An image with the text ‘Social Marketing Process’ in the centre of a wheel which is split into three sections - Co-create, Build, Engage, - arrows indicate these processes follow on from each other and that the process is continual
The three-step social marketing process

The social marketing process

Co-creating programs that are valued by the people at the heart of the problem, and using insights gained to build engaging programs that people want, is how we deliver change.

Social marketing can be applied in three steps - Co-create, Build, Engage - (C-B-E).

In this three step process social marketing programs are co-created with all people involved. Solutions that can be easily implemented are built in partnership with organisations. Once programs are ready for implementation social marketers engage with the community to deliver the co-created programs that have been built.

Let’s look at each step in turn to start to understand the C-B-E process.

  1. Co-creation ensures that programs are designed by (and not for) people, which helps to deliver programs that empower people to make changes benefiting themselves and the society.
  2. Programs are built in consultation with stakeholders. Partnerships are formed to make sure that people and funds are available to support program delivery. Partnerships are built to extend the programs reach to help engage more people.
  3. Engagement is the final stage of the 3 step social marketing process. During the engagement stage social marketers focus their effort on:

    • Ensuring people are aware that the program is available.
    • Communicating the benefits that people and stakeholders will receive.

In practice C-B-E is a continual process that is applied over and over again. The program is evaluated to assess the level of engagement and importantly to understand if the program was successful. Evaluating the social marketing process is important

Social marketing initiatives rely on all people involved including:

  • stakeholders who take responsibility for funding, developing and delivering programs that aim to benefit community
  • the people who are at the heart of the problem
  • other people and organisations who influence people and stakeholders at the heart of the problem
  • a range of experts

Social marketing recognises that all people are stakeholders and that all stakeholders have a shared responsibility to achieve change.

Your task

Think about the issue you care about. Using the comments link below, briefly explain how you would apply the three step social marketing process. Read what other learners are saying and give them some feedback.

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This article is from the free online course:

Social Change: How Can Marketing Help?

Griffith University