Social Marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good.Social Marketing practice is guided by ethical principles. It seeks to integrate research, best practice, theory, audience and partnership insight, to inform the delivery of competition sensitive and segmented social change programmes that are effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable.
Social marketing success is measured by the benefits of the marketing campaigns to the society rather than the financial gain or increase in sales. Social marketing seeks to educate the society on certain issues and suggesting solutions to societal problems, and not entirely promoting certain goods or services. Funds spent on social marketing cannot be recovered in financial terms, but in terms of making the lives of people better.
To ensure your social marketing success, it is important to define the aims of your campaign. What do you wish to gain from this marketing? A reduction in the number of motor accidents is increasing awareness of road safety regulations or any other. The aims must be specific enough and numeric values attached if possible; that is the only way to measure the success of the marketing successfully. For instance, the aim could be reducing road accidents by 15% by the end of the year, by doing this we can measure at the end of the year if this has been successful or not.
After defining the aims of the social marketing, you need to identify your audience. What age group should the audience encompass? Which media will be more appropriate in reaching them? The methods that will work for young people may not work for the elderly. If the audience is online, then the internet will do but if not, another method has to be found to get the message to them.
The approach to the marketing will depend on the audience. If the audiences are online and are part of social networking groups, then perhaps Facebook or twitter will be a good medium. If they love to watch photos, then you could create your campaigns as photos and tag them in. You could also use banner adverts and Google Adwords for the elderly internet users who are not part of social networking sites.
Finally, you need to analyze your methods used and results obtained and check them against the aims stated. If the aims are being met, then all is well but if not, you may need to rethink the strategy. It is also important to determine where things went wrong; maybe you are targeting the wrong audience or using the wrong methods. For instance, targeting an anti-smoking campaign at minors will not yield any results. This is because they are barred from smoking by law and so a campaign in that direction will not change anything. It is sometimes very difficult to set out the aims of the campaign, but as time goes on, the picture becomes clearer so aspects can be adjusted to fit.
Social marketing success makes society better. For example, a success in the seatbelt campaign will lead to the reduction in fatalities in road accidents, thus saving a lot of lives. In recent times, social marketing has become more effective online that anywhere else. Campaign leaders can have forums online where members can contribute their ideas on the issues and help sensitize other people. Online methods deliver messages faster than print and electronic media.