A Recap of the 2nd World Non-Profit and Social Marketing Conference

Apr 20

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Using Games in Social Marketing

Apr 19

I recently had the privilege of attending a George Washington University Health Communication and Marketing symposia on Social Marketing and Games.  It’s a topic that has seen significant growth in recent years, and being a big Scrabble nerd and Wii Just Dance buff, I had particular interest in.  Whether using board games, video games, or playing cards, using games to encourage a specific behavior or outcome can be a powerful tool.

Symposia speaker Sussy Lungo from the Pan American Social Marketing Organization, demonstrated how her team has developed and used games to create discussion and awareness around HIV and STI prevention.  Targeting high risk audiences, including potential sex workers and clients of sex workers, in countries such as Honduras or El Salvador can be extremely difficult.  Lungo however, feels that using games is one way to make inroads around a topic that is often hard to discuss.  By using card games with messaging built into the game at places such as bars and night clubs, game players have fun and the ice is broken for conversation around the topic in a safe way. Check out Lungo’s presentation here [PPT].

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The Dynamics of Cause Engagement

Apr 19

How has the digital revolution changed the way Americans get involved with causes and social issues?

Illustration by Gerardo Obieta

Lately, we have seen a lot of discussion on the impact of digital media on cause involvement.  “Twitter revolution” and “slactivism” are terms that are now part of the social causes lexicon.

As in all good debates, different points of view have emerged.  Some believe that online activism creates loose ties which aren’t strong enough to propel signficant social movements; while others are advocates of the power of social media to create positive social change.

To add a new perspective to this debate, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide conducted a study in partnership with the Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University to explore the current dynamics of cause engagement from the consumers’ standpoint.

The results of this study were presented for the first time last week at the 2nd World Non-profit and Social Marketing Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Here are some of the key findings that we shared:

  • Tradition Reigns Supreme: Despite the increased efforts of organizations to engage supporters through social media, our research revealed that various promotional social media activities — such as joining cause groups, posting a logo on social networking sites, and writing on blogs — are most often not the first line of engagement with causes and issues.  Rather, the more historically prominent types of engagement (e.g., donating money, volunteering, learning more about the cause) remain the first and most often means of consumer involvement.
  • Strategic Social Media Can Broaden Engagement:  Although promotional social media activities may not be on top of the list of ways Americans currently engage with causes, consumers recognize the importance of social media in facilitating the support of causes:
    • 57% of Americans agree that online social networking sites allow people to support causes more easily; and
    • 40% feel they can get the word out about a social issue or cause through online social networks.
  • So-called Slactivists: More Active Than You May Think:  Contrary to the assumption that the support of causes through social media would preclude more significant contributions, our study found that Americans who selected a promotional social media activity among the ways in which they most often get involved with causes are:
    • Just as likely as non-social media cause supporters to donate money;
    • Twice as likely to volunteer as non-social media cause supporters; and
    • Twice as likely to participate in events and walks.

In fact, Americans who support causes through promotional social media are involved in a significantly higher number of engagement activities, revealing that social media activities are being added to the range of historically prominent types of cause engagement activities instead of replacing them.

Our study additionally found higher utilization of social media for engaging with causes among particular demographic segments, namely women, younger generations, African Americans, and Hispanics.

Surprised by the findings?  Please share your thoughts.

For more information on the study, click here and stay tuned for upcoming webinars.  We’ll be discussing the implications of the study for practitioners.

Miles Young on Marketing in the Modern Age

Apr 18

Following his speech at the World Social Marketing Conference, Ogilvy & Mather CEO adapted his speech for the Huffington Post.  The beginning of the article is copied below; read the full article here.

Company or cause, marketing plays a vital role.

For companies, the marketing discipline helps sell products with the ultimate goal of boosting shareholder value. For causes, social marketing moves people to action for their own good — cajoling consumers to change unhealthy behaviors or to support a particular environmental program, for example.

These two branches of marketing typically have been separate, with mainstream marketing and social marketing keeping polite, if somewhat distant, relations. Some social marketers have felt that they rise above the rough and tumble of the marketplace, dealing instead with grand issues and ideas. Traditional marketers, with their rigid metrics of success and failure and laser focus on showing a return, have viewed social marketing somewhat askance for lacking similar rigor.

