Marketing and Sociology – S. I - Understanding the Nature of Social marketing
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Goals and objectives - Marketing exchange takes place so as to achieve the goals of the buyer and the seller. For commercial marketers these goals may be profit, market share etc., for the individual the goals may be the self-esteem achieved by buying an expensive car. A major difference between commercial and social marketing lies in the difference in the nature of the goals and objectives. Here the goals are society's goals.
Process - All definitions emphasize the processes which the marketer must undertake. Customer needs and requirements must be identified through a process of market research, supplied through the development of a product, at the right price, through appropriate channels and using effective promotion.
Value - Definitions emphasize the need for value. A key question for social marketers is the need to establish the value of the 'product' on offer - exactly what is being offered in terms of value to people who adopt new behaviors such as recycling or stopping smoking?
What is Social Marketing:
Kotler et al defined social marketing as: “The use of marketing principles and techniques to influence a target audience for voluntarily accept, reject, modify or abandon a behavior for the benefit of individuals, groups or society as a whole”. Social marketing relies on voluntary compliance rather than legal, economic or coercive forms of influence. Kotler et al argue that social marketing is often used to influence an audience to change their behavior for the sake of: · Improve health- health issues. · Preventing injuries – safety issues. · Protecting the environment – environmental issues. Contributing to community – community-building issues
Reasons for social marketing:
1- The power of marketing - The power of marketing principles and techniques in the hands of the commercial sector cannot be denied. Most of us, including very young children, recognize logos and brand names, even for products that we never buy. These symbols occupy our minds and form part of our socio-cultural context. Consider for example, how branding plays a part in our choice of baked beans, soap powder, clothing, watches and cars. Communication through the various media is clearly very powerful, consequently it would seem negligent, to say the least, not to adapt this power to society's good. As Gerard Hastings’ book title says: “Why should the Devil have all the best tunes”.
2- Track record/evidence - There are many examples of social marketing applications which have been successful in achieving positive behavioral change.
3- Not an option - As Kotler and Levy argue, 'the choice ... is not whether to market or not to market ... The choice is whether to do it well or poorly'.
Reasons Against social marketing
1- Cost - Social marketing: programs can cost considerable amounts of money. A related issue is that of the problems involved in assessing the success of these programs, through long-term nature of behavioral change and the difficulties in establishing cause-effect relationships
2- Misconceptions and negative attitudes about marketing - Marketing is often equated with selling and persuading people to buy things that they do not really want. Interestingly, when people are asked if they have been persuaded they usually say no. Today's adoption of marketing principles and techniques (for example, market segmentation, market research, branding) by the banking sector is now evident.
1- A final reason for resistance to marketing may be due to the nature of the language. Strategic marketing for example, adopts the terminology of Sun Zu's 'The Art of War'. Phrases such as 'flanking defense', 'encirclement' and 'full frontal attack' are probably not particularly attractive to the National Health Service (NHS) or Oxfam.
2- Parameters of marketing activity - A final point emerges from marketing authors themselves. Luck argued that the wider application of marketing away from the commercial sector weaken the content and nature of marketing as a discipline.
Moving out of the marketplace
This capacity to bring about voluntary behavior change is far too valuable to be limited to the marketplace. The smooth running of any democratic society depends on people living their lives in a way that serves both individual and collective needs. The criminal justice system, international diplomacy, the democratic process itself all depend on voluntary, cooperative behavior. • A variant on the theme called 'social marketing', which uses similar techniques to influence our social and health behavior.
The evidence base
• The commercial sector, for example, that alcohol, tobacco and food marketing all have a significant impact on our drinking, smoking and eating behaviors. And remember that these are not just consumer behaviors, but important health behaviors. • Social marketing can both imitate this success and mitigate the harm it sometimes cause: - Social marketing ideas and techniques can successfully shift exercise, drinking, smoking and drug use behavior. - Social marketing has been applied to road safety, domestic violence, doping in sport and discrimination, as well as public health.
- Social marketing can also help us think about the impact of commercial marketing and what to do about its less desirable effects.
• Thus, it recognizes that in dealing with the activities of the tobacco industry, controlling advertising and promotion is only part of the picture; we need to think about all the ways they attract customers, including packaging, new product development, price promotions and distribution. For example, in the UK, many efforts spent in reduce smoking –through advertising ban, health warnings and smoke-free public places- smoking reduced from around 70% in 1960 to less than 30% now. But still have 90 000 outlets selling tobacco. Restrictions on business have to be applied with caution.
