Social Marketing Factsheet
1. General information What is Social Marketing? It is a systematic approach which involves using marketing techniques, alongside other approaches, for the benefit of people and communities, and not for commercial gain. It takes the sophisticated methodologies of audience segmentation, customer insight, exchange and competition theory and uses them to prompt beneficial, measurable and sustained behavioural change within key target groups. The six main features and concepts key to understanding social marketing are:
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Customer or consumer orientation A strong customer orientation with importance attached to understanding where the customer is starting from, their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, along with the social context in which they live and work. Behaviour and behavioural goals Clear focus on understanding existing behaviour and key influences on it, alongside developing clear behavioural goals, which can be divided into actionable and measurable steps or stages, phased over time. 'Intervention mix' and 'marketing mix' Using a range (or mix) of different interventions or methods to achieve a particular behavioural goal. When used at the strategic level this is common referred to as the 'intervention mix', and when used operationally it is described as the 'marketing mix' or 'social marketing mix' Audience segmentation Clarity of audience focus using ‘audience segmentation’ to target effectively ‘Exchange’ Use and application of the ‘exchange’ concept – understanding what is being expected of the customer, the real cost to them. ‘Competition’ Use and application of the ‘competition’ concept – understanding factors that impact on the customer and that compete for their attention and time.
These concepts have been incorporated into a ‘customer triangle’ model.
2. The National Social Marketing (NSM) Centre The NSM Centre was born out of the first independent national review of health-related campaigns in 2006. This review was commissioned by the Department of Health as part of its Choosing Health White Paper commitment and highlighted the use of social marketing to improve the impact and effectiveness of health promotion in England at national and local levels. As a strategic
partnership between government (Department of Health), and the National Consumer Council, the main thrust of the NSM Centre’s work is to build capacity and skills in social marketing. In order to build a consistent approach to social marketing, they have developed a set of benchmark criteria (based on the original six-point criteria of Alan Andreasen in the US). These can be used as a base for commissioning agencies to undertake social marketing interventions. Examples of good practice in the region 1. Smoking cessation in Sunderland. This project aimed to increase the uptake of smoking cessation services and quit rate among pregnant women (mainly from deprived areas, social class C2D and E) in Sunderland. Its development was underpinned by qualitative research which explored what it was like to be a pregnant smoker in Sunderland and provided insights into the particular issues facing smoking pregnant women. The intervention included proactive recruiting and support for smoking women via a dedicated worker, home visits, design and pre-testing of new marketing/information material, role play training health professionals to engage more effectively with smoking women, and consumer friendly cessation support (including dedicated health professional). During the intervention, there was a tenfold increase in the number of women setting a quit date and quitting whilst pregnant. 2. Sugar-Free Medicine. This was an initiative in Newcastle and North Tyneside to reduce the consumption of sugared liquid oral medicines in order to improve long term oral health in children. After careful analysis of target groups, local GPs were selected as the key to changing parental attitudes to the prescription of sugar-free medicines. Evidence of effectiveness was offered to GPs, prescription software was adjusted to favour sugar-free alternatives, information and prescribing alternatives were offered and specifically appointed health authority representatives visited GPs to promote the sugar-free option. Evaluation showed an increase in awareness by GPs of the effects of sugar in medicines as well as an increase in the prescription of sugar-free medicines. Contact: (for both examples) Ray Lowry (email@example.com) Sources of advice and information The NSM Centre has produced a range of materials to outline the key concepts and theory and to help you to implement and commission social marketing based interventions. These are all available at: www.nsmcentre.org.uk They also run and maintain an e-Network currently consisting of around 2,000 members. If you’d like to receive bulletins with news of upcoming events and developments in the world of social marketing, sign up at: www.nsmcentre.org.uk/public/contact.aspx
This factsheet was prepared using information provided by the NSM Centre