Social marketing attempts to expand and integrate marketing concepts with the use social channels and platforms to influence individual behaviors and benefit the marketer but also the target audience.
What Is Social Marketing?
SM is a discipline born in 1970s, when the marketing fathers Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that marketing principles used to influence consumer purchases, could be also used to influence attitudes and behaviors. Social marketing is different from other areas of marketing only with for the objectives and organization.
Like traditional marketing, the primary focus is on the consumer, on understanding what people want and need rather than trying to persuade them to buy the product. Social Marketing talks to the consumer, but not about the product. The marketing planning process takes this consumer focus and uses the elements of the “marketing mix”, often called “4 P of marketing“. They refer to decisions about product, price, place, promotion.
What Are the 4 P’s Of Social Marketing?
After having established the social marketing definition, let’s deepen the 4 essential elements for every marketing campaign:
- Product: With social marketing, the “product” is the wished social action and the advantages that it offers. It’s important to make sure your audience can easily understand the product and its benefits.
- Price: Reduce the price that your audience thinks they have to pay for the desired social action to happen. It isn’t only monetary, but also about minimizing the difficulty, time, psychological, emotional costs that people usually sustain. So for a social marketing campaign, you need to know and research the obstacles that impede target from performing the behavior.
- Place: Where do you want your audience to perform the behavior? How can you reach target in ways that make it easier to perform the behavior? Who Do you need recruit (as ambassadors, influencers, opinion leaders) to make the campaign more accessible to the audience? These are the questions one has to pose themselves.
- Promotion: it includes the channels and outlets that will help to reach people and attract their attention (Advertising campaigns, Social media, Television, Radio, Events).
What Is the Social Marketing Process?
Social marketing process is a continual process that changes over and over again if it is unsuccessful. It consists of three steps, Co-create, Build, and Engage (C-B-E).
- Co-create: The product (which help to make changes benefiting individuals and the society) is designed by and not for people. For this reason the planning process is built in consultation with target (co-created with them). Indeed today is used the word “prosumer” (produce+consumer) rather than “consumer” because people contribuit to make the product and not only to buy/consum it.
- Build: Planning are also built with stakeholders/Partners to make sure that people and funds are available to support program. Partnerships help to extend the programs and help to engage more people.
- Engagement: In this phase the focus is on ensuring people know that the program is available and communicating the advantages that they will receive.
Some Famous Social Marketing Campaigns
- The White House Has You Covered: The President Barack Obama entered into White House with a promise: to make healthcare more accessible for all Americans. He asked people to share their story with the #GetCovered hashtag.
- But First, Let NASA Take a Selfie: Between its NASA Socials program and the agency’s willingness to engage across different platforms, it has found advocacy far outside of the United States. For Earth Day in 2014, NASA took an different approach and capitalized on an existing base of proactive users. It asked people to send photos of themselves from around the world. Then, the agency took the photos, mixed them all into a gigapixel photo collage, and created an amazing map of the earth.
- DOVE Finds Beauty in Everyone: The personal care brand has done “behind the scenes” videos showing what goes into a billboard. With this campaign they’ve turned people into big brand advocates. In the first ad, it showed the transformation of a “normal” woman into a beautiful and perfect top model through make up and photoshop. For this, The Real Beauty campaign has had unprecedented success and still has it.