How to Take Social Marketing by Storm
Community Based Social Marketing is defined as inspiring behavior change for the greater social good. In the stormwater world, it is helping municipalities build trust with their customers while inspiring an overall shift in the understanding that stormwater is an issue beyond just flooding and pollution. It is also increasing the approval rates of budget requests and grant applications across the country, at a time when the economy has been stressed and budgets are strained. So why aren’t all municipalities taking social marketing by storm? We know term “Social Marketing” is raising to the forefront of many outreach specialists’ priority lists. However, for those new to social marketing, it can seem overwhelming and time consuming. Many are finding ways to avoid the process completely and in turn are also missing out on the many benefits it can bring.
This track session will bring focus, clarity and confidence to participants ready to start seeing measurable results from their outreach programs and, in turn, reaping the many other benefits of the Community Based Social Marketing Process. To begin the unraveling of the social marketing process, questions will be welcomed and encouraged throughout the presentation. The unravelling will commence as follows:
1) How is “Community Based Social Marketing” different? Outreach professionals new social marketing often feel overwhelmed when starting a new project. Who is my target audience? How am I going to measure success? What materials am I going to produce? By providing various examples of successful social marketing programs, we will be training the brain to start thinking about outreach from a very focused viewpoint, versus the traditional, “reach everyone with one brochure” approach.
2) Defining the target audience. The further you can define, or truly understand, your target audience, the higher the likelihood for success. Various market research tools will be presented to help participants successfully define their specific target audience.
3) Setting goals and objectives. Goals without objectives are nearly impossible to accomplish while objectives without goals may never allow you to see true behavior change. The difference between goals and objectives will be explored, including simple tips and tools for developing both. Various examples of well written goals and objectives, as well as those that missed the mark, will be presented.
4) Identifying Barriers & Benefits. The more barriers to inspiring a change in behavior you can remove, and the more benefits you can put out in front of your target audience, the higher the likelihood for success. Barriers and benefits do not necessarily need to be complicated, or even difficult to address. Various examples will be presented, along with tips for uncovering those that are more likely to lead to a successful outcome.
5) Writing a positioning statement. Simple, but incredibly important, this one sentence will provide focus and clarity when the project starts to feel overwhelming or gets off track, giving back the confidence an outreach professional needs to keep moving and reach the project goals and objectives, of measurable behavior change.
6) Developing a Marketing Strategy. Though it may sound intimidating, once the target audience has been defined, goals and objectives are set and barriers and benefits are identified, the marketing strategy is a chance to pull it all together and get creative! Tips for developing an effective marketing strategy will be presented, including examples of useful formats to help keep things focused and simple.
7) Developing an Evaluation Plan. Evaluation is also a very important aspect of social marketing but takes time and careful thought. The results of evaluating a social marketing project are often needed in order to gain approval for future budget requests and win grants. Several useful, proven methods of evaluation will be presented.