social media

Topics: Social marketing, Marketing, Sociology Pages: 17 (3192 words) Published: April 8, 2014
ASSESSING THE
EFFECTIVENESS OF
SOCIAL MARKETING
Jude Varcoe

In the last ten years there has been considerable spend on Social Marketing. There is no systematic way of proving the effectiveness of Social Marketing. This paper considers how the effectiveness of Social Marketing should be assessed, the extent to which effectiveness is currently determined and suggests a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of Social Marketing.

This paper suggests that best practice in assessing the effectiveness of Social Marketing requires systematic assessment at five levels of change (Awareness, Engagement, Behaviour, Social Norm and Wellbeing). To comprehensively assess the effectiveness of Social Marketing campaigns their contribution at all five levels of effectiveness need to be considered.

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Jude Varcoe

SOCIAL MARKETING
There are a range of definitions of Social Marketing, the following captures the essence of most of the definitions: ‘Social Marketing is the use of commercial marketing concepts, tools and programs designed to influence individuals' behaviour to improve their well being and that of society’ (Social Marketing Institute).

In the last ten years there has been, and continues to be, a considerable spend on Social Marketing. The New Zealand government asks its citizens to: Eat moderately
Stub out cigarettes
Apply sunscreen
Have mammograms
Teach children to read
Immunise children
Conserve water
Understand mental health issues
Use public transport
Fasten ladders

Be active
Slow down cars
Have safe sex
Regulate alcohol intake
Use recycling bins
Save for retirement
Prepare homes for earthquakes
Install smoke alarms
Conserve electricity

Passionately Social Marketers design creative approaches to guide their Social Marketing. Typically Social Marketers:
Establish a brand to govern their campaigns;
Using multi-mode approaches (programmes, education, communication); Target young people and hard to reach audiences;
Use creative and innovative approaches.
The expectations of Social Marketing are high.
‘The end goal of any social marketing campaign is to contribute to achieving a socially just society’ (Donovan 2003).
Kotler et al (2002) title their text ‘Social Marketing: Improving the Quality of Life’.
On the basis of these definitions researchers are left with a significant challenge: establishing the effectiveness of Social Marketing in improving quality of life.
There is no systematic way of proving the effectiveness of Social Marketing. This paper considers how the effectiveness of Social Marketing should be

© Copyright by ESOMAR® -The World Association of Research Professionals

Assessing the effectiveness of social marketing
assessed, the extent to which effectiveness is currently determined and suggests a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of Social Marketing.

DEFINITION
In this paper ‘Social Marketing campaign’ is used to describe Social Marketing for the purpose of shifting a specific behaviour (or set of behaviours), with a view to achieving an improved quality of life. While individual programmes are considered to be enablers and contributors (i.e. Get Sorted and Quit) they are not considered to be stand-alone Social Marketing campaigns.

FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING THE
EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL MARKETING
Social Marketing texts explain the myriad of techniques for research to support Social Marketing, but shy away from definitive views on how to assess effectiveness (outcome measurement) of Social Marketing. Noting the difficulty of assessing the effectiveness of Social Marketing, Donovan (2003) suggests that ‘campaigns should be evaluated in terms of immediate measures such as beliefs and attitudes, self report behaviour change and sales data’. Given that Social Marketing sets out to achieve an improvement of quality of life, are intermediate measures of effectiveness...

References: Donovan, R. and Henely, N. (2003). Social Marketing: Principles and Practice. (2003),
IP Communications
Kotler, P., Roberto, N. and Lee, N. (2002). Social Marketing: Improving the Quality of
Life. Second Edition, Sage Publications
Institute of Social Marketing (www.social-marketing.org).
THE AUTHOR
Jude Varcoe is Managing Director, TNS Wellington, New Zealand.
© Copyright by ESOMAR® -The World Association of Research Professionals
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