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Marketing for Social Change


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An overview of 10 distinguishing ideas of social marketing for social change. These ideas are drawn from the book, "Social marketing and social change: Strategies and tools for improving health, well-being and the environment." It includes excerpts from the book as well as references for further reading. It begins with re-conceptualizing social problems from being those that require top-down prescriptions to being wicked puzzles that require searches for solutions with the people they are intended to serve. The international consensus definition of social marketing is presented, followed by 10 principles:
1. A marketing orientation
2. Theory and evidence-based
3. Segmentation
4. Research to inform program development
5. Designing products, services and behaviors that fit people's reality
6. Positioning behavior change
7. Realigning incentives and costs for products, services and behavior change
8. Creating equitable opportunities and access
9. Communicating change in linguistically, culturally relevant and ubiquitous ways
10. Program monitoring

NOTE: Downloads of this presentation include talking points for each slide.

Reviews of the book:
“This is it -- the comprehensive, brainy road map for tackling wicked social problems. It’s all right here: how to create and innovate, build and implement, manage and measure, scale up and sustain programs that go well beyond influencing individual behaviors, all the way to broad social change in a world that needs the help.”—Bill Novelli, Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, former CEO, AARP and founder, Porter Novelli and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

“I’m unaware of a more substantive treatise on social marketing and social change. Theoretically based; pedagogically focused; transdisciplinary; innovative; and action oriented: this book is right for our time, our purpose, and our future thinking and action.”—Robert Gold, MS, PhD, Professor of Public Health and Former Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park

“This book -- like its author -- is innovative and forward-looking, yet also well-grounded in the full range of important social marketing fundamentals.”—Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD, University Professor and Director, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University

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Marketing for Social Change

  1. 1. R. Craig Lefebvre, PhD University of South Florida College of Public Health @chiefmaven
  2. 2. Wicked Puzzles Difficult to defineSeemingly impossible to solve Multiple causes and linked Solutions can led to unforeseen outcomes Socially complex
  3. 3. SEARCHERS: You want to understand what the reality is for people who experience a particular problem, find out what they demand rather than only what can be supplied, and discover things that work.
  4. 4. Definitions Social Marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good (AASM, ESMA & iSMA, 2013). Social Marketing develops and applies marketing concepts and techniques to create value for individuals and society. This is done through the integration of research, evidence-based practice and social-behavioral theory together with the insights from individuals, influencers and stakeholders. These inputs and perspectives are used to design more effective, efficient, sustainable and equitable approaches to enhance social wellbeing. The approach is one that encompasses all of the processes and outcomes that influence and are associated with change among: individuals, organizations, social networks and social norms, communities, businesses, markets, and public policy [Lefebvre, 2013].
  5. 5. 1. Marketing Orientation ―Having a focus on interactions with one’s customers and then looking within the organization to explore how the knowledge gained from these interactions can be integrated with existing capacities and experience to build organizational responses.‖
  6. 6. Barriers to a Consumer Orientation  Poorly defined mission/objectives  Lack of identification of key audiences  Political or professional objectives  Organizational culture  Influence of intermediaries  Sense of urgency
  7. 7. 2. Theory and Evidence-based
  8. 8. Where Theory Can Make a Difference  What problem to tackle—and how  What the program objectives should be  Which priority audiences to choose, and how to characterize them  What questions to ask in formative research  Which approaches may be the best to use with specific groups of people  How to best promote behaviors, messages, products, and services
  9. 9. 3. Segmentation  A shift from a producer’s mentality: ―Let’s give them what we have!‖ to  ―Let’s try it their way!‖ – A marketing orientation.  An understanding of people’s needs and desires that drives offerings, communication and organizational decisions.
  10. 10. The Three Critical Questions  Who are the people at highest risk?  Who are the people most open to change?  Who are the groups that are critical for success?
  11. 11. Segmentation Variables  Demographics  Occupation  Social status  Geography  Benefits sought  Health information seeker  Readiness for change  Achievement oriented  Socially conscious  Current practices  Access to technology  Willingness to pay
  12. 12. 4. Research to Inform Program Development  Understanding – important things about the priority group(s)  Insight – what will make the behavior compelling and irresistible to them  Reassurance – did we come up with great ideas and executions
  13. 13. Formative Methods Anything that allows you to listen and have a conversation with the audience  In-depth individual interviews  Natural dyads and triads  Ethnographic (observational) studies  Intercept interviews  Samples of convenience (snowball samples)  Focus groups  Positive deviants
  14. 14. ―If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo, go to the jungle.‖
  15. 15. ―If you want to catch a fish, first learn to think like a fish.‖
  16. 16. 5. Designing products, services and behaviors that fit their reality
  17. 17. Products to Solve Problems
  18. 18. Services That Meet Needs
  19. 19. Behaviors That Serve Aspirations
  20. 20. 6. Positioning Behavior Change What relevant behavior can we ask people to engage in rather than the one they are currently doing or the alternative ones suggested by other people, organizations, and social or cultural norms? How can we make this behavior more compelling, relevant, and potentially more valuable to people when they practice it, in comparison to the alternatives?
  21. 21. 7. Realigning incentives and costs for products, services and behavior change
  22. 22. Price Decisions to engage in or change behaviors are more than the rational weighing of risks and benefits.
  23. 23. Costs of Change  Financial  Energy  Geographical distance  Opportunity  Social  Psychological  Physical  Structural
  24. 24. 8. Creating equitable opportunities and access
  25. 25. Place: The ‘Where’ Question Where can we locate a service, distribute a product, or create opportunities for members of our priority group to engage in healthier behaviors?
  26. 26. Attributes of Place  Availability of products and services  Accessibility to products and services  Physical environment that supports or impedes engaging in behaviors  Place = Distribution of (competitive) products, services, behaviors, ideas, information
  27. 27. 9. Communicating change in linguistically, culturally relevant and ubiquitous ways
  28. 28. How Effective are Health Communication Campaigns? 5%
  29. 29. 10. Program Monitoring  Is the plan implemented as intended?  Is it reaching the audience(s)?  Are the program offerings relevant and appealing for the audience?  Is it having the desired effects?  Is it having unintended effects?
  30. 30. Resources for Social Marketing  Lefebvre, R.C. Social marketing and social change: Strategies and tools for improving health, well-being and the environment. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 2013. ductCd-0470936843.html  Lefebvre, R.C. Social marketing (Six volume set). London: Sage Publications, 2013.  International Social Marketing Association.  Journal of Social Marketing. nals.htm?id=JSOCM  Social Marketing Quarterly.