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The week in review

Watch Sharyn Rundle-Thieles' video which reviews what we have learned in Week 1.
This week, we reflected on common behaviour change approaches and then explored how marketing can be used to deliver social change. We know people don’t like being told what to do. And we know that communities react badly when they feel they’re being unfairly focused on. So why, then, isn’t social marketing more commonly used? Some think that marketing is expensive or that it can take too long. But this isn’t the case. We’ve built, designed, and delivered programmes on small budgets in less than a year. Social marketing’s key strength is that it’s a respectful practise. Social marketers centre people at the heart of everything they do. They also work to get a deep understanding to ensure that they know the bigger picture.
Do you remember the Foresight Obesity Map? That’s just one of the many examples highlighting how complex change really is. We know approaches that focus effort only on visible symptoms, such as obesity, domestic violence, and climate change, are too narrow. A sole focus on points that are easy to change fails to address multiple levels of influence. As a result, blame lands on some people, and this creates further divide in our communities. We all have a shared duty to combat society’s most wicked problems. Social marketing practise is based on this crucial fact. Social marketers use many tools to help them bring about behavioural change. We’ll learn more about one human-centred tool, codesign, in week two.
By using human-centred methods, such as codesign, social marketing solutions are designed with people and organisations. Strategic initiatives created in partnership offer a much better way to improve the common good, especially when compared to limited tactical approaches that focus their efforts on influencing and potentially controlling other people. In week two, we’ll also learn more about how social marketers build partnerships to deliver change to benefit our communities.

Social marketing’s key strength is that it is a respectful practice. World leading social marketers centre people at the heart of everything they do.

This week we explored how marketing can be used together with other behavioural change approaches to deliver social change.

You have:

  • been introduced to many of the common tools and techniques that are used by marketers
  • learned that marketing is evidence based, stakeholder oriented and that marketers operate with a deep understanding of the setting they work within

Marketers start by getting a deep understanding and they ensure they know the bigger picture. From there they make sure that every decision taken, matches the needs and wants of the people they are trying to change.

Social marketers acknowledge that people at the heart of the problem reflect the wider system they live in. Without understanding the bigger picture, actions taken can do more harm than good.

Wherever budgets and mindsets allow, social marketers will work on more than one influence, ensuring that a broad range of strategies are applied at the same time, to mitigate the problem.

We know that a sole focus, on points that are easy to change, fails to address multiple levels of influence. By targeting only the people at the heart of the problem blame can be centered on these people making them feel bad. A focus on one group creates further divide in our community and this should be avoided at all costs.

We have to acknowledge our shared responsibility and there are many tools and techniques that can be used to do this.

It’s been great working with you this week and I look forward to hearing more from you next week.

Your task

Take a moment to think about what was most surprising to you this week?

Please share your thoughts using the comments link.

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Social Change: How Can Marketing Help?

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