The need for clarity
• Business schools and universities in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and North America now offer courses in Social marketing. The idea that skills learnt to push fast-moving consumer goods or financial services can also be used to address pressing social problems such as HIV/AIDS or drink driving is extremely appealing to students. • Authors of social marketing mention two obstacles in their task in searching for studies that used the label social marketing: - First, many of the studies labeled social marketing as not more than communication campaigns. Social marketing is not social advertising. Social marketers may make use of communications - or they may not - depending upon the problem being addressed and, particularly, the needs of the people they are trying to influence. The second problem the reviewers had was that they missed out on work that followed the relevant principles, but was not called social marketing. They wisely decided that they 'were interested in whether social marketing ideas work rather than whether social marketing labels work' and approached the task by simply selecting papers that used social marketing ideas, regardless of the classification employed
Social Marketing Benchmarks or Key Characteristics are: (By NSMC) 1- Set behavioral goals. 2- Uses consumer research and pretesting. 3- Make judicious use of theory. 4- Is insight driven. 5- Applies the principles of segmentation and targeting. 6- Thinks beyond communications. 7- Creates attractive motivational exchanges with the target group. 8- Pays careful attention to the competition faced by the desired behavior.
• These benchmarks are the social marketing origins and also the key elements of commercial marketing: We need to start with a clearly defined behavior and target group: what do you want who to do? To deliver effectively to their needs we have to understand them and their current behavior very well - which requires sophisticated research and sound theoretical foundations. This process needs to be insight driven to make our approaches as attractive and motivating as possible, always remembering that marketers, whether commercial or social, deal in voluntary behavior: we cannot compel people to do business with us. Satisfying people's needs also requires a move beyond the assumption that they are all alike, opening the way for customized approaches to cohesive subgroups or segments of the wider population. • It is important for social marketing to address “competition” (as S.M clients have a choice): 1- in order to understand what benefits it is perceived to bring and how our alternative behavior can be made more attractive. Example: for some teenagers, smoking brings many benefits such as coolness that attract them to a degree by which they ignore lung and heart diseases coming years. These current behavior patterns might be termed passive competition. 2- Another reason that: there are also organizations that are actively pushing in the opposite direction. Example: one of the reasons so many young people continue smoking is that the tobacco companies use their marketing to encourage them to do so. The following are an additional dimension to social marketing - sometimes termed critical marketing - is so important.
Active competition and critical marketing: three reasons why it matters 1- Understanding the efforts of Philip Morris or Diageo, and consumer response to them, provides us with invaluable intelligence. As advertising guru David Ogilvy once remarked, ignoring this would be like a general ignoring decodes of enemy signals. 2- Commercial activity is a crucial aspect of the environment that we have already accepted is itself an important determinant of behavior. Ignoring the impact of commercial marketing would open up the discipline to the same criticisms as if it only focused on individual behavior: ineffectiveness and immorality. 3- The success of the tobacco, alcohol and food industries provides a rich seam of evidence that marketing works. If marketing can get us to buy a Ferrari it can also encourage us to drive it safely. Lazer and Kelley's classic definition of social marketing brings these critical and behavior change threads neatly together: 'Social marketing is concerned with the application of marketing knowledge, concepts and techniques to enhance social as well as economic ends. It is also concerned with analysis of the social consequence of marketing policies, decisions and activities.‘
Customers, consumers or clients? • In commercial marketing 'customer' works as a label, in that it gets across the key idea of purchase and money changing hands. But in social marketing, money may often not involve, and the profit motive is, to all intents and purposes. Social marketing is not a form of commercialization. • The word 'consumer', it suggests the ordinary citizen. Very often in social marketing seek to change the behavior of stakeholders and policymakers. Where both the marketer and the client have to be actively involved in the process. Social marketing therefore settled on the term client to describe the various sorts of people with whom social marketers attempt to do business.
• The problem One in two long-term smokers die as a result of their habit. Of these, half will die in middle age. This translates to 6.3 million people in the UK since 1950. Or in global terms, given present trends in global tobacco consumption, the expected number of deaths by tobacco will grow to 10 million per year by 2030. If the prevalence remains unchanged and children start smoking at the expected rates, in 2025 there will be almost 1.9 billion smokers consuming more than 9 trillion cigarettes. The demographics of smoking • The uptake of smoking is a pediatric phenomenon: 90% of smokers start as children. Acquiring the habit demands a degree of perseverance, and the principal reasons both for trying it and sticking at it are to do with personal image: to look older, more sophisticated and cool. A limited repertoire of premium brands provides the cigarette of choice. Adult smoking is quite different. Most (66%) want to give up, but they cannot.
