Excerpted from "CONDUCTING A SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN," contributed by Jenette Nagy and edited by Bill Berkowitz + Jerry Schultz + Phil Rabinowitz, from The Community Tool Box
I. DECIDE WHETHER TO CONDUCT A SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN. Comment on whether:
a. The aim is to reach large numbers of people (e.g., all adults and youth in the community).
b. You hope to change behavior + outcomes significantly and/or over a long period of time.
c. There are sufficient resources for the campaign:
II. COLLECT INFORMATION FROM THOSE WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM + CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN.
a. Indicate how you will gather information:
- Listening sessions + public forums
- Interviews with members of prioritized groups (e.g., asking youth why they smoke)
- Focus groups, interviews, and/or surveys with prioritized groups + their subgroups
b. Indicate what you will ask about (listen for):
- Knowledge of the issue including how often the problem (or desired) behavior occurs
- Importance of the goal/desired behavior for the audience (e.g., Why is that important?)
- Expected benefits of adopting the changed behavior
- Expected benefits + costs of adopting or continuing the behavior
III. STATE THE GOALS + BEHAVIORAL OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN.
a. State the issue or broad goal the campaign is trying to address (e.g., reduce violence; promote physical
b. Outline the basic principles of the social marketing campaign:
- PRODUCT: What are the behaviors/outcomes (e.g., poor eating/obesity) that you are trying to change in and among whom?
- PRICE: How much time, effort, + other consequences (e.g., money, social approval, lost opportunities) will it cost a person to change their behavior/outcome?
- PLACE: Where should the behaviors occur (not occur)? What are the barriers (opportunities) for the behavior to occur?
- PROMOTION: What communications will occur, from what sources to whom, + through what channels of influence?
c. Indicate what behaviors of whom, if changed, would make the most difference with the community problem
d. State the desired attributes and expected benefits of each target behavior [e.g., For physical activity,
desired attributes (+ anticipated benefits) include: burn fat (lose weight, feel better)].
e. Describe the specific behavioral/outcome objectives the campaign will seek, how much change in what behaviors/outcomes among whom by when (e.g., By July 2010, the percentage of adults who engage in regular physical activity will increase by 30%).
IV. DEFINE THE AUDIENCE OR SPECIFIC PRIORITIZED GROUP TO BE REACHED.
a. Identify the specific prioritized groups whose behavior matters if the problem or goal is to be addressed:
b. Indicate subgroups that may have a higher risk for experiencing the problem. Consider those at particular risk associated with:
- Past or current behaviors (e.g., history of tobacco use)
- Personal factors (e.g., age, gender, race or ethnicity, family history, income)
- Environmental factors (e.g., stress, social support, access and barriers, + exposure to harmful agents)
- Geographic area (e.g., where people live)
c. Indicate the environments, situations, or settings in which the targeted behavior occurs (or should or should not occur):
d. For each prioritized group + subgroup, indicate their readiness for change, including:
- Knowledge of the problem or goal
- Belief in the importance of the goal
- Belief in ability to change
- Ability to maintain change
e. Describe how you will learn more about the prioritized groups’ current behavior, the situations in which it occurs, + readiness to change by:
- Direct observation of behaviors of interest (e.g., for the goal of reducing youth smoking, count percentage of teens smoking cigarettes as they leave schools)
- Participant observation in the environments in which the behavior occurs (or should occur) (e.g., hanging out and observing in parks and recreation centers where teens spend time after school)
- Behavioral surveys (e.g., use school surveys to ask youth to report how often they smoke)
- Listening sessions + public forums (e.g., among those living in particular neighborhoods)
- Informal interviews with members of prioritized groups (e.g., asking children what they most appreciate about those who care for them)
- Focus groups of members of subgroups (e.g., asking working adults what it would take for them to get more physical activity)
V. ENGAGE POTENTIAL PARTNERS + CHANGE AGENTS IN THE CAMPAIGN.
a. Identify those agents of change who may be particularly helpful in reaching different prioritized groups (+ indicate how they will be engaged) including:
- CONNECTORS: How will the group identify and involve those who can spread the message
of the campaign through their networks?
- TEACHERS: How will the group identify and involve those who can and will
provide needed knowledge to those implementing the campaign’s components?
- PERSUADERS: How will the group identify and involve those who can motivate others to adopt the behaviors sought by the campaign?
b. Identify those in a position to change conditions under which the targeted behaviors occur, + indicate how they will be engaged in the campaign (e.g., Who can help modify access, barriers, exposures, and opportunities?)
VI. ANALYZE THE KEY BEHAVIORS + ENVIRONMENTS RELATED TO THE PROBLEM OR GOAL.
a. State the target behavior(s) the campaign will address.
b. State the likely consequences of the desired behavior for individuals, + for the community.
c. Indicate the personal factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of behaviors + outcomes of interest.
d. Indicate the environmental factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of behaviors + outcomes of
e. Indicate what aspects of broader conditions + systems affect the behaviors + outcomes.
f. Indicate best practices for addressing the issue/goal + changing the desired behavior + what made
VII. IDENTIFY CORE COMPONENTS OR STRATEGIES OF THE CAMPAIGN. Indicate how the campaign will:
a. Communicate memorable messages about the desired behavior including:
- Credible content + source (e.g., testimonial by someone like me, celebrity, or person in authority)
- Images that convey the appropriate tone (e.g., serious, humorous, friendly, frightening)
- Memorable sayings (e.g., “just do it”; “make kids count”) + narrative stories (e.g., about why this was important to particular people + communities)
- Specific prompts about the behaviors to be changed (i.e., be clear about what people should do + when)
- How this fits with the circumstances of people’s lives (i.e., how it is compatible with people’s available time, the places where they live + work, and the situations they experience)
- How this minimizes time + effort (i.e., how the time + cost is acceptable)
- How doing it results in positive consequences (e.g., increased social approval from peers)
b. Make the desired behaviors more rewarding or attractive by:
- Increasing available positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (e.g., social approval from friends + family).
