Social marketing is the term given to marketing that uses various techniques to influence the behaviour of the intended audience so that the society and people around them will benefit. An organisation that focuses solely on this is known as a social marketing agency. This extremely planned process consists of producing, communicating and delivering experiences that are positive for clients, individuals and the whole society.
Principles of social marketing that are shared
A lot of the characteristics from social marketing have been adopted in other fields so social marketing has its fingers in many pies. Among the important characteristics that are similar with others a few are:
- Aligning the audience: Social marketers view their audience as decision-makers with choices, as opposed to students to be educated. Social Marketing begins with a bottom-up versus a top-down perspective and therefore rejects the idea that experts are always right in favour of an approach that focuses on the audience and which seeks to understand what people want and provides them with the support in achieving it.
- Segmentation: In order to improve on the effectiveness, samples of populations are selected, assessed, and then prioritized as targets centred on useful variables. The sectors selected are those most likely to accept the intended behaviour or most vital to the organization’s goals, and to provide value in yielding societal benefit.
- Focus on Behaviour: This is the individual’s observable act or lack of action. Social marketing focuses on behaviour that results in a benefit for society. Social Marketing success is eventually measured on whether the desired behaviour was put into place or not. It is not sufficient to simply change attitudes, knowledge or behavioural targets.
- Evaluation: Efforts are assessed with the focus on ongoing measurement of outcomes and the impact it will have on communal benefits. Social Marketing is an incessant process in which evaluation and monitoring supply the companies with information on the audience’s likes and the environmental changes needed to maintain and enlarge the impact of the plans.
- Focus on the target audience: Any effort to influence clients downstream is also enhanced by targeting clients who are upstream such as corporations and policymakers and those who are midstream such as family and friends.
Social marketing principles that are unique
While social marketing has many characteristics that are similar to other types of behaviour change, there are a few essentials that remain truly unique.
- Value exchange: Social marketing is unique with regard to other behavioural change tools on offer. The idea behind value exchange claims that consumers will choose behaviour in exchange for getting benefits that are considered valuable. This will happen when the marketer produces a program that is considered valuable by both sides.
- Recognising competition: In the current society, there are always many options available. It is important to realise this early on and offer the best options for your clients so they always choose you.
- The essential P’s of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion represent the basic building blocks of Social Marketing conventions. These tools are used to decrease the walls that make it hard for people to behave as desired, and to increase the benefits that persuade people to be more likely to behave. The tools are used in concert to develop a favourable relationship that is more appealing than all the other choices available. Social marketers evaluate and then balance the requirement and use of, these four essentials to influence the best possible change.
- Sustainability: Sustainability is the result of continuous program monitoring and following that the changes occurring in the audience and the surrounding condition. This is important in the long-running of the business and to ensure you get successful returns.
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