Do you want your company to leave a positive mark on the world? Meet Social Marketing! – WAU

A term coined by Philip Kotler, Social Marketing is a practice in which the principles of traditional marketing are used to promote social causes, propagate ideas, attitudes and behaviors that are socially conscious and focused on collective well-being.

In general, Marketing has undergone a series of changes throughout its history.

What used to be passed from top to bottom in advertisements that tried to convince the public at any cost, gradually turned into Content Marketing strategies, much more pleasant for consumers.

Instead of convincing, the objective became that of win customers, providing them with useful information that accompanies them throughout their consumption journey.

And Social Marketing is all about this story.

Born in the 70s, Social Marketing first appeared when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the principles of traditional Marketing, of selling products, could also be used to social causes, selling ideas, attitudes and behaviors.

The main objective of any Social Marketing campaign is to mitigate or eliminate social problems, mainly related to issues of public health, transport, work, education, housing and nutrition.

Thus, Social Marketing is widely used by public bodies and companies in the third sector, which work their campaigns for awareness, donations and the like.

The aim is always to involve the population in a cause and they work precisely because they are not motivated by commercial interests, but genuine, from a social cause.

O the public can identify with this cause and is sensitized by it, becoming part of that.

Some examples of businesses based purely on Social Marketing (focusing only on the good of society) are:

  • Doctors Without Borders: international humanitarian organization that provides medical care to people involved in serious humanitarian crises, such as environmental disasters, civil wars and states of hunger and misery.
    social marketing
  • Joy doctors: London non-profit civil society organization, created 25 years ago, uses the art of the clown to help children and adolescents in public hospitals.
social marketing
  • Instituto Chão: non-profit association based on the Solidarity Economy, articulating and integrating cooperatives of local producers with consumers through a fair, a grocery store and a cafe of organic and artisanal products.
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    As time passed, companies began to notice people’s interest in this type of action and invested in social causes as a platform to promote your image, using the famous branding.

    Millionaire campaigns started to be made in the name of the social.

    In this evolution, very well described in the book “Marketing 3.0 – The Forces That Are Defining the New Human-Centered Marketing”, by Philip Kotler we have the following steps of Marketing:

    • Marketing 1.0: Focused on product, selling and profit simply.
    • Marketing 2.0: Consumer-centric. Instead of just wanting to sell, companies start to perceive customers’ needs, seeking their satisfaction and retention.
    • Marketing 3.0: Focused on values. In addition to the sale that satisfies the consumer, the business must have a greater purpose: to transform the world into a better place.

    After being focused on products, customer satisfaction and retention and brand management, marketing then reached its 3.0 version.

    Social Marketing is this new version, whose objective is to unite all these aspects, in a collaborative way, for a better world, without losing the focus on the client and business.

    But how different is a company’s Social Marketing campaign from a traditional Marketing campaign?

    THE main difference is in the company’s intention.

    Businesses that only use the social development “label” are easily unmasked by consumers.

    More than passing on an image of a company with social engagement, brands must have the social DNA rooted in their identity, showing integrity and authenticity in their actions to earn trust.

    The company that achieves this generates a solid image that adds values ​​and emotions to its customers.

    This is only achieved through investments and continuous efforts to really generate changes in society.

    Brands that grow and develop focusing on efforts to increase their capacity to generate positive impacts on society, transcend philanthropy and start to actually execute Social Marketing.

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    From a marketing point of view, the great advantage of working with Social Marketing within companies is winning the customer.

    In the so-called Information Age, in which the public already has information about product quality, price, competitive advantages, etc. in the palm of their hands (literally, with cell phones), it is necessary to find new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.

    AND Social Marketing is precisely the key to this new consumer market.

    Crowdfunding is an example of this change in the behavior of customers, who are now willing to spend money for a cause they believe in.

    According to the Akatu Survey, entitled “Towards a Well-Being Society”, 50% of Brazilians already value the social participation of companies when it comes to consumption.

    Thus, social responsibility is increasingly moving from a competitive differential to an obligation for companies that want to remain in the market.

    To share values ​​that are well accepted by customers, it is necessary to work, therefore, Social Marketing in three basic steps:

    1. Identify the values ​​of the consumer and the company itself.
    2. Map the social causes that permeate these values.
    3. Choose one or more causes and dedicate yourself to them (s) with clear short, medium and long term objectives.

