“Better engagement of audiences is the key to more effective social marketing” was the strong message communicated by Tom Beall, Global Managing Director of Ogilvy PR’s social marketing practice, OgilvyEngage, at roundtables held in Melbourne and Canberra.
Speaking at events co-hosted by OgilvyEngage and the Australian Association of Social Marketing, Tom discussed the findings from a survey of more than 280 practitioners world wide, to be published by The Journal of Social Marketing this month.
Tom said that social marketing is at a critical turning point in driving social change.
“Whilst many respondents believe that social marketing has been successfully used to drive social and behaviour change in many countries more can be done.
“Obesity and chronic illness were named as the two areas most in need of social marketing to drive behaviour change.
“The top keys to success were found to be community based initiates (54%); peer group engagement including online groups and networks (51%); word of mouth (46%) and digital influence (41%).”
Respondents recognised the importance of applying the principles of behavioural economics but acknowledge that a nudge alone may be insufficient to support sustained behaviour change (87%).
The survey recognised that they have much to learn from corporate marketers and things to teach corporate marketers as well.
Tom said that perusing social goals alongside commercial ones is becoming increasingly important from the private sector.
“Companies can be facilitators in helping consumers achieve change in areas of their lives that are important to them. This has led us to launch OgilvyEngage, a new practice area that will link social issues and corporations where there is mutual benefit to both.”
In the survey for social marketers the top lessons to be learnt from corporations were the power of branding to influence consumer action (61%); customer relationship management (47%) and social media integration (45%).
Lelde McCoy, national leader of OgilvyEngage in Australia, said that the roundtable events were well attended by government and not for profit organisations, all of whom showed much interest in moving beyond just community awareness campaigns, to developing campaigns that made a positive difference to Australians lives. She said that there was also much interest shown in forming partnerships with the private sector to extend the reach and profile of campaigns.