- Decreasing the prevailing punishment (e.g., media campaign to suggest it is “cool” or socially acceptable to do well in school).
- Making the desired behaviors easier or of lower cost in time, effort + money (i.e., modifying access, removing barriers, + increasing opportunities for the behavior).
- Improving people’s abilities to adopt the behavior change (e.g. provide more and better services + support)
- Decreasing the attractiveness of competing behaviors (e.g., reducing available rewards for undesirable behaviors)
VIII. SELECT + TAILOR CAMPAIGN COMPONENTS BASED ON THEIR IMPORTANCE, FEASIBILITY + FIT WITH DIFFERENT PRIORITIZED GROUPS/SUBGROUPS.
a. Identify the particular sources of information that may be more influential with distinct prioritized groups + subgroups (i.e., people trust messages that come from others who are similar in age, ethnicity, etc.).
b. Identify the particular channels of influence to be used to reach distinct prioritized groups + subgroups (e.g., African Americans + Hispanics might be reached through church services and bulletins).
Indicate all the channels that might apply for person-to-person, small group or media communications:
- Informal networks + naturally occurring groups (e.g., those meeting where people work, play, + pray)
- Public + nonprofit organizations (e.g., , libraries; health + human service agencies)
- Professional associations + groups (e.g., teachers’ associations, labor unions)
- Businesses (e.g., theaters, convenience stores, beauty salons, bars)
- Point-of-purchase/decision materials (e.g., signs, displays, or “take one” handouts in stores or restaurants)
- Community + cultural events (e.g., soccer games, festivals)
- Direct + electronic mail (e.g., mailings, email)
- Print materials (e.g., brochures, fact sheets, newsletters, posters, flyers)
- Print media (e.g., newspapers, daily + weekly)
- Outdoor media (e.g., billboards, transit ads)
- Broadcast + electronic media (e.g., television, radio, web)
- Telephone directories (e.g., Yellow pages)
c. Identify how other selected strategies/components of a social marketing campaign will be tailored for use with different prioritized groups/subgroups (e.g., To increase adult engagement in caring relationships with children, the group might use radio + television ads, flextime policies in large businesses, + information distributed through church bulletins, etc.).
IX. PRETEST + REVISE THE CAMPAIGN COMPONENTS BEFORE FULL IMPLEMENTATION.
a. Indicate how you will implement the selected strategies/components with a representative sample of the
targeted groups/subgroups (e.g., use focus groups to test public service announcements).
b. Indicate how you will gather information about the benefits + costs of the campaign components
- Effects with target behaviors
- Satisfaction with particular components
c. Indicate how you will use the information to modify (and, if necessary, re-test) components of the campaign.
X. IMPLEMENT THE SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN. For each aspect of the campaign, outline an action plan:
a. What actions will occur?
b. Who will carry it out?
c. When this will occur?
d. Resources (money and staff) needed/ available?
e. Communication - Who should know what about this?
XI. EVALUATE THE EFFECTS OF THE SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN. Indicate how you will:
a. Track implementation of campaign components + activities.
b. Assess knowledge of (+ exposure to) the campaign.
c. Assess ongoing changes in specific behavioral objectives.
d. Assess ongoing changes in specific population-level outcomes.
e. Examine the contribution of campaign components to possible improvements in behavior + outcomes at the community level.
f. Consider the ethical implications of the campaign.
XII. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES + MAKE ONGOING ADJUSTMENTS (e.g., group celebrations, modify components).
XIII. SUSTAIN THE EFFORT LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
a. Maintain the involvement of core members of the campaign team (e.g., connectors, persuaders).
b. Imbed + amplify the message (i.e., make public + visible, durable, deliver in natural contexts, imbed in
c. Use evaluation information to help secure ongoing resources for sustained implementation (e.g.,
presentations to grantmakers about benefits).
d. Secure media coverage of the issue/goal and successful implementation of relevant components (e.g., hold
news conferences + pitch feature stories to promote continued awareness).
e. Promote adoption of campaign components that made a difference (e.g., institutionalize enhanced access
to services as part of the line item budget of the health department or other relevant public agency).
f. Advocate for new changes that contribute to improvement (e.g., seek policies to change service hours to
make it easier for people to use them).
A (Not-So) FINAL NOTE ABOUT SOCIAL MARKETING:
Do it again forever.
If a social marketing campaign is aimed at long-term behavior change in the community, then it really never ends. This is true for local health initiatives or any other intervention meant to change community behavior: It really only works when people can see it, and when they continue seeing it, day in and day out. If you turn your back for a minute, the whole thing can fall apart. Eternal vigilance is not only the price of freedom; it's the price of any social change program or initiative.
GIMME MORE Social Marketing . . .
Whew! That's a lot to digest! How about some market makeover-specific tips for ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS TO THE MARKET?