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marketing and tools to develop projects

Marketing and Technological Tools for Social Innovators

Unlike traditional marketing for profit-driven companies, marketing for impact-driven, social projects requires an emotional value design with a different thinking approach coupled with different metrics compared to that of traditional marketing. So, what exactly is social marketing for social innovators?

The difference between social marketing and traditional marketing is that instead of influencing and tempting people to purchase a particular product or opt in to a particular service, social marketing is all about attempting to influence the voluntary behaviour of a particular segment of people to improve their lives or the society that which they’re a part of. To put things simply, instead of selling a product/service, what is being “sold” by social marketing is a behaviour or a lifestyle that benefits society. Below is a great example of social marketing done right.

How the Spanish Red Cross utilised and integrated Social Marketing

The Spanish Red Cross is a voluntary and humanitarian organisation that operates with the protection of the Spanish government. It’s part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, which main purpose is to provide immediate assistance according to each situation in order to alleviate human suffering. In recent years, the Spanish Red Cross has evolved to provide solutions to the needs and wants of the vulnerable. Some of the main projects that they are doing now are developing foster care, telecare, ATENPRO which is a 24-hour service that provides care and protection for women victims of domestic violence and many other social projects and campaigns. So, what is it that the Spanish Red Cross did that signals “social marketing”?

Firstly, the Work Integration Plan, is a program that provided customized paths for work integration for groups considered most vulnerable and involves public entities, universities, NGOs and businesses. This program helped more than 350 thousand people over the span of ten years through the combination of a series of actions, programs and integrated projects. Between 2007 and 2015, the economic crisis increased unemployment rates in Spain from 8.57% to 21.18% as of 2015. The main objective of the Spanish Red Cross then was to minimize the impact of the crisis and to help the vulnerable and unemployed people.

Secondly, the “It really is not funny” campaign, is a campaign designed to communicate the importance of diversity in the workplace and equality of treatment and opportunity to society as a whole, but especially targeting companies. Using humour as a means of sending an impactful and supporting message, this campaign belongs in the same category as the Work Integration Plan. The marketing tools that the Spanish Red Cross used to spread their content and message are discussed below.

Social Media

o A project that they carried out to identify and eliminate barriers that many people find when entering the labour market is the “Rare Faces for Equality” project. This initiative asks of anyone to post a selfie of an outraged or surprised face with the hashtag #EstaCaraSeMeQueda and the phrase/question they got in an interview.

o Examples of phrases are “when they asked me how many children I have”, “when they asked me for 3 languages to be a chef”, “when they asked me if I intend to be pregnant” and “when they tell me they can’t hire me with that scarf here (referring to a woman’s hijab)”

Events and Workshops

Since 2011, came the launch of “dialogue tables” where participants discuss reflections and other contributions that seek to promote the employment and work integration of disadvantaged people and to assess how well diversity is managed. In 2015, there were already 23 roundtables done with 130 companies participating in them.

Online series

Interviews with prescribers and publishers

Other technological tools for social innovators

  • Tools to create online shops

o Allows entrepreneurs the chance to provide and promote their goods or services online. This helps to considerably reduce the costs of having a physical store that caters to customers.

o Examples of such tools are Facebook and Elementor   - Educational resources online (usually free of charge)

o The pioneer for such resources is Khan Academy which paved the way for other resources like Coursera, Udacity and OpenUpEd that offer courses from universities all around the world.

o Resources that specialises in social change are Techchange and Acumen+ - MIST Growth

o This approach helps in identifying important metrics across various fields such as social, user and financial development. Not only that, it helps to capture the development of the product and the team.

o This not only provides a more data-led approach to guide your team and product’s development, it also provides confidence that you are moving towards long term impact.

*Before the report is concluded, we would like to disclose that there are countless tools for individuals, companies and governments alike to peruse and implement for social benefits. Listing all of them down would turn this report into a journal, and this is already a project undertaken by The Young Foundation. Therefore, the link to the comprehensive list and explanation of 260 tools as well as other useful information compiled by The Young Foundation is listed in the link below.. The list of tools is on pages 21-39 for those interested to know more. However, this whole journal was compiled by an industry expert so reading through the whole journal is recommended for aspiring social innovators and ongoing social innovators alike.

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This article is from the free online course:

Social Innovation: Global Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Living in Minca