• The other principal social demographic at play in tobacco consumption is social class. The further down the social scale you are, the more likely you are to smoke. Only 14% of those in higher professional occupation households smoke, compared with 32% of those in semi-routine occupation households. Studies of deprived and disadvantaged groups have shown smoking levels among lone parents in receipt of social security benefits in excess of 75%. The tobacco industry • Until recently, the UK tobacco industry spent around £100 million a year on advertising and promotion. Tobacco advertising has now been banned, but the rest of their marketing effort remains: product innovation, distribution, packaging and pricing strategies all play a big part in their effort. Research has shown that this both encourages uptake and discourages cessation ---
The economics of smoking • Tobacco is a profitable business. Cigarettes cost pennies to make, particularly with modern production methods, and generate long-term profits. The average UK smoker will smoke a pack a day for 25 years and, at today's prices, spend about £36 000 on tobacco. Governments also do well out of tobacco. In the UK, 80% of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is tax; the Revenue netted £8093 million in 2003-4. • Increasing tobacco prices through taxation also has public health benefits. There is a direct, inverse correlation between the price of tobacco and the number of smokers. The one exception to this rule is among the poor, who seem immune to price increases and will carry on smoking regardless, cutting down on essentials in the process. How would a social marketer respond to this problem?
Marketing and Sociology –S.2 - Making Use of Theory
Introduction: • The three theories of behavior change: Stages of Change Theory, Social Cognitive Theory and Exchange Theory - can help social marketers think through the process of behavior • Social marketer's focus on behavior change begs three questions: 1. Where people are in relation to a particular behavior? (Stages of Change \or\ the transtheoretical Model) 2. What factors cause\influence this positioning? (Social Cognitive Theory) 3. How people can be moved in the desired direction? (Exchange Theory)
Why we need theory?
• Kurt Lewin pointed out, 'there is nothing so practical as a good theory'. The following are three reassuring observations.
• First, Theory is simply a way of learning from other people's work. It is organized plagiarism, but without the copyright infringement. Theory enables us to follow suit and codify past endeavors so that we too can build on solid foundations. Thus, it helps us avoid the duplication of error and the reinvention of solutions. • Second, Theories aim to simplify things. They model what are typically much more complex phenomena in the real world, and thereby help us to get a grip on them. • Third, There is no theory of social marketing. No new labels or charts to master, no unfamiliar terminology to grapple with, no dubious claims that this is the ultimate theory.
The limitations of theory
1- Human behavior is the most complex phenomenon we could possibly try to understand. This means that, we need all the theories and models we can get to help us make sense of it. On the other, we have to recognize that all these theories and models will be gross oversimplifications that will be found wanting if we set too much store by them. 2- Human behavior is impossibly complex; however, we need to recognize that we all spend our lives successfully engaged in responding to and influencing it. 3- Social marketers are interested in understanding people and responding to their needs. Theories are just one way of helping us think about them, there is ideas, tools, and research methods that are equally important role in guiding our thinking. 4- Social marketing advocates the judicious use of theory, but also against over-reliance and rigidity
Stages of Change Theory
• Stages of Change Theory: formally known as “Trans-theoretical Model of Behavior Change”. • Prochaska and DiClemente's basic idea: that we do not make and carry through decisions, especially complex behavioral ones, in a simple binary fashion. • They suggest that we move through five stages, from ignorance of or indifference towards the idea of changing through trial to becoming committed to the new behavior: A- Precontemplation - you may be aware of the new behavior (e.g. quitting smoking or obeying the speed limit), but are not interested in it, at least at this point in your life B- Contemplation - you are consciously evaluating the personal relevance of the new behavior C- Preparation - you have decided to act and are trying to put in place measures needed to carry out the new behavior (e.g. avoid setting with smokers) D- Action - you give it a go E- Confirmation (or maintenance) - you are committed to the behavior and have no desire or intention to regress.
