Partnerships and coalitions have enormous power to amplify and focus all of the aspects of the marketing mix as well as sap the strength and resources of everyone involved in them. In our last class on social marketing, we also looked at the questions recently posed by IDEO at the Innovations in Social Marketing Conference, and took peaks at a future for social marketing.
Coalitions are poor at creating new innovations; they also create more work and use more resources.
Use the skills within the community to further the program.
New partnerships that create excitement will get people's attention – don't just go with the "usual cast of characters."
New “Relationship Management” positions for maintaining a strong relationship with coalition partners, contributors, etc.
Working as part of a coalition, or developing a coalition may not be as easy or as cost effective as it first seems.
Great question to ask ourselves as social marketers: “What if we understood our stakeholders as well as the people we serve?”
Finally, not all of what looks or feels good is actually worth seeking. Partnerships and coalitions may be burdensome and less efficient if not initiated with clear goals and strategies in mind.
The “audience” is no longer really even an audience in the traditional sense but rather now a PARTICIPANT. Communication back and forth and the absolute necessity of this concept being embraced in social marketing.
The idea that people are no longer audience members and are now creators is a fascinating one. It makes sense because when people can make a personal connection and there is a personal interest there is the chance for there to be more attention.
Public health marketers should be storytellers and the audience should be creators.
I can finally see a connection between my research interests of language and power and health communication.
“Positive deviants” are often an untapped resource with great ideas on how to get a campaign to create a behavior change.
Does public health ever use lead users as a way to learn how people adopt a behavior/ use a new product? I took a class in the business school and this was a major focus in that class.
Invite people with extreme opinions to talk about product/services. Really gets the conversation going and provides more insights.
What if we embraced experiments (or prototyping) instead of waiting for the perfect answer? (IDEO)
Is it possible that “upstreaming” in social marketing can sometimes cause disempowerment to the individual, group or society in need of a behavior change rather than inducing health improvements? Specifically, does imposing policies related to one’s health style strip their ability to choose better for themselves or as a group?
Do you believe framing is one of the most pivotal factors in a social marketing campaign? Meaning, if you can help your target audience to "reframe" their existing perspective on a health issue or behavior in order to see it from an angle that will alter their cognitions and thus their subsequent behavior, will that reap success?
It’s mind-blowing to think about the power and influence media will have in the future! As public health practitioners, I think we must accept and embrace this trend and look for innovative ways to progress public health goals (Nintendo’s new Wii game, Dance-Dance Revolution, etc).
One of the keynote speakers at the ISM Conference, Dr. Craig Lefebvre, spoke about social media’s powerful, momentous influence it has in the public health context. **Main lesson learned: We as social marketers need to design programs, interventions and products that will have the consumer/target telling a story that completes or augments their life’s story.
Last and final thought/question that popped into my mind during our class discussion: When talking about health behaviors and the environment’s influence in health decisions people make, why is it that in the literature environment is sometimes referred to as “the environment” and sometimes it is “our environment” (or her/his environment); how much do we perceive the environment as mine or yours? Do we “own” our environment? If so, I wonder if the degree to which someone feels ownership over whatever context they find themselves in, is proportionate to how much control they have in the health behavior decisions they make. Any suggestions on further research Craig??
New Ideas for Social Marketing:
• Become social critics
• Become story-tellers and creators
• Include people at the extremes and place messages is surprising places
• Make the audience the creators of program
• Understand the stakeholders as well as the people served
• Social marketers = Audience advocates
This lecture goes hand-in-hand with the classes I took in anthropology of consumption and anthropology of markets in college! Through making a variety/ infinite combination of buying choices, consumers in our postmodern capitalistic society use shopping to construct identity. Social marketing can also be available to sell identities, so to speak. Consumers are not blank slates sucking up commercial messages through osmosis; their minds already have existing templates for receiving/ processing new messages. To be successful a social marketer must get people to start to tell a story about the program. It’s only when people talk to one another other that behavior change happens.
Always be the audience advocate.
I had a dream in which social marketing would be implemented to meet the health and welfare needs of a community, even if they impinged upon political and bureaucratic needs of funders.
Ideal embodiment of the social marketer: Change agent, Trusted advisor, “Audience Advocate” (C.L.). Will then never be wrong.
And here’s a final wrap from me I rediscovered while looking though some old social marketing list serve posts.
My point is that a lot of time can be spent parsing language and tactics into what or what is not social marketing. I like to keep it simple. Do you understand and have an insight into your target audience? Are you focusing on behavior as your product (what you are encouraging a large number of people to adopt or sustain – we don’t always want teens to change certain types of behaviors for example, ie, pre-initiation of risky behaviors)? Do you have a clear understanding from the audience’s POV of the costs and benefits for maintaining current behaviors or adopting a new one? Do you increase access and provide opportunities for the audience to try the new behavior and then sustain it? Are communication and other promotional techniques used to assure that you reach the audience with a message that is relevant, attention-getting, taps into existing motivations and aspirations and has sufficient frequency to be remembered and acted on? If yes, you’re doing social marketing. HOW you do each of these four things is up to your own frame of reference, theoretical bent, review of evidence-based practices, morals, values, ego, etc…. Social marketing is about the goals of social change and then using whatever tools we have to get there. Commercial marketers aren’t debating the merits of diffusion theory, agenda-setting research or social network analysis when they plan their campaigns. They debate the merits of what will help them achieve their objectives. As my clinical supervisor told me early on in my psychotherapy practicum: the one with the bigger tool box wins!
And a final thank you to the students who gave their time and attention to learn about social marketing and help me understand what is really important about it to them. Hopefully, you received something from them as well.