Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Griffith University's online course, Social Change: How Can Marketing Help?. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds My name is Sharyn Rundle-Thiele. I lead a team of 40 people who work full time to deliver changes to benefit the communities we serve. We are so happy to share our practise with you. Is there an issue you care about? Are you looking for ways to make a change? Are you frustrated that you are having trouble making change happen? This course is designed to introduce the tools and techniques we use to deliver change. Our aim is to get you to start thinking like a social marketer. We want more people to build programmes with and not for people. As social marketers, we respect all of the people we serve, including decision makers and members of the community.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds Social marketers focus their effort on gaining a deep understanding of the issue to build programmes that benefit all parties involved. I believe you learn best by doing. I encourage you to collaborate with me and my staff in the centre and other learners enrolled in this course. Asking and answering questions, finding examples, getting feedback, and discussing ideas with others is the best way for you to learn. We have been working in social marketing for over a decade, and we have connections all around the world. Our aim is to help more people to learn how to apply marketing tools and techniques to deliver behavioural change. Please join us to discuss your ideas and share your thoughts.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 seconds In doing so, I can help you to understand more about the way I was trained to think. Let’s start learning how to deliver change.

Think more like a marketer

Marketing centres people at the heart of strategic thinking. Social marketing uses marketing tools and techniques to deliver changes to benefit the communities we serve.

Social marketing has been used for more than 40 years around the world to:

  • Reduce the spread of infectious disease
  • Lower birth rates
  • Get people to exercise more and eat more nutritious food
  • Change business and service provision practice
  • Reduce littering, food waste, smoking and illegal dumping
  • And address many, many more issues

Social marketing can be thought of as a 3 step process that involves eight key principles. By learning the principles, the processes and other tools and techniques used in marketing you can build engaging programs to effect change. In this course we will focus, in detail, on just a few of the common social marketing tools.

Meet Sharyn, your lead educator in this course

Hi, my name is Sharyn and I am the Director of Social Marketing @ Griffith and Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Social Marketing. I draw on my commercial marketing background to facilitate change in communities.

I am currently working on projects delivering changes to the environment, people’s health and for the greater social good. Some of my current projects include

  • changing adolescent attitudes towards drinking alcohol
  • increasing healthy eating and physical activity to combat obesity
  • reducing dog and koala interactions
  • practice change in the sugar cane farming and allied services industries.

View Sharyn’s FutureLearn profile

View Sharyn’s Griffith University profile

What else should I know?

People’s thoughts, feelings and personal experiences matter. You can’t know what is best for someone else. Getting a deep understanding of what people need, what they do and don’t like, and reimagining the current systems, are some of the many things that social marketers do to deliver changes needed to benefit our community.

To get change we have to challenge the status quo. If everything was already working perfectly we wouldn’t have problems and, therefore, would not have a need for social marketing.

Rather than asking what is working well we need to focus on what is preventing the change we need to see. By reflecting on what is not working we can learn more about the improvements that are needed. We need to be critical and ask if our actions are supporting the problem.

It’s difficult, it’s challenging, and it’s incredibly rewarding.

Your task

Do you have a particular social, health or environmental issue that you believe needs to be changed? Are you frustrated that you are having problems making change happen? Use the comments link below to share your thoughts and frustrations with us all.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Social Change: How Can Marketing Help?

Griffith University