Monday, May 14, 2012

Darcy SawatzkiArguably, the part of the social marketing process that gets the least amount of love is the implementation phase. Implementing a campaign or program can be frustrating, and leaders may be tempted to not give it the attention and time it truly deserves.  


This “middle child” of social marketing is evidenced by the seemingly disproportionate number of journal articles and conference presentations that focus on formative research, program planning, and evaluation, while giving short shrift to implementation. This blog post is meant as a love letter to implementation and to encourage all of us to give it some much overdue attention. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Darcy SawatzkiMy years in the social marketing and health communications world have led to an important observation about our industry: people like to make stuff more than make stuff happen

I call it the Creation Fixation. Fresh off the energy and enthusiasm of the formative research phase, people go back to their offices and have this burning desire to create something…anything, really—a campaign, brochure, message, press release, television ad, etc. Whether or not it works and whether or not anyone in the real world uses it—they will always have the thing they created: something tangible to point to as evidence of their work.

I shouldn’t be too hard on this fixation. Perhaps the desire to make something is critically aligned with the social marketer’s mission to provide or improve a product that supports a healthier lifestyle. Maybe the perfect physical activity campaign, poster, or program has yet to be created—and that’s why so many folks are still doing the formative work to develop it. While I think there is some credibility to this point, I don’t think it tells the whole story.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rowena MerrittOne foggy October night, a U.S. Naval Ship was sailing off the coast of Newfoundland.  Seeing a light in the distance, the Captain of the ship called over the radio and said, “Please divert your course .5 degrees south to avoid a collision.”  A voice came over the radio in reply, “We recommend you divert your course 15 degrees north to avoid a collision.”  The Captain said again, “This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.”    In defiance, the voice on the other line said, “No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.”  Frustrated and angry, the Navy Captain said once again, “THIS IS A UNITED STATES AIRCRAFT CARRIER - WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY.   DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!”  This time, he heard in reply, “We are a light house.  It’s your call.” 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

DarcyThe Gap brand created an uproar last year when it introduced a dramatically altered new logo. Consumers reacted against the loss of the company’s well-known visual marker of its brand, and Gap ultimately reverted to its classic logo.

While a logo is only one aspect of a brand, this highly-visible example of rebranding-gone-wrong provides an important lesson for social marketers who are tasked with updating campaigns, messages, and materials that have a history. Who is going to resent and lash out against the changes, and which previously quiet “fans” will emerge to vocalize their discontent?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Amelia BurkeAs health communicators, we often struggle to demonstrate the success of our campaigns and show their impact on health behavior. We are relegated to the basic 'click', 'tweet', and 'like' data that is readily available to us to show results - and yet that is a small measure of success and does not demonstrate health behavior change.

So how do we beyond this and start measuring behavior change?

Well, I am going to make a statement here – and it may seem like a strong one – that measuring behavior change with social media is possible.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rowena Merritt In 2007, the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) in London, England set up a three-year pilot program called the Learning Demonstration Sites Scheme.  Ten sites across the country were chosen to receive support from The NSMC for the implementation of social marketing programs.  No two projects were the same; projects addressed a ranged of public health issues from underage kerbside drinking, fruit and vegetable consumption, and breastfeeding and targeted different audiences.

Friday, June 3, 2011

François LagardeHow do you reach hard-to-reach segments of the population? This is the question at the heart of a provincewide social marketing initiative to support early childhood development in Quebec, Canada. The Lucie and Andre Chagnon Foundation, which funds the initiative, challenged a social marketing team to find ways to encourage and support parents, so they provide the right stimulation for children under the age of 6 years.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Amelia BurkeAs marketers, we are at a point now where it is clear - social media is not a fad. It is being used by a variety of types of campaigns that span the public and private sectors. To put it simply - it is ubiquitous. In fact, Forrester states that 3 out of 4 Americans use social technology.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Amelia BurkeHello. My name is Amelia. And I am a digital communicator.

I've taken the long way around to get to where I am today. I first thought I would work in public health and development, but ironically that just led me to become interested in the communications field. Along the way, I also took a couple of detours to explore becoming first a chef, and then a painter… but I finally circled back to communications - this time with a strong focus on digital media - and that is where I have been for almost 10 years now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It is hard to believe Social Marketing Quarterly has been publishing our collective work for almost 17 years. Through SMQ, we have shared valuable research, discussed theories, learned from each other’s successes (and at times, failures), and sparked rich debate with a variety of commentary from experts around the globe. It has been our goal to provide an outlet for our community to connect with one another, and looking into 2011 we are making some enhancements to continue to build upon this goal.