aiou course code 5012-1solved assignment autumn 2022
Course: Social Marketing (5012) Semester: Autumn, 2022
- 1 Briefly describe the concept of social marketing. Who does social marketing?
Ans- Social marketing is a well-planned long-term process that entails marketing methods and aims at changing human behavior, bringing social change, improving people’s lives and the environment they live in. It helps improve the quality of life.
social marketing important
Social marketing helps change the behavior of the masses for the common good. When implementing this approach, companies don’t try to transform people’s perceptions for their benefit but to bring social change. Marketing techniques allow companies to contribute to the well-being of society.
Unlike commercial marketing, social marketing focuses on solving problems that emerge in the world. It aims at evoking consciousness, changing behavior, and helping the environment people live in. It’s possible to reach these goals when people are ready to change. According to statistics, 80 out of 100 adults are ready to contribute to social change.
Since there’s an increasing number of social and environmental problems, sustainability should be the priority of citizens. Negative environmental and social changes worsen the quality of life. To prevent this, some companies turn to social marketing. It questions the major world’s problems like hunger, poverty, inaccessibility of education, air, water, and noise pollution, global warming, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, etc. They raise these issues to encourage individuals to be more conscious and care about their environment, help people in need, and change their perspectives.
Now that you have a clear understanding of social marketing and its benefits for society, let’s proceed to the next section to find the difference between the two types of marketing to avoid confusion.
Social Marketing vs Commercial Marketing
There’s a fundamental difference between social and commercial marketing. Both seek to have an impact on people, yet they have completely different goals.
Social marketing is an approach that uses marketing tools to bring social change. Social marketers promote social, environmental, and economic issues. They raise hunger, poverty, sustainability, education, public health, and global warming problems. Through social marketing activities, communities strive to impact people’s behavior, evoke consciousness, and bring change. With social marketing, companies encourage people to be more aware and compassionate with the environment and help those in need.
Social marketing usually has a broad audience of people, and it’s often a problem to reach them. With the help of public funds, social marketers try to change our society for the better.
Commercial marketing is a marketing approach that makes use of marketing tools to influence customers’ emotions and thoughts and their purchasing decisions. Unlike social marketing, this method focuses on driving sales and bringing huge revenue to the company. Commercial marketers do everything possible to reach the target: they use advertising and marketing tools to sell their products.
Simply put, with social marketing, companies strive to influence people for the common good, while with commercial marketing, they try to influence customers’ purchasing decisions and drive profits.
So, now that the difference is clear, it’s time to unveil social marketing tips to effectively work for the common good.
5 Social Marketing Tips
Many strategies help implement social marketing effectively. Since the success of your campaign depends on the correctness of the selected methods, we’ll provide you with 5 amazing tips.
Conduct research on your audience. Understanding your target audience lets you know how to act. Data-driven research allows you to have a clear picture of your audience’s behavior. As a result, you’ll select the right strategies and methods to approach these people effectively and convey your idea.
Be convincing. To attain your end result, you should be confident in yourself and your beliefs. Changing society for the better requires you to influence people’s behavior and make them think about issues like hunger, poverty, environmental problems, and lack of education. Express your thoughts clearly and confidently. It will help you awaken people’s trust, respect and change ways of life.
Choose the right slogans. Like any other marketing campaign, yours should be memorable, short, and clear. Be straightforward and transparent. It’s always a great idea to use catchy short slogans. For example, let’s take the anti-drug social marketing campaign from the US Government. Its slogan is perfect for people to memorize and pay attention to. If you see the “Just Say No” slogan, you’ll at least notice, and at most, it’ll make you think.
Use visuals wisely. Communities often use images to demonstrate the problem and influence people. It’s a wise step. Yet, you shouldn’t overdo it. Add images to show the consequences of some urgent issues. For example, anti-smoking campaigns often include images of people with health problems caused by cigarettes.
Consider techniques to influence behavior. There are many approaches you can apply to influence human behavior. Search for methods that are perfect for your case. Effective initiatives require you to focus on one audience and one behavior at a time. Select groups of people who are ready to change and contribute to the change in society. Study the behaviors in different places, times, and communities. It will help you figure out how to approach different individuals. This way, you’ll reach your goals and bring social change.
Now that you know the tips, let’s explore some real examples.
