Social marketing is used to develop different activities to maintain or change an audience’s behavior, for either the benefit of society as a whole or individuals themselves. It combines the ideas of social sciences and commercial marketing, and it’s an effective tool to influence behavior in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.
People come across social marketing campaigns many times in their daily lives, that range from promotions to prevent wildfires with Smokey the Bear, to pictures of potential health issues on cigarette packaging. When marketers try to create social marketing campaigns, they first have to think about three different aspects of the campaign: the issue that the campaign should address, the resources that are available for the campaign, along with any identifiable risks, and the initial timescales and plans for the campaign.
Social Marketing in 2020
Social marketing can focus on many different things that can benefit society and individuals such as promoting health and safety through campaigns on safe driving, healthy eating, and exercise; environmental issues such as awareness of endangered species and deforestation; and social activism that includes stereotypes, bullying, and the struggles of different groups of people.
Most of the time, it’s not big brands and corporations that tend to undertake these types of marketing campaigns. Instead, it’s charities and nonprofit organizations, as well as governments and emergency services. However, there are some businesses that are especially passionate about certain issues and can decide to run a social marketing campaign for that issue.
Social Marketing Campaign
A well-executed social marketing campaign can capture the public’s attention and spread awareness about a certain issue through emotion and creativity. It’s a way for campaigns to present a simple and compelling way of what everyone can do to make the world a little bit better by slightly adjusting people’s behavior.
There are four crucial elements to social marketing campaigns, and those are the product, the price, the place, and the promotion, otherwise known as the “4 Ps” of social marketing.
With these campaigns, the main product is social action as well as its benefits for the public, and the change should be presented as interestingly as possible. The audience should understand the product and the benefits from it quickly and easily.
This doesn’t refer to the price of the promotion, but rather the so-called price that the public will have to pay for that social action to take place. It’s not always monetary, but it can often focus on the time or difficulty in terms of cost for the public.
Once again, this doesn’t refer to the place where the campaign is going to be promoted, such as on billboards or through social media platforms. It actually refers to where the public should be performing that desired behavior. For example, going back to Smokey the Bear, people should avoid setting fires in forests, which means the location is wooded.
The final element ties all of the former ones together and refers to the outlets and channels that should be used to reach the audience and the way that the audience will become interested in the campaign in the first place.