Skip main navigation

Applying social marketing principles to the social change process

Watch this video from Sharyn Rundle-Thiele to see how the 3 step C-B-E process was applied to reduce dog attacks on koalas

A local council wanted to reduce dog and koala interactions. Finding a solution needed dog owners, dog trainers, wildlife experts, and other experts, to identify strategies that could be implemented to help prevent dogs from attacking koalas.

I hope you enjoyed the video. It was a powerful program with fantastic results.

Working from the bottom up

When tasked with a problem marketers need to gain a deep understanding to learn how to effect change.

As we saw in the video, we started by learning from people at the heart of the problem. In this case we worked with dog owners and other experts. Co-design was applied to work with dog owners, challenging them to identify solutions that could be introduced to reduce dog and koala interactions.


Our surveys of dog owners and project stakeholders showed ways the program could improve and these findings have been used to make further improvements to the Leave It program. Program evaluation is used to improve the program, ensuring it grows stronger year on year.

The pilot project results were positive and led to council continuing the partnership. In 2018/2019 we have embarked on the city wide roll out of a train the trainer program. Our aim is for all dog trainers working in the local council area to have the skills to teach koala aversion techniques to dog owners. You can take a look at our project website, Welcome to Leave IT, to learn more about how the program has evolved.

The C-B-E process is a continual process and what we learned from the pilot program was taken forward into the 2018/2019 citywide roll out.

Your task

Think about your problem. What research would you need to dive deeply into to understand more about how you could implement a strategy to overcome the problem? Use the comments link below to explore your ideas with other learners.

This article is from the free online

Social Change: How Can Marketing Help?

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now