Social Marketing Examples
You can encounter many social marketing campaigns that try to change our environment and people’s attitudes towards it. Unique, outstanding, and different campaigns have one main purpose: to impact. These campaigns aim at creating a change in our society, nature, economy, and behavior. We’ve gathered some excellent examples of communities that promote sustainability and social change.
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth is a community that aims to make different areas climate-friendly, fight for social justice, and protect nature. This organization cares about different issues, including plastic pollution, communities’ empowerment, climate breakdown, extinction of species, and more.
Tips From Former Smokers Campaign
The campaign focuses on people who quit smoking because of health problems. This way, CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health wants to show the consequences that can appear. This social marketing campaign entails the profiles and stories of real people who face health issues caused by smoking. These people talk about their life paths and how smoking influences their family members. In 2021, the office ran this campaign on the national network, online, and on the radio. It offered viewers the opportunity to explore different materials that prove that it’s better to quit smoking now.
So there are different types of companies and communities. Some try to earn money, and some strive to bring change. Hope our tips will help you with your social marketing strategy.
- 2 What social issues can benefit from social marketing? What are other ways to impact social issues?
Social marketing is marketing designed to create social change, not to directly benefit a brand. Using traditional marketing techniques, it raises awareness of a given problem or cause, and aims to convince an audience to change their behaviors.
So, instead of selling a product, social marketing “sells” a behavior or lifestyle that benefits society, in order to create the desired change. This benefit to the public good is always the primary focus. And instead of showing how a product is better than competing products, social marketing “competes” against undesirable thoughts, behaviors, or actions.
Social marketing is commonly used for causes like:
Health and safety, including:
- Promoting exercise and healthy eating
- Safe driving
- Railroad station safety
- Environmental causes, including:
- Endangered species awareness
Social activism, including:
Illuminating struggles that people of color, people with disabilities, etc. face, then inspiring people to fight against mechanisms that create inequality
- Fighting gender stereotypes
Who initiates these social marketing campaigns? Nonprofit organizations and charities run the majority of social marketing campaigns. Government organizations, highway safety coalitions, and emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) run them as well. But social marketing is not out of the question if you’re a commercial business. Commercial brands will sometimes run social marketing campaigns for causes they are passionate about
The Importance of Social Marketing
Why is social marketing so important? Well, think about “traditional” ads for products or services. You aren’t convinced to check out a product or service through an ad alone (in fact, you tune out the vast majority of ads you see).
But how does a well-designed ad capture your attention? It either takes a super creative angle you didn’t expect, or makes you laugh, cry, or think. Not every ad convinces you to check out the product or service it promotes, but the best ones appeal to creativity or emotion to motivate people to do so.
It’s the same way with social marketing. People don’t like being told what to do. They might not be convinced by news and typically presented PSAs about a certain social issue. Or, they might not be aware of the problem or its scope.
Some people might also find a socially beneficial behavior too difficult to perform, or might think they can’t help solve an issue on their own. Alternatively, they might have trouble breaking a long-standing habit (i.e. someone trying to quit smoking, or someone who uses disposable water bottles regularly).
But well-executed social marketing captures attention, and spreads awareness about a social issue, through creativity and emotion. Most importantly, it presents a compelling, simple way to make the world better, and makes this beneficial behavior more desirable than any “competing” behavior. Through these elements, social marketing is able to successfully “sell” a beneficial behavior.
Social marketing is especially powerful when it involves a charitable donation element, because people want to make a difference in the world. They’re very willing to give—it’s just a matter of where.
According to Nonprofits Source:
Charities received $410 billion from Americans in 2017.
84% of millennials donate to charity, at a yearly average of $481 per person.
Across all generations, total donations to nonprofits increased 4.1% in 2016 and 5% in 2017.
“Environment and animals charities; arts, culture and humanities organizations; international affairs nonprofits; and health causes [have] experienced the largest jumps in contributions.”
People are poised to make a difference with their wallets, and social marketing takes full advantage by illuminating worthy causes.
What is NOT social marketing?
Often, people get confused about what social marketing is and isn’t. So, before we keep going, let’s break down 3 types of marketing that do NOT count as social marketing.
Social Media Marketing: Many people think social marketing is the same thing as social media marketing: marketing on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Well, that’s not true. Sometimes, social media will be used to spread, and generate buzz around, social marketing campaigns. However, most marketing on social media is oriented towards promoting a product or service. Those viral tweets by Wendy’s, and that influencer’s promotion of Fashion Nova on Instagram, are definitely not social marketing!
