Five years of the most popular posts on social marketing and social change are now available for personal and classroom use in the easy to use print version. I realize everyone is not reading the blog, and that another format for some users and contexts is way overdue. So here it is -- an excerpt from the Introduction:
" "My exploration of blogging has taken me deeply into the social marketing space, but more importantly, it opened up unforeseen opportunities to become involved in social and mobile media. This book is another format to introduce and reacquaint some of you with this journey. I have not tried to do this in chronological order as the journey has been anything but linear. And given the inability of print to embed the numerous links that demonstrate the interconnectedness of many of the posts, I have put them together into thematic categories like you would find them on the site. What I have done in putting this book together is to refer to my web analytics and selected from the most popular pages for many of these posts. And yes, there are a few that I believe you should read even if they didn’t win the popularity contest.
Section 1, On Social Marketing contains posts that are an orientation to my concept of what social marketing is and what it could be. To this latter point, I selected ‘The Social Marketing Manifesto” to kick things off, even though it appeared later than some of the others. Without listing them all, beginning with “Making Change Happen” comes a collection of ideas about social marketing. Later I cover some ideas from outside the field that are important for us to incorporate into our thinking about social change including the Total Market Approach, the Base of the Pyramid idea, and Creative Capitalism. And ‘No!’ these approaches are not just for people practicing in the ‘developing world’ – all nations are developing.
People Formerly Known as the Audience introduces the soul of social marketing: people. If there is a theme to this collection, it is that social marketers need to stop thinking about passive audiences, or persons they invite to focus groups, and seek to understand them and know them as people first who have as much to contribute to what we do as the so-called experts.
A battle cry of mine for over a dozen years has been on the tyranny of focus groups and the irrational belief that these contrived and sterile environments are somehow giving us wisdom about people we serve. Into the Jungle is a series of posts about attitude as much as it is about methods, and explores some of the characteristics of people we use to call ‘audiences.’ Some of the groups that come into focus include people with low literacy skills, the people who make policy, the people who heal and care for sick children and their families and those who have adopted the new media.
In The Marketing Blender are a number of riffs I have done on the 4Ps of product, price, place and promotion. An intention of many of these articles, beginning with ‘Health communication; The 5% solution,’ is to challenge readers to examine their default behavior of using communication to solve the problems they are presented. Ideas about demarketing, price, and place-based interventions are covered as options, particularly in the context of obesity prevention.
Bring on Social Media is a section that many regular readers of the blog would have been surprised to not see here, though there are some social marketers who will wonder what all of it has to do with social marketing (‘aren’t those the people trying to steal our words?!’ ). In a few words here’s my point-of-view (POV): when the research informs us that interpersonal communication is the most powerful behavior change modality, we have a responsibility to harness that for social good and to scale up interventions. Social media and mobile technologies, I believe, are the most effective ways we yet have to move the personal-to-one to the personal-with-many. Think about it…
One person you will see missing in virtually every text on social marketing is the manager. Many of us get caught up in teaching the doing, but having been a manager of many simpler but usually quite complex social marketing programs, I realize that managing the doing is, in the longer term, the more sustainable model for social marketing practice. So managers, and aspiring ones, the section A Manager’s POV is for you. In it I spend as much time looking at marketing management practice in the private sector and try to make it relevant to the public and nonprofit (NGO) sectors as well (see ‘McDonald’s Secrets of Success’ and ‘Learn from P&G’ in particular). I also hope that some of you will find the discussions of coalitions and partnerships, as well as fear, world-changing.
Over the past two years, I have been getting more involved in the area of design thinking, and sometimes those experiences have seeped into the blog (not as much as it should, but stay tuned on the blog). Design thinking starts where social marketing does, or should – with people. The collection of posts in Design Thinking are the beginning of the explorations of overlap and cross-fertilization across these two areas.
The final section, The Change We Need includes the advocacy pieces for how social marketing should be participating in the social change space, another arena where we have been underrepresented and risk becoming inconsequential. I was delighted that one of them, ‘The Change We Need: New Ways of Thinking About Social Issues,” was reproduced in Social Marketing Quarterly. Perhaps, these posts will inspire you to lift the conversation about social marketing from 4Ps and formative research to change. As several of my blogging friends have commented in the past: when will you guys stop talking about it and start doing it? When indeed."
You can purchase the book for $19.95 at the CreateSpace eBook store and also at Amazon. Bulk purchases for classroom and libraries are available through their customary purchasing sources as well. And yes, for those of you who would rather not pay for Shipping and Handling, the eBook will be available in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!