How to apply social marketing in business?
The marketing departments of all businesses are in the continuous development of effective marketing strategies. Usually, we focus on SEO strategies, SEM, email marketing or any other action derived from them. But there is also social marketing, a possible action that we link to non-profit companies and exceptionally we can see them applied in companies that are not.
Can you imagine that any business would find the formula to integrate social marketing into its strategy? What impact would such integration have? We believe that it would be good to try to apply it to obtain non-monetary benefits and to grow in other corporate aspects.
What is Social Marketing?
Social marketing is a market technique with the aim of promoting voluntary acceptance behavior towards some brand or social campaign. Look for the user to take some action to persuade their own welfare or contribute something good for society. The definition of social marketing is composed of those mentioned above, karma is something that we have to cultivate.
Philip Kotler in his concept of the market spoke of the social product. An important concept in the reconciliation of business with the demands of society. Any social product must be well understood by the target audience, which makes communication and marketing key in its definition.
Carrying out social marketing actions are linked to a specific product where demand will always be the main axis. According to Philip Kotler, there are different types of demand:
The demand at sight
It is evident that there are needs in the market and that is something latent in society. For example, an economic crisis, an epidemic or any other event that requires the attention of all citizens. At this time, companies can decide to get involved by contributing value shares to society and achieve something positive.
Society is immersed in many problems and this type of demand is linked to personal well-being. For example, drug addiction or gambling addiction. How can a company intervene to help overcome and at the same time obtain some corporate benefit?
The main objective is to get the public to identify with the marketing campaign. Raise awareness and get them to participate in something. For example, a campaign for the investigation of some disease, how the TV3 Marató that they do every year in Catalonia.
There are other types of demand, but we want to focus on these three previously stated. Are those that a company or business can come to link to a corporate brand in an effective and correspondent manner. Social marketing for companies is possible with a good vision of the market and formulating social marketing strategies adapted to the real needs of society.
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Integrating a social marketing strategy into any business not linked in the sector seems to be somewhat complicated. To achieve this, in addition to conducting thorough market research, you must have a great talent for creativity, inspiration, and communication. Sometimes, an altruistic action if previous analysis can get to work. Wanting to help society is always positive, sometimes we need preparation, just make a decision. But usually, everything is prepared and well studied. The resources of a company are limited and for this reason, everything must be well supported.
Below, we show you possible strategies and actions that can draw attention to users. The important thing is to bring social value to any action and to choose the medium correctly.
In a social marketing strategy, it is key that the user feels good about participating. If the campaign manages to raise awareness, you get the attention and the decision to take some action is almost taken. For there to be good participation, it must be made very clear what their return is. For example, if I invest money in a cause, we need to know where that investment is going. The user’s distrust must be gained in the security of his act.
Get a prize
It is much easier to give something in return. Consumers will be more attracted to participate if they are rewarded. For this reason, we can include some small corporate detail. If we do not have this resource, we can look for external collaborations, why not major brands. Multinationals or large corporations are more receptive in this type of agreements. It’s a win to win, everyone wins. They with their reputation and image, we with a more powerful campaign and the user with the gift.
Show the reasons
Any of the above points can be linked. How we have said trust is key for users to participate. Today, we have many resources to demonstrate the value of our actions. The video should be considered to show what is behind a campaign. The attention of the participant will multiply seeing with its own eyes the why and the main objective.
Effectiveness increases when the reason is near where we live. The conscience and the reality of the people are prone to the locality of the facts. The company is grouped by country or culture, so if it focuses on a site close to our business, the participants will be higher.
Examples of Social Marketing
When a company thinks of integrating a social marketing strategy, it must look for allies. Another option is to conduct an individual corporate social marketing campaign and take leadership in any social need. Next, we will show you an example of associative social marketing and another example of corporate social marketing.
Example of associative social marketing
A clear example of social marketing is the one that carries out the campaign of the great recap. This consists of collecting food for the neediest in Catalonia. In the logistics of this annual event is a bit complex. It requires the voluntary participation of many citizens throughout the territory, as well as companies that provide their services.
How does “the great recap” work?
In this campaign, collection points are established in large and medium-sized supermarkets. The objective is that the consumers of these establishments buy food and deliver it to the volunteers who are located at the exit. When they fill giant boxes of provisions, a truck loaned by a company takes it to a large warehouse, also loaned by someone. At this point, the food is selected and packaged, all ready to be delivered to the NGOs registered in “the grand recapte”. How we can verify there is a chain of volunteers that make this great feat possible. In their last year, they were able to collect 4,300 tons of food, really a great social campaign.
Example of corporate social marketing
The example that I am going to tell you was a personal experience, where we were able to create a company thanks to the application of social marketing. The work portal ” Trobaré Feina ” is a portal that was born in social networks, specifically through a Facebook group. At the time the group was created, nobody thought that the development of a business could happen. It all came about because of a good altruistic idea to help the unemployed find job offers using the ear-to-mouth method. It consisted of sharing offers taken out of shop windows or restaurants, vacancies that if you did not see them at street level, we would never have found them.
In this case, the users themselves felt involved in the project, helping the unemployed was a great collaborative gesture. This company applied a good social marketing strategy, got users to identify with the brand and remember that a simple poster with a vacant position could lead to a less unemployed.
Over time the group became large, which allowed access to many job offers. Therefore, a web portal was necessary where the information of the vacancies was easily accessible, facilitating contact between the parties. In short, from a solidarity action emerged a company with a sustainable business model.