4Life logo to enhance the work we do and are looking forward to fully engaging in the full campaign for 0-2 year olds later this year.
Whilst Real Baby Milk is learning about social marketing all the time and refining our approach as a result, we have embedded the principle throughout our work. We find that insight gives us understanding of our audience. Through the insight, we have clear focus and direction of our social aims. We develop our ideas with full engagement and consultation with our partner organisations. Social Marketing has enabled us to clearly identify interventions that meet the needs of our audience and have sometimes been subtle and creative. Social Marketing has given us the ability to evolve and be even more effective.
Thank you for listening today and if anyone would like further information, please feel free to speak to me through today or contact me on these details.
Designed by nature, made by mum www.realbabymilk.org How we use social marketing Arwen Folkes Managing Director
Designed by nature, made by mum www.realbabymilk.org 1. Overview 2. Theory & Methodology Used 3. Insight & Segmentation of our audiences 4. Development of Marketing Plan & Message 5. Interventions & Practice 6. Evaluation & Evolution 7. Conclusion & More Information
Member of a number of strong partnerships / steering groups
Social Aims of Real Baby Milk: “ Reduce the barriers to breastfeeding” “Enable access to good information and support”
“ To encourage more babies to be breastfed”
Real Baby Milk – trademarked brand for breastfeeding.
How Real Baby Milk began www.realbabymilk.org Key Stages: Idea: May ‘05 1 st Funding: £1500 Nov ’05 Launch: May ‘06 Became CIC: Oct ’06 2 nd funding CCC: £10k 2006-2008 Commissioned by CIOS PCT: July ’08
Who we work with & alongside www.realbabymilk.org
A variety of organisations -
- Primary Care Trusts
- Local Authorities
- Volunteers & support groups
Government Office South West
National Breastfeeding Organisations
Private sector organisations
Other NGO’s with similar aims
Social Marketing www.realbabymilk.org “ the systematic application of marketing, alongside other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals, for a social good” French, Blair-Stevens 2006 (NSMC) Marketing “ the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.“ Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Theory & Principles Our Process when applying commercial marketing principles Product = Breast milk (and/or act of breastfeeding) Profitability = More Babies being Breastfed!
www.realbabymilk.org Market research : Information – gather information to build a “market” picture Segmentation – look within this information for groups / clusters Trends – analyse information for patterns and themes Effectiveness – how well is it working Marketing Mix: Consumer – who are the audience? Cost – what is the cost to them and us? Convenience – How easy it is to get them to change? Communication – how do we communicate / encourage uptake? Marketing approach used
Insight - sources www.realbabymilk.org Primary Research: 200-250 women (90 hrs over 9mths) One to one conversations Group Discussion Observations Very informal and natural
Local Authorities / Children’s Centres - Wider society
Perpetuators of myths
Findings: Audiences: Each audience needed it’s own market strategy, but in practice we were often able to reach more than one in single interventions. Synchronicity & partnerships: There was synchronicity in shared aims and ambitions with other organisations and we were able to build and link into other projects. Strong Partnerships were formed.
Further Segmentation www.realbabymilk.org “ Going to” Mums Passionate Motivated to succeed Sought information & support Quite well informed Often felt isolated Keen to support other women “ Try to” Mums Uncommitted Ill informed Ready to quit Late in accessing support Anxious Really struggled Example: Mums - segmented by attitude (as opposed to demographic) “ Going to Breastfeed” and “Try to Breastfed” Mums
Essential Guides reach 20,000 women by end of 2009
Cornwall, Plymouth, Bristol, North East Essex
2,000+ unique visitors to our website every month,
350 Facebook friends and over 700 on Twitter.
150 members in our Cornwall Peer Support Network
Trained 100+ volunteers 2007-2009
100+ women attended the RBM Conference 2008
Delivered the DH SW Breastfeeding Conference 2008
BF Friendly places list increased by 20% each year
Contributing to breastfeeding development across the UK
Sold over 3,000 + of our dvd s right across the UK
Conclusion www.realbabymilk.org Insight = understand, engage, listen, observe and learn Development = best with full engagement, partnerships are key Intervention = can be creative, simple, unusual and surprising Evaluation leads to evolution and evolution leads to effectiveness Why Social marketing works for us
Designed by nature, made by mum www.realbabymilk.org More information: www.realbabymilk.org 05601 536 629 [email_address]