The 2nd World Non-Profit and Social Marketing Conference last week in Dublin proved to be a spectacular event, bringing together over 600 attendees from 40 countries, featuring 200 presentations and 32 exhibitors, and as of today, 95% of the delegates who completed the conference evaluation say they will attend the next conference, which is scheduled for April 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
The conference also witnessed the launch of the first International Social Marketing Association. The Association will aim to develop, among other matters, more cooperation between not-for-profit agencies and corporations involved with social marketing.
New findings regarding attitudes about social marketing also had their debut. Ogilvy, in collaboration with the conference organizers The Conference People, fielded a global online survey which was conducted among 280 social marketing professionals to better understand trends, issues, and opportunities within the field of social marketing internationally, and the results were released on the first day of the conference. Some of the key findings include:
- 84% agree that social marketing is at a critical turning point in driving social change.
- 70% agree that social marketers have led the way for integration of behavioral economics in driving change.
- The greatest areas of societal progress include:
1. Tobacco prevention or cessation
2. Global health epidemic (HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Cholera)
3. Transportation and traffic safety
4. Substance and alcohol abuse prevention, cessation, and recovery
5. Chronic illness (cancer, diabetes, heart disease) and also environmental stewardship/sustainability
- The new era of social marketing will be defined by pervasiveness and community, including widespread application beyond health (to issues such as sustainability and economic development), and digital influence and peer groups.
- 91% agree that the corporate sector has an important role to play in solving the world’s most pressing social issues.
- 88% agree that social marketers need to do a better job of marketing social marketing.
- And 78% agree that social marketing is the important mix of heart, business, and dream.
As a relative newbie to the social marketing community, my experience as an attendee at conference last week was quite the initiation. Not only was I introduced to members of the passionate and dedicated social marketers club, but I was welcomed as a member myself with open arms. The sharing of information that took place before, during, and even after the conference was extremely rich – from live tweeting during sessions to Flip Cam interviews, recorded plenary sessions, and blog posts, the delegates at the conference really brought the discussion of social marketing and behavioral economics to life, even for those who were unable to attend.
With another conference to look forward to in 2013, it is clearly evident to me, more than ever, that social marketing is truly the essential mix of heart, business, and dream.