Self-Serving Donations: If a company publicizes a donation they make to a charity or cause, that isn’t social marketing, because their aim is partially to boost their own reputation.
Marketing “green” or “charity tie-in” products: If a company is marketing its own line of eco-friendly water bottles, hybrid cars, reusable lunch containers, or other “green” products, this doesn’t count as social marketing. The marketing of products with a charitable donation tie-in (such as TOMS) doesn’t count either. In both of these examples, the primary focus is on selling a product. Meanwhile, with social marketing, the focus is solely on changing behaviors for the public good.
Here’s an example:
An ad with alarming stats on the number of disposable water bottles thrown out per year, which promotes Hydro Flask reusable bottles as environmentally friendly, and that is made by Hydro Flask to sell its own bottles, is not social marketing.
Meanwhile, a general campaign to promote reusable water bottles, made by an environmental organization, that does not promote a specific brand of reusable bottle, is social marketing.
The 4 Ps of Social Marketing
Now that we’ve thoroughly established the social marketing definition, let’s take a look at 4 essential elements for any marketing campaign—the “4 Ps”—and see how they work within the social marketing sphere. These “Ps” are product, price, place, and promotion, and they’re also known as the “marketing mix.” You’ll need to define these factors before you design your social marketing campaign, and keep them central when you design.
Product: With social marketing, the “product” is the desired social action and the benefits this action offers. Make sure that this change is presented as enticingly as possible…this may include framing the opposite behavior as negative. Also, clarity is key. Make sure your audience can quickly and easily understand your “product” and its benefits.
Price: Minimize the “price” that your audience believes they have to “pay” for the desired social action to take place.
This price isn’t all monetary. It’s also about minimizing the difficulty, time, and psychological/emotional costs that people will incur. So, when you’re designing a social marketing campaign, you’ll need to think about (and research) the obstacles that hinder your audience from performing the behavior.
Then, figure out intuitive, feasible ways to fight these obstacles. For example, if your campaign is aimed at encouraging more exercise in your community, but safe outdoor spaces are minimal and indoor class costs are a barrier, consider offering free indoor fitness classes.
Key Social Marketing Tips and Strategies
How will you creatively communicate the “4 Ps” to your audience, and strike an emotional chord? And how can you work to maximize your impact over time? Consider these tips and strategies for the best results.
Properly minimizing “price” may take several rounds of research
Before you design your campaign, to figure out what obstacles stand in the way of your audience performing your desired behavior (“price”), you’ll need to do some thorough research. Survey your audience online, on the phone, or in print. Keep in mind that it may take several surveys and conversations to accurately find the “price.” After all, as you talk to more people, you’ll have a better idea of the most common obstacles.
After you’ve identified the “price” and brainstormed ways to minimize it, consider holding focus groups, to see how people respond to the identified problem and possible solution.
Once you’re ready to design your campaign, create a slogan and compelling visuals, and think about crafting a simple but memorable symbol, to serve as powerful “triggers” that motivate action and stick in your audience’s minds.
Craft a catchy slogan
“Only you can prevent forest fires.” “This is your brain on drugs.” “We can do it!” The three iconic social marketing campaigns listed at the beginning of the article all had catchy, easy-to-remember slogans. Writing some sort of slogan is a necessity for your own social marketing campaign. As we mentioned above, you want your audience to understand the behavior you’re seeking, and how to act on the behavior, as quickly as possible. So, it makes perfect sense to condense that idea into a campaign slogan— a simple, enticing sentence that will stay in your audience’s minds. If you can include a reference to the desirable behavior’s benefits, even better.
Visuals are everything
Imagery that surprises or shocks audiences can be a powerful motivator, especially if it illustrates the problem or shows the negative impact of undesirable behaviors. Choose your campaign medium carefully to maximize the force of your visuals.
When designed to take advantage of the “place,” visuals become even more powerful. Consider FeedSA’s visual of the hungry child above. Also consider the visual below from Amnesty International, which places people face-to-face with a child soldier in their own environment. It urgently triggers an impulse to help the child and stand against this human rights abuse.
Consider creating a simple but memorable symbol
Some of the most effective social marketing campaigns involve simple yet now-iconic symbols, such as the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. Sometimes, that symbol is a character (think Smokey Bear). If you can create a simple yet memorable symbol or character that ties in with your campaign, that further increases the chances that your campaign behavior will “stick.”
