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Table of Contents
Social marketing objectives and goals.
Social marketing strategies.
Upstream marketing strategies.
Social marketing is a concept of marketing that is gaining increasing popularity today. Social marketing can prove to be a great tool if implemented efficiently. This marketing technique has the basic function of bringing about a good behavioural change in the society (Wood, 2016). This type of marketing technique is used to address the various issues and concerns of the society which need immediate attention, and create awareness in the minds of the people about the same (Wood, 2016). However, like other marketing techniques, this type of marketing techniques also should make use of situation analysis, customer targeting, and upstream marketing in order to efficiently achieve its goals and objectives (Morgan, Whitler, Feng & Chari, 2018). Similarly, the presented article thus gives an insights of social marketing plan for a social cause of climate change aimed at creating awareness among the target audience, using the associated techniques of situation analysis, customer targeting, and upstream marketing.
One of the major social issue that the world is facing currently is the issue of climate change. This constant climate change is adversely effecting human health, infrastructure, food, water, energy resources, etc. (United States Climate Protection Agency, n.d). This climate change can have severe impacts on some people who live in vulnerable areas like along the coast, at the poles, etc. Thus, making people aware of this environmental issue is the need of an hour. Non-profit organizations and world environmental bodies make use of social marketing techniques in combination with other approaches to impart this awareness and create a social behavioural change to limit the causes and activities for prevention of climate change.
While developing any marketing strategy for any product, service, brand, or an idea it is essential for the marketing managers to undertake a situation analysis of the business environment and analyse a variety of factors including the consumer landscape (Stone & Desmond, 2017). The situation analysis in simple terms can be explained as a comprehensive, and systematic analysis, assessment, evaluation and interpretation of the business marketing environment (Stone & Desmond, 2017). It involves assessing both internal and external business environment and the goals, objectives, strategies and the principles to evaluate the gaps and problem areas. The situation analysis assess the micro and macro business environmental factors like political, legal, economic, social, and technological (Morgan, Whitler, Feng & Chari, 2018). Situation analysis also consists of evaluating the consumers and the customer population of that market. The situation analysis in relation to environmental factor of climate change will involve the assessing the environmental to check the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) which will lead to major climate changes like alteration in temperature and rainfall pattern, occurrence of frequent storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, etc. and gather data on the same. The organizations will also study and conduct situation analayis to identify the current awareness level for the same among the people of, and how many people are sensitive or cautious about it. Understanding this landscape will also consist of evaluating communities or people who respond positively to any type of social or behavioural change.
One of the challenge that organizations and policy makers face is the engagement of the people about climate change. To achieve this effective engagement of people it is important to understand the nature of the people which is being targeted. This process is known as targeting or audience segmentation, and is a technique of dividing a larger market into smaller segments in order to concentrate the marketing efforts on a specific group of consumers within that audience. Targeting explains a segment of consumers on basis of their unique characteristics and features and concentrates on serving those consumers only. A population of customers can be divided into groups based on location, lifestyle, and demographics (Andaleeb, 2016).
Similarly, a social marketing campaign on climate change will focus on changing or reforming the behaviour of a target population with a focus to improve the overall well-being of a community or a complete society. The aim of targeting is that instead of reaching an entire market, the company will use the technique of target marketing to focus their energy and strategies for developing connections with a specific, defined group within that market.
Thus, for engaging people and influencing a behavioural change, targeting the messages to people who are sceptical about climatic change will consists of different content and marketing channels, as compared to content for target group who is already cautious about the climate change and its effects. The target audience for a social cause can be classified into six segments such as Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, and Dismissive, on basis of their behaviour (Morrison, Patron & Hine, 2018). The behavioural concern level decreases from alarmed segment to dismissive segment. This means that people belonging to the alarmed segment are the most cautious and aware people to climate change, to which minimum efforts of marketing are required to create a behavioural change and, also these people will respond positively to the same. Whereas, the audience belonging to the dismissive segment are least awareness, and more efforts are required to make these people aware and influence a behavioural change. Thus targeting a population helps the organizations to allocate resource effectively and also maintain cost effectiveness.
The primary goal of social marketing is achieving social good. For example in relation to public health, social marketing aims to would promote general health, raise awareness and induce changes in behaviour. Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to social change (Thiele et.al, 2019). The goal is to deliver competition-sensitive and segmented social change programs that are effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable. Instead of expressing how the marketed product is better than other competing products of the market, social marketing tools try to compete with the undesirable practices, thoughts, actions, or behaviours prevalent in the society. Social marketing is also used for marketing of environmental causes like anti-pollution, promoting awareness for protection of endangered flora and fauna, anti-deforestation, and social activism causes gender issues, fighting racism and discrimination, and so on. Thus the primary goals and objectives of a social marketing campaign can be outlined as follows:
Thus, a social marketing plan outlines clear goals and objectives related to target population behaviours which needs to be changed. The goals are broader-targeted behavioural reforms that must be achieved in target audience.
