The term social marketing is doing the rounds at the moment. It seems to be the next big thing, and I’ve heard some managers who don’t know much about it throw the term around to impress people.
Social marketing is not running a big advertising campaign. It’s about deciding what you want people to do and figuring out how to get them to do it. You might use advertising to do that, but only maybe.
In order to do this you need to understand:
- how they feel about doing it (whatever it is – stopping smoking, doing more sport, etc.)
- why they feel that way
- what would change their mind
These three basic points have fancy names invented by academics. If you have a manager who’s impressed by jargon then try throwing these at them.
So how does this help?
If anyone tries to convice you that you have to have a degree in social marketing to do it then they don’t know what they’re talking about. Most of the best social marketing work I’ve seen wasn’t called that. It was done by people who got this approach intuitively.
If you want more information on social marketing then I suggest that the
National Social Marketing Centre website is a good place to go. Here is
their Big pocket guide to social marketing. However, if you want to get people to do something different then try making it fun, easy and popular.