- 3 Explain importance of research, and when research is used in the planning process?
Importance of Research Design
A research design basically means the plan or technique of shaping the research, or as Hakim (1987) puts it “design deals mainly with aim, purposes, motives and plans within the practical constraints of location, time, money and availability of staff”. The possibilities of success of a research study is significantly improved when the “beginning” is properly defined as a precise statement of goals and justification.
Need and Importance of Research Design
Research design carries an important influence on the reliability of the results attained. It therefore provides a solid base for the whole research. It is needed due to the fact that it allows for the smooth working of the many research operations. This makes the research as effective as possible by providing maximum information with minimum spending of effort, money and time.
For building of a car, we must have a suitable blueprint made by an expert designer. In a similar fashion, we require a suitable design or plan just before data collection and analysis of the research project. Planning of design must be carried out cautiously as even a small mistake might mess up the purpose of the entire project. The design helps the investigator to organize his ideas, which helps to recognize and fix his faults, if any.
In a good research design, all the components go together with each other in a coherent way. The theoretical and conceptual framework must with the research goals and purposes. In the same way, the data gathering method must fit with the research purposes, conceptual and theoretical framework and method of data analysis.
– Research Design Need
The importance of research design in research methodology is due to the following:
It may result in the preferred kind of study with helpful conclusion.
It cuts down on inaccuracy.
Allows you get optimum efficiency and reliability.
Reduce wastage of time.
Reduce uncertainty, confusion and practical haphazard related to any research problem.
Of great help for collection of research material and testing of hypothesis.
It is a guide for giving research the right path.
Gets rid of bias and marginal errors.
Provides an idea concerning the type of resources needed in terms of money, effort, time, and manpower.
Smooth & efficient sailing (sets boundaries & helps prevent blind search)
Maximizes reliability of results.
Provides firm foundation to the endeavor.
Averts misleading conclusions & thoughtless useless exercise.
Provides opportunity to anticipate flaws & inadequacies (anticipates problems).
Incorporates by learning from other people’s critical comments & evaluations.
Efficient research is dependent first upon the considerate statements of purpose and objectives, and associated research questions. These essential preliminary steps in turn drive important choices regarding study type, plans for analyses and competent implementation within bounded timeframes and budgets.
The research endeavour materializes by picking suitable study types according to coherent research questions, appropriate data collection, and eventually concludes by drawing inferences based on correctly planned analyses.
5 Steps in the Research Process
The research process entails a number of organized steps that a researcher must take in order to provide knowledge that will be valued by the project and concentrate on the pertinent topic. Basic and applied research can be conducted in a variety of ways. The following steps outline a simple and effective process for conducting both basic and practical research. The five (5) steps in the research process are: 
Step 1 – Locating and Defining Issues or Problems
This step focuses on uncovering the nature and boundaries of a situation or question that needs to be answered or studied. In defining the issues or problems, the researcher should take into account the purpose of the study, the relevant background information, what information is needed, and how it will be used in decision-making.
Step 2 – Designing the Research Project
This step is focused on creating a research plan or overall approach to how you are going to solve the issue or problem identified. A research plan or approach is a framework or blueprint for conducting a research project. It details the procedures necessary for obtaining the required information, and its purpose is to design a study that will test the hypotheses of interest, determine possible answers to the research questions, and provide the information needed for decision-making.
The research design involves the following steps:
Step 1: Conduct secondary data analysis
Step 2: Do qualitative research
Step 3: Determine methods of collecting quantitative data (survey, observation, and experimentation)
Step 4: Determine the definition of the information needed
Step 5: Determine measurement and scaling procedures
Step 6: Design a questionnaire
Step 7: Sampling process and sample size
Step 8: Plan of data analysis
Step 3 – Collecting Data
This step revolved around obtaining the information that you will need to solve the issue or problem identified. Data collection can involve experiments, observations, personal interviewing (in-home, mall intercept, or computer-assisted personal interviewing), from an office by telephone (telephone or computer-assisted telephone interviewing), or through the mail (traditional mail and mail panel surveys with recruited households).
Date collection techniques can include:
Interviews: Asking people questions about their known information
Observations: collecting data without asking questions.
Questionnaires: Ask questions among a group of people
Focus Groups: Interviewing and observing a group of people
Documents and Records: old fashion research
Step 4 – Interpreting Research Data
This step is focused on interpreting and examining the research data and coming up with a conclusion that solves the problem. Make sure the conclusion is easy to understand and well thought out based on the data collected.