It is important for organizations to develop strategies and plans to effectively reach its target customers and engage them. These strategies influence the behaviours of the targeted customers, and tries to create awareness of the concerned product service or an idea. Same is the case with marketing of social issues. Engaging the target audience is essential to effectively communicate the main message and influence them. Thus, effective strategies can help to achieve this. Social marketing has the principle aim of establishing and integration of marketing concepts and techniques with other approaches to, in order to influence behaviours and create a positive impact that will benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good (Kennedy, 2016).
Similarly, a social marketing campaigns for climate change awareness will make use various channel or mediums to reach and a segmented and targeted audience to bring about a behaviour change. Similar to traditional marketing techniques and strategies, social marketing strategy will make use of tools like print and digital media to engage the target group. Due to the increasing use of social media, the social marketing campaign nowadays use social media tools in combination with other approaches like billboards, advertisement campaigns, roadshows, street plays, radio, television, print media like newspaper, circulation of leaflets, etc. For social marketing organizations also conduct events, and awareness activities and programs at places like corporate houses, educational institutes, and so on in order to target a large group of audience at one. For this climate change campaign big banners can be displayed on the public buildings of most regions of Australia. Also, promotional materials like t-shirts and accessories with campaign message can be distributed to the target audience and with the aim of attracting their attention, and building the message for long time in the minds of the audience. When these audience uses such promotional materials with the campaign message printed on it they are constantly reminded of the same, and tend to be more sensitive to the issues. Also, e-mail marketing can be an effective tool for people in the professional group. The advertisement campaign can be displayed on televisions, outdoors, and in print media like newspapers. The campaign can begin by displaying the harmful effects of climate change on the earth, and then can provide solutions and tip to control it. Example of such advertisement campaign are, displaying ways to save on energy, like switching of electricity and appliances when not in use, using printing on double sides of papers to save paper, increasing green cover of the earth, and so on. Endorsing such campaigns by well-known people like famous actors, artists, activists, sportspersons, etc. and greatly assist in influencing the behavioural change, as most of the target audience considers such people as their role models, and often try to behave like them.
Strategic social marketing uses upstream social marketing strategies to stimulate structural change in the society for a social good (French & Gordon, 2015). The main principle of social marketing is that it focuses on individual and community level change and addresses upstream environmental and societal issues. It is systematic and strategic application of social marketing principals to enhance social policy selection, objective setting, planning and operational delivery.
Upstream social marketing strategies are techniques for marketers for formulation of marketing strategies in order for policy solution and adoption, and focuses on the structural reformation of the environment moving beyond the individual or community level. Upstream social marketing strategies consider and address environmental conditions which are problematic and the ways to change them for creating a supportive environment which will stimulate an attitude and behavioural change (Key & Czaplewski, 2017). Upstream marketing typically looks at the long-term vision of the organization and work closely with the research and development team in order to identify and innovate for the future needs of the business (Key & Czaplewski, 2017).
Upstream social marketing for a social cause which need immediate attention like addressing the climate change issue will have to implement strategies that are more consultative, and help to generate community level processes of climate change. The upstream social marketing strategies which can be used includes promotion of policies and need of addressing the problem, public relations, use of media, and effective market information. Essentially, upstream marketing strategies focus on consumer research, education and awareness, and communication of information. Thus, the most important strategy of upstream marketing is understanding the behaviour of the consumer market and keeping a record if the factors that influence their behaviour. Also, engagement of stakeholder is can be an effective upstream marketing strategy.
Social marketing techniques are systematic and strategic application of marketing techniques in combination with other approaches with an aim of influencing a positive behavioural change and doing social good to the community at large. Social marketing techniques are usually applied for, social change campaigns, health promotion campaigns, environment protection campaigns like for climate change. However, before the strategy is implemented it is essential to carry out a situation analysis of the concerned market and to divide the larger population into smaller segments in order to communicate the message effectively. This process of classifying the larger audience into smaller groups on basis of their specific characteristic is called targeting. Once targeted, various social marketing strategies can be implemented cost-effectively and efficiently. Social marketing techniques must be applied in combination of upstream marketing techniques to fulfil the long term goals and sustain in the society.
Andaleeb, S.S. (2016). Market Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78635-746-520161006
French, J., & Gordon, R. (2015). Strategic social marketing. London: Sage Publications
Key, T. & Czaplewski, A. (2017). Upstream social marketing strategy: An integrated marketing communications approach. Journal of Business Horizon, 60(3), 325-333.
Kennedy, A. (2016). Macro-social marketing. Journal of Macro marketing, 36(3), 171-178.
Morgan, N., Whitler, K.A., Feng, H. & Chari, S. (2018). Research in marketing strategy. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327107606
Morrison, M., Patron, K. & Hine, D. (2018). Increasing belief but issue fatigue: Changes in Australian household climate change segments between 2011-2016. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197988
Stone, M. & Desmond, J. (2017). Fundamentals of marketing. London: Routledge
Thiele, S. et.al. (2019). Social marketing theory development goals: an agenda to drive change. Journal of Marketing Management, 35(1), 160-181.
United States Climate Protection Agency (n.d). Climate change impacts on the society. Retrieved from: https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/cl
Wood, M. (2016). Social marketing for social change. Social Marketing Journal, 13, 108-144.
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