Most of the marketing that we come across is about getting people to make a purchase or informing us about an organization. There is another type of marketing that is increasingly visible, and its goal is to change the world. Social marketing is the marketing approach used to encourage healthy, sustainable behaviour that benefits society and everyone within it. A social marketing campaign will usually stand out because it’s not trying to sell you something; it’s asking you to consider your behaviour or habits, usually something you do that goes unexamined. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at what social marketing is, why it’s beneficial, and how it can help your organization.
What Is Social Marketing?
Government or not-for-profit organizations run the majority of social marketing campaigns. The main reason for this is that there aren’t many financial or business incentives for running a social marketing campaign. Sales boosts and mainstream publicity aren’t likely to follow. Despite this, we still see dozens of behaviour changes campaigns every year. Whether they tell us about the dangers of smoking or drunk driving, the benefits of exercise or composting, or the need to register to vote, these campaigns are prominent on all media channels. They are often used to fill in the gaps in our economy, taking care of the issues that businesses aren’t necessarily incentivized to solve or manage.
What Are The Benefits of Social Marketing?
At their core, social marketing campaigns are a way for governments to reinvest our tax dollars into the health and well-being of the population. They are also a way for not-for-profits to push their causes into the public mindset. Using these campaigns as a guide, social marketing is also a way to get corporations to consider the social aspects and consequences of their actions. Once these big players see the effect and engagement generated by social marketing campaigns, they are more likely to follow suit with their organizational practices. This starts a positive feedback loop, in which healthy and sustainable behaviours are prominent in the public eye, and backed by powerful organizations in the public and private sectors.
How Does Social Marketing Help Your Organization?
Social marketing can provide a range of benefits for your organization and your reputation. Creating a link between your core business processes and a socially conscious initiative can go a long way to positively influencing consumer perceptions of your brand. An example of this is TOMS Shoes, whose core marketing effort is their ‘One for One’ policy, which provides a pair of shoes to underprivileged children for every pair purchased. A key concern when using social marketing campaign is authenticity. There are few things more damaging to your brand than being called out for exploiting social causes without actually making a difference. In order to navigate this situation, it’s important to seek the help of a marketing agency, who can guide you down a path of social marketing success.