Step A: Review your research plan
Step B: Organize your finding and the information you have collected from Step 3.
Step C: Create a rough draft of your finding, recommendations, and conclusion. The rough draft will help you get your thoughts organized.
Step D: Polish the rough draft into your final research finding. You will most likely revise the draft many times before the final product is ready for Step 5.
Step 5 – Report Research Findings
The final step is to report the research findings to those who need the data to make decisions. The findings should be presented in a comprehensible format so that they can be readily used in the decision-making process. In addition, an oral presentation should be made to management using tables, figures, and graphs to enhance clarity and impact.
Research Reporting Formats:
- Formal Paper
- Published Article
- PowerPoint Presentation
- Audio or Video
Qualitative Research in the Research Process
Information, industry experts, and secondary data may not be sufficient to define the research problem. Sometimes qualitative research must be undertaken to gain a qualitative understanding of the problem and its underlying factors. Qualitative research is unstructured, exploratory in nature, based on small samples, and may utilize popular qualitative techniques such as focus groups (group interviews), word association (asking respondents to indicate their first responses to stimulus words), and depth interviews (one-on-one interviews which probe the respondents’ thoughts in detail). Other exploratory research techniques, such as pilot surveys with small samples of respondents, may also be undertaken.
There are various steps in the research process, which makes it simple to accomplish the research successfully. The above-described steps in the research process are interdependent, hence the order must be followed. So, if we want to conduct research, we should adhere to the steps of the research process to conduct good and reliable results.
- 4 What do you understand environment in context of social marketing? Discuss its effects.
Meaning of Marketing Environment: The marketing environment refers to all internal and external factors, which directly or indirectly influence the organization’s decisions related to marketing activities. Internal factors are within the control of an organization; whereas, external factors do not fall within its control. The external factors include government, technological, economical, social, and competitive forces; whereas, organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and competencies form the part of internal factors. Marketers try to predict the changes, which might take place in future, by monitoring the marketing environment. These changes may create threats and opportunities for the business. With these changes, marketers continue to modify their strategies and plans
. 2. Features of Marketing Environment: Today’s marketing environment is characterized by numerous features, which are mentioned as follows:
2.1. Specific and General Forces: It refers to different forces that affect the marketing environment. Specific forces include those forces, which directly affect the activities of the organization. Examples of specific forces are customers and investors. General forces are those forces, which indirectly affect the organization. Examples of general forces are social, political, legal, and technological factors.
2.2 Complexity: It implies that a marketing environment include number of factors, conditions, and influences. The interaction among all these elements makes the marketing environment complex in nature.
2.3. Vibrancy: Vibrancy implies the dynamic nature of the marketing environment. A large number of forces outline the marketing environment, which does not remain stable and changes over time. Marketers may have the ability to control some of the forces; however, they fail to control all the forces. However, understanding the vibrant nature of marketing environment may give an opportunity to marketers to gain edge over competitors.
2.4. Uncertainty: It implies that market forces are unpredictable in nature. Every marketer tries to predict market forces to make strategies and update their plans. It may be difficult to predict some of the changes, which occurs frequently. For example, customer tastes for clothes change frequently. Thus, fashion industry suffers a great uncertainty. The fashion may live for few days or may be years
. 2.5. Relativity: It explains the reasons for differences in demand in different countries. The product demand of any particular industry, organization, or product may vary depending upon the country, region, or culture. For example, sarees are the traditional dress of women in India, thus, it is always in demand. However, in any other western country the demand of saree may be zero.
- Types of Marketing Environment
The sale of an organization depends on its marketing activities, which in turn depends on the marketing environment. The marketing environment consists of forces that are beyond the control of an organization but influences its marketing activities. The marketing environment is dynamic in nature. Therefore, an organization needs to keep itself updated to modify its marketing activities as per the requirement of the marketing environment. Any change in marketing environment brings threats and opportunities for the organization. An analysis of these changes is essential for the survival of the organization in the long run. A marketing environment mostly comprises of the following types of environment: 1. Micro Environment
Macro Environment The discussion of these environments are given below
- Micro Environment: Micro environment refers to the environment, which is closely linked to the organization, and directly affects organizational activities. It can be divided into supply side and demand side environment. Supply side environment includes the suppliers, marketing intermediaries, and competitors who offer raw materials or supply products. On the other hand, demand side environment includes customers who consume products.
