Posted by Oliver on 22 Feb 2017
Social marketing campaigns are being widely used by the NHS as part of its healthcare marketing strategies. As more and more successes are reported, other industries with a wider health and education bias are starting to sit up and take note.
Different elements, working together
Successful social marketing campaigns comprise many interrelated elements. Before any creative work begins, marketers need to understand ‘the problem’ and the underlying insights, so that they can develop an effective strategy to redress the core issues. Any ideas or draft strategy are usually tested on a purpose-designed think tank or audience sample.
Understanding your target audience
As with any marketing campaign, one of the initial steps is to understand the target audience in detail - who they are, what their needs, issues and thought processes might be and any insights into behavioural motivations. When this is established, social marketing focuses on how people can be nudged onto the next step in terms of changing their perceptions, decision-making and eventually their behaviour.
Empowering people to act
The next phase is to consider how you get your audience’s attention, and ignite a spark of interest! This is the creative stage to sign post the service or intervention provisions and connect with the audience. Your campaign needs to motivate people to want to change by focusing on the benefits of behaviour change but also empower them to act and over come any barriers in their way. For many marketing campaigns that would be job done, but with social marketing it’s just the beginning. There also needs to be a process that ensures your target audience doesn’t slip back into bad habits, and lose sight of what they have learned. Social marketing is an ongoing process that works best when aligned with front line services that deliver 1-2-1 interventions.
A framework for change?
Social media, digital and mobile technologies, creative material, online, research and use of the latest customer segmentation and insight techniques, all have a part to play in creating a framework that can positively influence the way people behave.
Social marketing is growing in popularity, and the healthcare sector is one of many that is now benefiting from it.
It is definitely a framework for positive change, and one that has real potential to tackle social behaviours on a UK-wide basis.
Who are we? We’re Perfect Circle - an award-winning social marketing agency, Manchester that delivers positive behavioural change across the UK