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Social marketing campaigns

As a modern society we are all well familiar with the role that marketing has in helping organisations grow through development, implementation, promotion and assessment of products and services. We’re also familiar with the pivotal role market research plays in informing, monitoring and guiding these processes to ensure the efforts of the organisation are best directed.

We also understand that society has a social conscious and those at times pre-existing societal beliefs, common held attitudes and otherwise taken for granted behaviours are unjust, restrictive, dangerous, irresponsible, ill-informed or simply counterproductive to the best interest of the community and its peoples.

This is where Social Marketing Campaigns are increasingly being adopted by government, not for profit and community minded organisations to help inform, enlighten, alter attitudes and as needed modify behaviours for the betterment of the society and its inhabitants.

newfocus is sought out for its vast experience and expertise in assessing social marketing campaigns.

In essence, the aim of social marketing is to improve the welfare of people and the physical, social and economic environment in which they live. Although social marketing uses many commercial marketing principles and techniques, it focuses first and foremost on increasing social and human capital. Unlike short-term sales focused commercial marketing campaign, most effective social marketing campaigns utilise a long-term approach to attitude and behaviour change, based on a carefully planned, evidence-based strategy. The behaviour change may involve doing something new (such as the iconic “slip, slop, slap” message), doing something differently (e.g. purchasing and re-using shopping bags instead of using plastic), or stopping doing something altogether (e.g. domestic violence). Social marketing is also used to help create environments that support the desired behaviour.

Social Marketing can have many forms and there are many examples of its application, ie:

  • inform the community of risks of smoking
  • encourage healthy eating and exercise
  • draw attention to risks of cancer through exposure to the sun and educate on risk reduction practices
  • encourage proper waste management practices
  • draw attention to and discourage racially directed anti-social behaviour
  • encourage support for those impoverished or marginalised in our society
  • open discussions and break down the barriers on mental health

Research has a pivotal role to play in tackling these social causes – a role that is not dissimilar from that adopted in mainstream product and service marketing.

For Social Marketing programs Social Research helps:

  • Uncover and understand the views, attitudes, opinions and behaviours of the community
  • Identify groups (segments) to which social marketing intervention or communications would be best served
  • Provide input to aid in developing strategies, approaches and programs to address social issues
  • Provide insight to inform and direct policy making
  • Explore and assess alternative approaches to social marketing interventions, campaigns and communications
  • Monitor and evaluate the results of the social marketing campaigns and allied interventions to guide future strategy and social marketing campaign development

The research techniques in social research can involve any number of methodologies, dependent upon the objectives of the assignment. These can include:

  • Qualitative – focus groups, in-depth interviews, ethnographic studies
  • Quantitative – online, face to face, phone, self-completion surveys
  • Secondary research analysis
  • Community engagement and stakeholder consultation

The role of research diagram gives good visual insight into consumer vs. social marketing campaigns research

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