- Demographic Environment: Demographic environment is the scientific study of human population in terms of elements, such as age, gender, education, occupation, income, and location. It also includes the increasing role of women and technology. These elements are also called as demographic variables. Before marketing a product, a marketer collects the information to find the suitable market for the product
. Demographic environment is responsible for the variation in the tastes and preferences and buying patterns of individuals. The changes in demographic Page 4 of 15 environment persuade an organization to modify marketing strategies to address the altering needs of customers. ii. Economic Environment: Economic environment affects the organization’s costs structure and customers’ purchasing power. The purchasing power of a customer depends on the current income, prices of the product, savings, and credit availability. The factors economic environment is as follows:
- Inflation: It influences the customers’ demand for different products. For example, higher petrol prices lead to a fall in demand for cars.
- Interest Rates: It determines the borrowing activities of the organization. For example, increase in interest rates for loan may lead organizations to cut their important activities.
- Unemployment: It leads to a no income state, which affects the purchasing power of an individual. d. Customer Income: It regulates the buying behavior of a customer. The change in the customer’s income leads to changed spending patterns for the products, such as food and clothing.
- Monetary and Fiscal Policy: It affects all the organizations. The monetary policy stabilizes the economy by controlling the interest rates and money supply in an economy; whereas, fiscal policy regulates the government spending in various areas by collecting the revenue from the citizens by taxing their income.
iii. Natural Environment: Natural environment consists of natural resources, which are needed as raw materials to manufacture products by the organization. The marketing activities affect these natural resources, such as depletion of ozone layer due to the use of chemicals. The corrosion of the natural environment is increasing day-by-day and is becoming a global problem. Following natural factors affect the marketing activities of an organization in a great way: a. Natural Resources: It serves as raw material for manufacturing various products. Every organization consumes natural resources for the production of its products. Organizations are realizing the problem of depletion of resources and trying best to use these resources judiciously. Thus, some organizations have indulged in de-marketing their products., Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) tries to reduce the demand for its products by promoting advertisements, such as Save Oil, Save India. b. Weather: It leads to opportunities or threats for the organizations. For example, in summer, demand for water coolers, air conditioners, cotton clothes, and water increases while in winter, the demand for woolen clothes and room heaters rises. The marketing environment is greatly influenced by the weather conditions of a country.
- Pollution: It includes air, water, and noise pollution, which lead to environmental degradation. Now-a-days, organizations tend to promote environment friendly products through its marketing activities. For example, the organizations promote the usage of jute and paper bags instead of plastic bags.
- Socio-Cultural Environment: Socio-cultural environment comprises forces, such as society’s basic values, attitudes, perception, and behavior. These forces help in determining that what type of products customers prefer, what influences the purchase attitude or decision, which brand they prefer, and at what time they buy the products. The socio-cultural environment explains the characteristics of the society in which the organization exists. The analysis of socio-cultural environment helps an organization in identifying the threats and opportunities in an organization. For example, the lifestyles of people are changing day-by-day. Now, the women are perceived as an active earning member of the family. If all the members of a family are working then the family has less time to spend for shopping. This has led to the development of shopping malls and super markets, where individuals could get everything under one roof to save their time.
- Technological Environment: Technology contributes to the economic growth of a country. It has become an indispensible part of our lives. Organizations that fail to track ongoing technological changes find it difficult to survive in today’s competitive environment. Technology acts as a rapidly changing force, which creates new opportunities for the marketers to acquire the market share. Marketers with the help of technology can create and deliver products matching the life style of customers. Thus, marketers should observe the changing trends in technology
- 5 Write a short note on “Developing a Positioning Statement for Social Marketing Products”.
Whether you’re creating a new brand or updating an existing one, the brand positioning statement will shape the foundation of your work. It is the “backbone” to your marketing and informs everything from your product development and advertising campaigns to how you answer the phone in the office.
Not sure if you have a brand positioning statement?
A brand positioning statement outlines exactly what your company does, for whom, and what makes you different. The idea behind it is to create a unique niche for your brand in the minds of consumers within your category. While you may sell to a broad market and offer a variety of benefits, ideally your customers will recognize your one core differentiating benefit that the other benefits serve to support.
A couple of examples:
Volvo is a car brand with a wide range of customers. Their cars drive like any other vehicle and, generally last a long time – but what Volvo is known for is “keeping your family safe.” Their core target audience is parents, they build products for families, and their unique point of difference is safety. Even though they do other things well, they want to own and claim the market position of safety.
