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CHAPTER 4: MARKETING AND OUTREACH

      This initiative has created a vision for a new way of thinking about and addressing poverty and building societal capacity which will eventually lead to launching a social marketing campaign to promote the idea. Social marketing is “the use of commercial marketing techniques to promote the adoption of a behavior that will improve the health or well-being of the target audience or of society as a whole” (Weinreich, N.K, (1999). Hands-On Social Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications). On the surface, that definition is consistent with the idea of marketing a new way of thinking about and addressing poverty. After all, changing attitudes and behavior about poverty will improve the health and well-being of society.

However, over the last 25 years, studies in social marketing have revealed that social marketing is not usually effective for “complex problems with many or confounding factors, problems not under individual control, and addictive behaviors” (Weinreich, 1999). This knowledge presents a challenge when contemplating a social marketing campaign to “promote” new ways of thinking about and addressing a complex, confounding, and systemic issue such as poverty. Also, while the vision and theoretical construct developed over the last year are fairly-well developed, the “message” is not sufficiently developed, especially in light of the knowledge that social marketing is not usually effective for complex issues.

That said, the social marketing model can and should be drawn upon to create national interest and urgency about addressing poverty. The model is as close to what is needed to garner national attention than anything else and has the fundamental components that can certainly guide a well-reasoned approach to a complex issue. There is much work to be done within each of the components before a campaign for a new approach to poverty can be launched. This document frames the components of social marketing, and describes how it can be used for this initiative, and what work will need to be done to prepare for such an endeavor. It should be noted, however, that because the issue and goals of this initiative are so complex, professionals in social marketing would need to be involved.

Social Marketing Components

Drawing upon traditional marketing fundamentals, social marketing includes similar components, though often defined differently. The components of social marketing are:

bulletProduct: The behavior you want the target audience to adapt.
bulletPrice: The price the target audience will need to pay to adapt the new behavior, such as time, energy, discomfort, money, sleep, embarrassment, etc.
bulletPlace: The place where people make decisions related to the behavior you are seeking to change. These are the places where it is most effective to place your message.
bulletPromotion: The ways in which you get your message about the behavior change out to the target audience.
bulletPublics: Internal and external groups involved in the program. These include the target audience, but also other secondary audiences whose members influence the decisions of the target audience.
bulletPartnership: Strategic relationships with other organizations or groups that also influence the behavior of the targeted audience. These relationships are particularly important in social marketing because health and social issues are so complex, that one organization cannot be successful in changing behavior alone.
bulletPolicy: The policy that is needed to support and sustain the desired behavior change. This component is critical in social marketing because motivating individual behavior changes is easier that sustaining collective behavior of the target audience and it is policy that can create the conditions for sustainability (e.g. public area smoking laws make it easier to refrain from smoking).
bulletPurse Strings: Ways to fund the campaign. Unlike traditional marketing, organizations that develop social marketing campaigns do not have start-up or dedicated capital for marketing.

Application of Social Marketing Components to This Effort

      The product is the behavior you want the target audience to adapt. For the purposes of this initiative, there are multiple and interdependent behaviors, as well as multiple target audiences. In fact, one of the key components of the “21st Century message” is that every sector in society has a role in new ways of thinking about and addressing poverty. Therefore, a key piece of work that must be done before the concept can be marketed is to identify and clearly define the specific behaviors desired for each of the targeted audiences.

      The grid below provides a framework for beginning this body of work. 

Targeted Audience

Desired Behaviors

Individuals living impoverished lives. Specific, new definition and breakdowns are needed (e.g. children, teenagers, adults, elderly, people with disabilities, etc.

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The business community. Breakdowns of types of business (e.g. retailers, service organizations, specific product of business) and functions (e.g. hiring practices, compensation practices, benefits, training) is needed

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The education sector. Breakdowns of levels of education (e.g. pre-school, K-12, community college, universities, etc.) and specific audiences within them are needed (e.g. principles, teachers, administrators, policy makers).

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The financial services sector. Breakdowns of types of financial services (e.g. banks, financial planning/investing, credit organizations) and specific audiences within them are needed.

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The philanthropic sector. Breakdowns of types of foundations and other philanthropic organizations and key people within them are needed.

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The Federal government sector. Breakdowns of agencies/mandates and key leaders are needed.