Alen Andreasen argues that there is three significant features for this model: 1- It is relatively straightforward to separate consumers into these five stages by asking them few simple questions, along with definitions of how respondents should be allocated to the various stages. 2- The appropriate intervention strategy depends on position in the process. (e.g. emphases benefits in the early stages and costs in the later stages) 3- Social marketing goal should not be to propel the customer to the Confirmation” stage in one step, but to move the customer to the next stage. Only through a series of steps will the customer reach the social marketer’s goal of sustained behavior change.
Criticism faced this model: 1- It has been challenged for assuming people move in a linear fashion through the stages Behavior change is recognized as a “spiral” where the individual may relapse back to the previous stage. 2- The model criticized for not considering those who change their behavior without going through all the five stages. And suggested that consumers may pass through some stages more rapidly than others
Despite criticisms, this model simply provides an intelligent way of thinking about how close our clients are to a particular behavior. -----
• Social Cognitive Theory assumes that human behavior is reciprocally determined by internal personal factors (such as knowledge and self-efficacy) and environmental factors (such as levels of deprivation or availability of facilities in the local community). • As social marketers, when we view human behavior, we should take into account the influence not only of the individual, but also their environment. The latter can divided into two domains.
First, there is the relatively direct influence of friends, family and the local community, what has been termed the 'immediate environment'. Second, there is the more indirect influence of social mores, economic conditions and cultural norms, which we have called the 'wider social context'. Thus, social cognitive theory recognizes the two-way relationship that exists between personal and environmental factors. The following figure illustrates how these influences interact.
Example: for young people who live in a community where smoking is acceptable (in family groups and in society as a whole) are more likely to take up smoking. Accordingly, smoking uptake will be reduced if pro-smoking norms are challenged and anti-smoking norms strengthened.
Social Cognitive Theory has been subject to criticisms:
1- It assumes that knowledge is a prerequisite to behavior change - that is, there is a hierarchical system to improving behavior. However, some people may simply decide to eat healthier because of an increase in the price of high-cholesterol food or because new branded vegetables provide emotional benefits.
2- The model is also criticized for not indicating how to move consumers on to the next stage of behavior change - Exchange Theory may help here.
• Exchange Theory has its foundations in psychology and economics (Houston and Gassenheimer, 1987), and assumes that we are need-directed beings with a built-in inclination to try and improve our lot. Richard Layard (2005) takes this thinking way back to the origins of our species, arguing that cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange were key to our success on the African savannah: • He goes on to point out that 'the result of this cooperation is not a zero sum game; it is a win-win activity. • In order to increase consumer's readiness to change, therefore, social marketers must provide them with something beneficial in exchange. In this sense, exchange involves the transfer of tangible or intangible items between two or more social actors (Bagozzi, 1979).
• Kotler (2000) suggests five prerequisites are required for exchange to take place: 1. There are at least two parties. 2. Each party has something that might be of value to the other party. 3. Each party is capable of communication and delivery. 4. Each party is free to accept or reject the offer. 5. Each party believes it is appropriate or desirable to deal with the other party. • Two criticisms have been directed at exchange theory and its applicability to social marketing: 1- Concerns Kotler's third and fourth prerequisites: social marketers face problems in ensuring that people are capable of communication and delivery, and also have the ability to accept or reject the offer. 2- It assumes a balance of power that is often no more than a chimera; many groups in society lack the knowledge, articulacy and power to ensure that a genuine compromise is reached. For example, those living in disadvantaged communities may not have either the money or the access necessary to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. This re-emphasizes the need to maintain a collective as well as an individual perspective in social marketing.
Summary • Collectively, these three theories provide a theoretical guide for social marketers. Stages of Change aids social marketers in the identification of where consumers are in relation to the desired behavior change. Social Cognitive Theory allows the social marketer to identify environmental and personal factors that influence behavior. Exchange Theory determines how to move the consumer to the next stage of behavior change. -------
The key elements of consumer behavior include:
a) Analyzing of the factors which influence behaviors b) The role of motivation and attitudes c) Consumer behavior models
1-The factors which influence consumer behavior
Kotler and Armstrong classify the factors influence our behavior as: 1- Psychological (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes) 2- Personal (age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle, personality and self concept) 3- Social (reference groups, family, roles and status) 4- Cultural (culture, sub-culture, social class system). As immediate environment is close to Kotler's social factors; emphasize the influence of family, friends and others on our decisions -may be negative or positive. The following is a diagram (on health behavior) that illustrates the social –cognitive theory that argue that our behavior is determined by both personal and environment factors.