But other brands make safe automobiles, right? Volvo’s consistent execution and consistent delivery in their product and communications has allowed them to own the hearts and minds of their target audience. In the 70s, Volvo’s campaign was “Boxy Not Sexy.” Today, it’s “Volvo for Life.” The creative expression has evolved over time, but the brand positioning has not – a car that keeps your family safe.
Bounty Paper Towels are strong and durable (like Brawny) and clean up a variety of messes – but what they’re known for is efficiency – they help you clean up messes faster. Anyone familiar with the “quicker picker upper?” It hasn’t changed in over 40 years.
The reason these brands are so iconic is that they have stayed true to their brand positioning statement – even when their marketing or campaigns shifted. They found a specific niche that they could own, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
The target audience is the specific group of people you are trying to reach. When choosing your target audience, it’s important to not target everyone. Even though you might sell your product or service to a wide variety of people, you want to focus on the core group most likely to need or want what you’re selling.
In the Volvo example, their core target audience is affluent families (parents specifically). Bounty used to target female “home makers.” Today, their target audience is likely parents 25 – 54 with young children. In both cases, their actual user base is larger, but they’ve chosen to focus their brand positioning on the core audience that will find the most value in their product.
The brand name is the easy part (well actually, not really) – what do you call yourself? Ideally, the brand name leverages your brand positioning. If you are developing a new product, the positioning statement should always be developed first, and guide the naming of your product. If you already have a product name with brand equity, you may not want to make a change, but you can use the brand positioning statement to help guide design and presentation decisions relating to your brand name.
The category is a little trickier. This is how consumers think about and categorize your product or service. This should be stated as your customer would define it as well as define who you are competing with. Are you a bank, community bank, commercial bank, or investment bank? The more you narrow, the more it limits you. The broader you go, the harder it is to differentiate. For example, Crest spent years defining their brand as a “toothpaste.” Accordingly, the brand had a very hard time moving into other oral care categories such as mouthwash. Even if your brand category is narrow today, consider where you might want to expand in the future.
Unique and Defendable Point of Difference
The unique and defendable point of difference is the heart of the brand positioning statement. This is the one emotional or physical benefit you want to be known for – something you do differently or is superior to all of your competitors, or that you can own (if others don’t already).
When considering your point of difference, be careful not to choose something you can’t truly own. For example, banks almost universally claim to be trustworthy. However, unless you have specific reasons that would prove to a potential customer that you are MORE trustworthy than other banks and credit unions, this point of difference is unlikely to hold up. Instead, consider a more specific benefit that you offer that others don’t, or that you do far better.:
The elements all need to work together
Your point of difference should be unique within your category, and meaningful to your target audience. Choose as broad a category and target audience as you can without spreading your brand too thin.
Look for the white space in the category
If your auto competitors are targeting “performance” to men, then consider targeting “safety” to women.
Ensure your product delivers
A brand is a promise. Ensure your brand delivers on your chosen unique point of difference.
Don’t over complicate your category name
Think about how your brand may evolve in the future. Don’t limit yourself if you don’t have to.
Define the category in their words, not yours
Resist the temptation to define the category as you would like it to be. Rather, think about how the customer defines it. While a bank may seek to be a consumer’s “Primary Financial Institution,” consumers don’t say, “I have to go to my primary financial institution.” They go to the bank.
Build the Reasons to Believe
Once you’ve done your positioning statement, the next step is building out the “reasons to believe.” For example, L. L. Bean’s unique point of difference was historically about “outdoor quality that lasts.” Their life-long guarantee was a key reason to believe and a core message. Today, as the brand evolves to a lifestyle brand, they are moving away from this core message, but their brand positioning remains the same.
Brand Position rarely changes
Campaigns change, but strategic positioning should not. Take the time to get it right and stick with it unless the category changes and your positioning is no longer relevant. Brands that change positioning are often muddy in people’s minds.
Involve others as you develop a Brand Positioning Statement
When clarifying your brand positioning statement, consider involving employees and/or stakeholders from your business. Owners often THINK that all of their employees are all on the same page and know their unique point of difference, only to find out they each view the brand very differently. These varying perspectives can be incredibly valuable in the formation of a brand positioning statement, and help you find the perfect (and most honest) positioning for success.