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The human services sector. Breakdowns of types organizations are needed (e.g. public, private, faith-based, individual, or by service mix).

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

The health system sector. Breakdowns as above are needed.

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

Other sectors and breakdowns, as appropriate.

Descriptions of specific, observable behaviors for each of the targeted audience breakdowns are needed.

      Once the targeted audiences and specific behaviors have been identified and described, another key body of work that must be done in the area of product is to identify and describe how each target audience would benefit if they adapted the new behavior.

Price

Price means the price the target audience will need to pay to adapt the new behavior, such as time, energy, discomfort, money, sleep, embarrassment, etc. Assuming that the targeted audiences and specific behaviors are established as described above, the price for each audience will need to be identified. A similar, populated grid as above could be useful in identifying the price that each audience/behavior pair would need to “pay.” 

Place

The place component of social marketing is where people make decisions related to the behavior you are seeking to change. These are the places where it is most effective to place the message you are promoting. Again building on the foundational work described above, places for each audience relative to each behavior would need to be identified.

Promotion

Promotion is the ways in which you get the message out about the desired behavior change to the target audience. As can be seen, all elements of the social marketing mix build upon the foundational work of identifying audiences and behaviors. Mechanisms, venues, and products for reaching the target audience, in places they make decisions about the behavior the message intends to change need to be identified, based on the above work.

Publics

Publics are the internal and external groups involved in the collective of the marketing program. These include the target audience, but also other secondary audiences whose members influence the decisions of the target audience. Groups that influence the targeted audiences must be identified as secondary audiences.

Partnership

The partnership component of social marketing includes strategic relationships with other organizations or groups that also influence the behavior of the targeted audience. These relationships are particularly important in social marketing because health and social issues are so complex, that one organization cannot be successful in changing behavior alone. Organizations that also touch the targeted audiences in some way need to be identified, as well as what each organization can provide to the effort.

Policy

The policy component of social marketing involves the policy that is needed to support and sustain the desired behavior change. This component is critical in social marketing because motivating individual behavior changes is easier that sustaining collective behavior of the target audience and it is policy that can create the conditions for sustainability (e.g. public area smoking laws make it easier to refrain from smoking).  For the purposes of the 21st Century initiative, existing policies that affect the behavior of any or all of the targeted audiences relative to the way they think about and address poverty need to be identified and analyzed to determine if they enhance or hinder the targeted audience’s ability to adopt the desired behavior.

Purse Strings

The purse strings component of social marketing involves ways to fund the campaign. Unlike traditional marketing, organizations that develop social marketing campaigns do not have start-up or dedicated capital for marketing. For the purposes of the 21st Century initiative, organizations that have resources that can be used to support the campaign — financial, human, or technological — need to be identified and leveraged. This component closely aligns with the partnership component because if many organizations can see the benefits that would result if the desired change is made, their resources can be pooled to create synergy and win-win outcomes for all involved. For example, there are many organizations dedicated to addressing poverty who may have different philosophical views about the issue, but that agree that no one should have to suffer in a country this rich. They might find that the common ground allows them to pool resources for a more effective overall result than their individual efforts can produce.

Next Steps

      The work described in this strategy is expansive and long-term. In the short term, it requires a change champion who will be able to sustain a level of energy and resources toward this work long enough to gain momentum with key partners who can provide still more energy and resources. While the long-term goal to begin thinking about poverty and how we address it as a matter that is central to national prosperity and, ultimately, to national security can be overwhelming, the social marketing work can be done one task at a time. The social marketing mix provides a way to break an overwhelming task down to manageable chunks that can be solicited through a contracting process. Regardless of whether any potential champion feels they can sustain the effort over the long haul, the smaller tasks described in this document can be initiated as a set of valuable steps in reaching the overall vision.  

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Appendix A (21st Century Model to Address Poverty)
Appendix B (Poverty Programs Summary and Matrix)
Appendix C  (Issue Papers)
Appendix C1 (
Initiative context presentation: Characteristics of Successful Change)
Appendix D  (Income and Work Support Policies and Strategies)
Appendix D1 (Working Session Descriptions)
Appendix D2 (Working Session Descriptions, continued)
Appendix E  (Working Session Descriptions, continued)
Appendix E1  
Appendix E2 (Current state presentation: Highlights from the research)
Appendix F (Participant List)
Appendix G (Project Staff List)


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