Designing Social Product

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					Designing the Social Product

Once social marketers have analyzed the social marketing environment and the behaviour of target adopters, they are ready to define the product-market fit and design the social product & marketing campaign

Designing the social product is the foundation on which all elements of the marketing mix are built

Social marketers aim to develop new social products that satisfy the needs of target adopters better than those that are available or to adapt social products so they fit the adopters’ needs better than they did before

The tasks are twofold
1. Identify distinctive needs of target adopters that a specific social product can satisfy
2. Determine how to present the defined product effectively to the target adopters

• The second task involves:
– – – Positioning the product Dressing it up Positioning effectively the marketing campaign

The concept of social product
• Social marketers typically find themselves in situations wherein:
– They may offer a social product that satisfies a need that no other product is satisfying – They may offer a social product that satisfies a need better than others are currently doing – They offer a social product that cannot satisfy a need that target currently perceive but that nevertheless addresses a real underlying need of people

• Each type corresponds to a particular need or demand of target adopters, which in turn, corresponds to a particular social marketing task

Latent demand
• Uncovering a latent need or demand creates an opportunity to introduce a new social product
• A demand is latent when a substantial number of people share a strong need for an effective social product or service that does not exist

• E.g., smoking cessation, pollution control, prevention of forest fires, prevention of heart disease etc.,

Under-filled demand
• This results when available products do not fully satisfy the need or demand of target adopters
• In other words, a gap in feeling or experiencing satisfaction has to be filled

• Social marketers must develop a new product or improve an existing one to fill that gap • E.g., demand by rural mothers for more doctors, Cigarette users’ need for more protection from tar

Unwholesome demand
• Unwholesome demand exists when target adopters advocate socially harmful ideas
– Excessive drinking, drug abuse, reckless driving

• This calls for social campaigns that aim to destroy the unwholesome demand • To do so effectively, social marketers must be able to provide a satisfying substitute idea or practice

Dual Vs Single demand
• A dual-demand situation exists when target adopters may have to be created for a product and a tool to realize value of social product
• E.g., marketing of condoms that accompanies a family planning campaign

Abstract demand
• When a social marketing campaign seeks to win only the adoption of an idea, the demand may be referred to as an abstract demand
• In a way, all social marketing programmes ultimately seek behavioural change, including those that only seek the adoption of an idea • For some campaigns, it makes practical sense to limit the objective for a time just to diffusing public awareness of a social problem
– E.g, Anti-corruption campaigns

Irregular demand
• The marketing of blood donations calls for single acts by target adopters that are often irregularly performed
• This warrants exploring ways to attract new blood donors during periods of irregular demand

Faltering demand
• If the demand for a social product begins to weaken, it is a situation of faltering demand
• It results in a need to ‘remarket’ the product
– Launching a new campaign to support desired level of demand

• E.g., new campaign to remind people to husband resources even when they are plentiful
– Water, power and fuel conservation

Positioning the Social Product

Segmenting target adopter population
• Positioning must start with dividing the diverse population of target adopters into homogeneous segments
• Any of the segments may be selected as the one to be reached with a distinct social marketing mix

Social segmentation: Benefits
• It enables social marketers to target their efforts to those groups of target adopters who need a product most or who can be served best by the product
• It enables social marketers to tailor a product to the target adopters’ needs and hence to provide greater satisfaction to adopters and to make it likely to sustain adoptions

• It enables social marketers to tailor communications and distribution more effectively to meet adopters’ needs and to win adoptions

Choosing segmentation variables
• The most appropriate segmentation variables are those that best capture differences in the behaviour of target adopters • For ex., age is a factor in drug-addiction behaviour
– Kids, teens, young adults, mid-aged, senior citizens

• Age-defined segments differ in their propensities towards drug addiction and drug use behaviours
– Hence, age may be the most useful segmentation variable here

Market targeting
• Marketer’s next step is to evaluate different segments to decide how many and which ones to serve
– This step is called market targeting

• At times, the marketing campaign might have to choose to target only a few segments rather than to scatter the resources over all possible segments

Product positioning
• Social marketers must next determine what product positioning is most suitable
• Two tasks are involved:
– To identify major needs of target adopter segment – To create product advantage to satisfy these needs

• Both must be determined for the product to be distinctive and motivating

Positioning the organization
• The final consideration in designing a social product involves conveying an acceptable image of the social campaign behind the product
– Its staff, mission, competence and value of its goals

• When a product or a message communicating a product arises from a campaign or campaign staff that enjoys great credibility the likelihood that the product will be adopted is greatly increased

Improving credibility of campaign
Credibility is a function of three things: 1. Expertise: Is the specialized knowledge and skills a campaign appears to have, which reinforces the image of the objectives that are being marketed
– Physicians, scientists, professors etc.,

2. Trustworthiness: Is related to how objectives and honest the source is perceived to be
3. Likeability: Describes the source’s attractiveness or appeal to a public or to a target adopter group

Social marketing of services
• Social services are an adjunct and instrument of social product marketing
• The change agent must not only market an idea, such as quitting smoking, but provide clinics to serve prospective target adopters who want to quit smoking • Hence, social marketers must be skilled not only in marketing ideas & practices but in marketing services

Social marketing of services
• Providing services has some special characteristics that are not normally found in providing goods
• There are four distinguishing characteristics of service-oriented social products:
– – – – Intangibility Inseparability Variability Persishability

1. Intangibility
• Unlike goods, services cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard or smelled before they are adopted or purchased
– For ex., blood donors cannot really sense what it is like

• To reduce uncertainty, they will look for signs or evidence of what the service will be like • Hence, the social marketer’s task is to ‘manage the evidence’ to ‘tangibilize the intangible’ • To demonstrate efficiency of blood donation clinics, the clinic should answer calls without delay, schedule appointments efficiently, admit donors with minimum time, answer questions promptly, carefully handle needles etc., • The key is to identify and demonstrate tangible qualities or characteristics that appeal to target adopters

2. Inseparability
• Practices, such as donating blood, typically are produced and consumed at the same time • Unlike physical goods that are made at one point, distributed through outlets and consumed later
• Provider-client interaction is a special feature of service marketing

• For ex., if a nurse at a blood-donor clinic is clumsy, she can affect the client’s perception of the quality of the entire social campaign

3. Variability
• Services are highly variable because they depend on who provides, when and where they are provided
• Two nurses in the blood-donor clinic can create different impressions of the quality of a clinic • Tangible goods, on the other hand, are more uniform • Marketers of services can take two steps:
– Invest in high quality personnel and their training – Monitor the satisfaction of customers continuously

4. Perishability
• Perishability of services is not a problem when demand is steady because it is easy to staff the services in advance
• When demand fluctuates, service organizations face problems
– If they staff for peak demand, their staff and resources will be idle when demand is not high – If they staff for average demand, they may have long lines of waiting and irritated customers some of the time

Social marketing campaigns typically place greater emphasis on the staff who provide social products and on the interaction between the staff and the target adopters of a social product

Social marketing campaigns, particularly those that market services, must create differentiated benefits and features, offer high-quality services and find ways to increase the productivity of their staff


				
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posted:8/17/2009
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