Nedra is a social marketing consultant, author and speaker who works with nonprofits and government agencies for positive health and social change using social media, transmedia storytelling and entertainment education approaches at Weinreich Communications.Email me
First, market responsibly. In a post 9-11 world, it seems near crazy to tuck blinking packages with wires protruding near major municipal hubs and landmarks. Fenway Park? Sullivan Square MBTA stop? What were they thinking? Last time I went through airport security, they confiscated my 10-year-old's SpongeBob toothpaste. That's how crazy the world is, and unfortunately that's the lens through which municipal leaders view any blinking devices.There are two aspects of our marketing we need to think about that these examples illustrate - the what and the how:
How do we, as nonprofit communicators, engage audiences who are overloaded with marketing messages and images?All good questions, and ones that social marketers face constantly. Rohit recently wrote about the ubiquity of advertising and even the examples he came up with as so-far unused advertising space (e.g., fruits and vegetables, public restroom doors and hubcaps) have not entirely escaped the ad industry's touch.
Context: Marketing and communications are everywhere. On steps, windows, tray tables on airplanes. You know the deal – and all that’s in addition to everything else that’s online and offline. Ubiquitous is the only word to describe it.
- As a result, our audiences are more saturated than ever with data, images.
- And more skeptical.
How do we:
- Penetrate the glaze of audience overload when eyes, ears and brains are simply overwhelmed
- Communicate not only the basics, but the often complex or new ideas necessary for success in nonprofit advocacy and fundraising campaigns, program delivery, etc.
- Compete with for-profit marketers who have far more resources than we do (how can we be smarter)?
Our host Samantha Hawkins discusses an exciting new “interactive” way to solve relationship problems. She’s joined by couples Pete and Donna Longhorn, and Debra and Jody Preston.I'm sure they didn't mean to make light of domestic violence, but their satire fell flat to the point of being offensive (and I'm not easily offended).
The Longhorn's problems stem from Donna’s spending addiction, and the Preston’s problems grew out of Jody’s incessant lying about “working late nights”.
Samantha introduces the man responsible for the revolutionary new technique that solved the couples’ problems, Dr. Archibald Bitchslap, founder of the Bitchslap Method.
Samantha runs a sample of the method demonstrated on the 10-DVD set: a montage of images of Samantha and Dr. Archibald Bitchslap employing the Bitchslap Method forcibly and verbally on a series of compliant mannequins. Dr. Bitchslap mentions that along with the 10-DVD set, you also receive a companion booklet: Bitchslap Your Way to a Successful Marriage.
And in the comments he explains why these maps are helpful:
Interesting to note, though, is the way in which temperature affects the number of people on the street. It's cold outside, and has been for several days now. The count for January 15th (Monday) was down 271 people from January 2nd. It got cold and the people who could find somewhere to go did so.
But also this sort of visualization is vital because it tells us what trends are occurring over time. Since enforcement of Safer Cities began there has been a definite spread of homeless to areas outside of Skid Row, particularly into the Toy District, the Fashion District and into South Park. Anecdotally we see this every day, but visualizing hard data allows us to say it for certain. That sort of knowledge is important for planning strategy.This type of mapping could be used very effectively as a basis for understanding many health and social problems in a particular geographic area. Imagine using this to map the spread of an infectious epidemic - you could easily see what direction it was moving in, what types of neighborhoods it hit the hardest, what the boundaries of a quarantine area might need to be. You could look at areas with high exercise density (where people running or walking for exercise tend to be found) and make sure there are sidewalks and crosswalks on those streets. Map out gang-related incidents to see where to concentrate your violence prevention billboards or locate your program's youth drop-in center.
Back in the 50s, Gerhart Wiebe asked the question "Why can't you sell brotherhood like you sell soap?" and thus the field of social marketing was born.Read the rest of the article at the Daily Fix to find out what some of those differences are, and some ideas for how to address those challenges.
This question has formed the basis of wide-ranging efforts addressing issues like preventing youth smoking, promoting mammography, staving off bacterial infections from chitterlings, stopping domestic violence, encouraging physical activity and healthy eating habits, touting recycling and many more successful campaigns....
(I'm not including cause marketing here, which usually involves the purchase of commercial products, and benefits a partnering nonprofit.)
So, is the answer that brotherhood and soap are, indeed, pretty much equivalent products to be marketed? Well, yes and no.
Yes, in that we can think about healthy or pro-social behaviors as products we want people to adopt and use. Purchasing a commercial product is a behavior too. We can use the same marketing tools to promote colonoscopies as Coke uses to sell its colas.
But there are some key differences that social marketers run into that complicate the transfer of the business marketing model to selling health and social behaviors.
Is there someone on your marketing team who fundamentally does not understand the technology that underlies your idea?
Yes (bonus + 4 points) No (0 points)
Can you describe your idea in the way Hollywood directors often pitch their movies, with a simple analogy? (E.g., the movie that became Alien was pitched as “Jaws on a spaceship.”)
Yes (+ 2 points) No (0 points)
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