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We know the key to increasing rates of behavioural change. Embed more of social marketing’s fundamentals in your program planning, design and delivery, and you will increase change.

Social marketing's fundamentals

Since 2012 we have known that behavioural change is more likely when more of social marketing’s principles (also referred to as benchmarks) are used. This is a finding that has since been replicated by an independent scientific research team based in Canada.

Armed with this knowledge the Social Marketing @ Griffith team embarked on an ambitious program to document the extent of use of social marketing’s core components.

In a series of systematic reviews, we have scored social marketing programs. Scores are available for change programs published in peer-reviewed literature in areas including minimising alcohol harm, increasing physical activity and healthy eating, reducing littering and smoking.

Our social marketing scorecards (see example Scorecard 1) identify the social marketing principles that have been clearly reported for each study we have located in our reviews.

Scorecard 1: Social marketing studies (2000-2014) minimizing alcohol harm

Scorecard of Andreasen's benchmark criteria

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Social marketing scorecards identify the social marketing principles that have been clearly reported for each study.

Advantages of social marketing scorecards

Social marketing scorecards deliver a resource that you can use to optimise behavioural change. By understanding the social marketing principles, and where and how they have been applied, you can identify deficits in your program planning and implementation. Armed with this understanding, you can develop a simple list of actions that your team can undertake to extend your program's success.

Let's take a look at the initial six social marketing principles

A full version including all scorecards can be downloaded further down this page. Scroll on to download the full version.

  1. A behavioural objective reminds us the end goal is to change behaviour, not just educate or inform.
  2. Audience segmentation requires clear thoughts about who our programs are aimed at, acknowledging that different groups exist.  Segmentation focuses on identifying the unique needs of different groups in program planning, design and delivery.
  3. Formative research helps ensure an understanding of the consumer and requires that behavioural change program planning and design must be customer orientated.
  1. Exchange requires consideration of what has to be given up by the target audience for them to undertake the desired behaviour.  In its most direct form exchange is monetary – capturing the cost to transact for the customer. In the case of free programs, an exchange is indirect and focuses attention on understanding the time and effort it takes for a user to attend the program for example.
  2. Adoption of a marketing mix pushes social marketers to present holistic solutions (programs, services or products supporting the behavioural ask). A full marketing mix focuses attention on the delivery of attractive and valuable offerings to first induce trial and later support repeated behaviour.
  3. Finally, consideration of competition requires understanding what alternatives are available to ensure that your program offering is stronger than competing alternatives.

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By understanding the social marketing principles, and where and how they have been applied, you can identify deficits in your own program planning and implementation.