Friday, 17 October 2008

Social Marketing

The views contained in this blog are my own personal thoughts and not attributable or credited to my employer

Weds 15th October 2008

Well this afternoon was truly useful, some excellent story telling of 4 case studies around Social Marketing really grabbed my attention. All the presentations through the day inferred that KM underpinned all the marketing work, there was a general agreement when I asked the panel if in fact the KM aspect was indeed central to the process yet still offered much development potential, particularly around sharing of info, successes etc.

The National Social Marketing Centre 'Realising the potential of effective social marketing DH backed and a potentially valuable resource. They will be upgrading their website in January (who isn't!) to include more practice examples and interaction. DH have recently launched Ambitions for Health a strategic framework relating to social marketing and health promotion. Is it the new garlic bread of communication within KM?

There were some really excellent communicators presenting. Prof Gerrard Hastings, Director and professor of social marketing from Stirling university focussed on marketing, demographics and lifestyle choices. He presented a shocking statistic relating to the Calton district of Glasgow, where male life expectancy is.... 54, FIFTY FOUR!!!! his book, Social Marketing: Why should the devil have all the best tunes? Butterworth Heinneman 2007 was plugged by the panel as an excellent read on the subject of social marketing.

Clive Blair-Stevens of the NSMC presented total process planning- liked his analogy- there are many ways to skin a rabbit BUT, there also many types of rabbit to skin!

Dr Ray Lowry, Senior Lecturer at newcastle University really got everyone going with a lively session. The guidance he gave around social marketing planning is applicable to much of our work. He said we should consider the following 3 points when looking to commence work through focus groups:

Who is the potential audience?

What does the world look like through their eyes?

What can we offer to make it better?- to this, when engaging we need to remove inhibitions, empathise and deal with the emotions

Commercial Advertising, according to Ray doesn't try to sell you a sausage, it sells you the sizzle. He felt the opposite should be true in social marketing, it should concentrate on the actual product itself, but all too often is too much sizzle and not enough sausage!!

Commissioning a social marketing campaign, presented by the COI & DH talked of forming a "Blended Project Team" quite liked that term, which they use in place of collaborative.