Keep reading Miles Young’s thoughts over on the Huffington Post.

Do We Need to Redefine Social Marketing?

Apr 18

Flying back from the World Social Marketing Conference in Dublin last week, I had an eight hour delay in Newark that gave me A LOT of time to think through everything I was exposed to at the conference.  Between the keynotes, the seminars, the plenary sessions, and the debates, the amount of information shared was overwhelming, comprehensive, and interesting. But how to make sense of it all?  I’m not sure I have, but it certainly has got me thinking.

A strong theme that emerged across many of the sessions I attended was about how to define social marketing, as well as the related question of whether social marketing needs to redefine itself.

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Social Marketing in Europe

Apr 13

On day two of the WSMC, in addition to many thought provoking sessions, we were surprised (and elated) when some of us got to meet the Dalai Lama in the lobby! But, back to the conference…this morning I attended a very interesting session on Social Marketing initiatives in Europe, featuring Professor Jeff French, founder and organizer of the conference, and Dr. Christine Domegan of the National University of Ireland, Galway. I caught up with them after for a quick interview on some of the session’s key takeaways. Check them out:

Believing in Social Marketing

Apr 13

Day two of the World Social Marketing Conference proved to be as engaging as day one! In a session chaired by our own Michael Briggs this afternoon, Iain Potter of the Health Sponsorship Council in New Zealand spoke about how social marketers worry about over selling what we do and consequently under sell what is achieved and could be achieved. We asked him to summarize some key thoughts from his presentation.

Five Steps to Environmentally Sustainable Behavior Change

Apr 12

At yesterday’s panel on environmental sustainability, Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, President of McKenzie Mohr & Associates (Canada) discussed how community-based social marketing has proven to be highly effective in fostering the adoption of environmentally-friendly behaviors.  He believes that in order to be successful, there are five important steps to follow:

Dr. McKenzie-Mohr has written on the topic with his book: Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing.

The 4Ps of Social Marketing: Are They Still Relevant?

Apr 12

The Marketing Mix, also known as the 4Ps of Social Marketing, is the combination of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.  Yesterday, we heard  a very dynamic debate at WSMC on whether the 4Ps are still an important intervention tool for Social Marketing practitioners.

Sue Nelson, Social Marketing Director, Kindred (UK), and Clive Blair-Stevens, Director, Strategic Social Marketing (UK) argued to abandon the 4Ps, as they believe it has lost its practical application as technology and social media 2.0 have evolved.  Mark Blayney Stuart, Head of Research, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) and Nancy Lee, President, Social Marketing Services, Inc. and University of South Florida/University of Washington, argued to  retain the 4Ps as they believe it is an important tool that enable practitioners to speak in one voice and in one language.  A vote was taken at the end of the debate in favor of keeping the 4Ps.  Hear both sides of the debate below:

QR Code Best Practices for Gov 2.0

Apr 12

QR Code

This post was originally posted to Ogilvy PR’s 360 Digital Influence’s Fresh Influence blog.

In recent weeks, many of our government clients have been asking if they should incorporate QR codes into their educational materials. This is great news as QR codes can be an excellent tool for connect citizens to government services and educational information while they are on the go.  However, as with all new communication vehicles it is important to take a few things into consideration before deciding if QR codes are right for your agency.

Until recently, there was a low awareness of QR codes in the US, but has changed in recent months with nearly two thirds of adults having seen one of these codes and one third having used them.   Big brands like Macy’s, Sephora and many others are integrating QR codes into their advertising, catalogs and retail experiences and are using their advertising cache to educate Americans about what these codes are and how to use them.   This opens the door for other organizations like the government to capitalize on this awareness and start using QR codes.

The first question a government organization should ask themselves before launching a QR code intiative is, “Is my target audience using QR codes and smartphones?”.   According to  eMarketer statistics, the demographic profile of these QR code users is more educated and higher income than the general population.   However, if minority populations are the target audience, QR codes may be a great options since minorities are much more likely than whites to own a smartphone capable of scanning and reading the codes.

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