    Following the correct path of Social Marketing and really defending important causes for the business and its customers, companies will be able to create much more meaningful and long-lasting relationships with consumerss, which can even lead to Defender Marketing.

    How to build advocates for your brand

    Some companies are already achieving good results through Social Marketing. Here are some examples and start working with social causes in your company.

    TV Globo: Child Hope

    Perhaps one of the most iconic examples of Social Marketing in London, Criança Esperança, by TV Globo, emerged as a one-off donation to the Northeast on the initiative of actor Renato Aragão and ended up becoming a fund in partnership with the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco).

    social marketing

    Today the project has already donated more than R $ 300 million in donations to 5,000 institutions, benefiting about 4 million children and adolescents across the country.

    After 32 years of existence, Criança Esperança is recognized by the UN as an international model, encouraging the debate on public policies and social transformation.

    social marketing

    In addition to the social results, it associates the television network with a concrete cause, with clear objectives and direct involvement of viewers.

    McDonalds: McDia Feliz

    Another campaign widely known to the public, McDia Feliz from McDonald’s, appropriates the cause of childhood cancer to engage its customers and the population as a whole.

    social marketing

    On a day of the year, on the last Saturday in August, sales of a specific sandwich, the Big Mac, are donated to donations to institutions that work to improve the lives of children with cancer.

    The interesting thing is that the action is organized by the Ronald McDonald Institute, an institution within the cafeteria network that is dedicated to this and a series of other social causes.

    Pedigree: Adopting is all good

    Another successful example of Social Marketing is the Adopt is all good campaign by Pedigree.

    social marketing

    Using its own slogan (“Dog is all good”) as a motto for the campaign, the dog food brand works to raise animal lovers’ awareness of the adoption of abandoned pets.

    With the strategy of reverting part of the sales of products to the program, the campaign manages to increase the sales of the brand, involve the population in the cause and also support more than 150 NGOs that take care of animals.

    The impactful results have already reached 58,597 of adopted dogs, with more than 9 million meals donated.

    That’s because the company is not limited to just linking its products to the cause, but really gets involved in it.

    Among the promotion actions with a sensitizing footprint is the creation of an application for the adoption of animals, a platform for sharing success stories and an agenda with adoption events spread across the country.

    Post Offices: Santa Claus

    Held annually from November to December, the Santa Claus Post Office campaign has been running for over 20 years and is already one of the largest Social Marketing campaigns in London.

    Focused on children in situations of social vulnerability, it connects children’s letters to Santa Claus to people willing to present them on the holiday.

    social marketing

    In addition to those present, the 28 regional post offices involved in the project, help children write letters, correctly addressing correspondence so that there are no flaws in deliveries and encouraging children to write correctly.

    Last year alone, 355,990 children benefited from the social project, which ensures 100% responses to children’s letters.

    Linked to the Millennium Development Goals, of Basic Quality Education for All, the campaign not only fulfills the company’s social responsibility goal, but also involves the whole of society, promoting solidarity and citizenship.

    Banco do Brasil: Água Brasil Program

    In partnership with the Banco do Brasil Foundation, WWF-Brasil and the National Water Agency, Banco do Brasil has been involved in a major Social Marketing campaign for six years: the Água Brasil Program.

    Divided into different work axes, the main objective of the action is to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the water consumed in the country.

    Through field activities and awareness campaigns, the Program has already benefited more than 10 million people and saved about 600 thousand tons of water.

    social marketing

    The impactful results connect the BB brand to the water cause, which has been in vogue lately with the water shortages in London, as in Cantareira, in São Paulo, and in the Descoberto basin, in the Federal District.

    In addition, as the main agribusiness financier in the country, Banco do Brasil has the facility to work directly with agricultural producers, who play a fundamental role in reversing the problem.

    Ministry of Health: #PartiuTeste

    One of the most advanced national public agencies in Social Marketing, the Ministry of Health works annually with large advertising campaigns aimed at raising people’s awareness of public health.

    An example was the 2015 #PartiuTeste campaign, which used social networking (Tinder and Hornet) to reach young audiences and speak, in their language, about AIDS prevention.

    The interesting thing is that, despite being a one-off campaign, the agency revives the theme annually, seeking to generate awareness and involvement of the population so that the disease indices in the country do not grow.

    You can already see that supporting October Pink with a TV campaign or carrying out a winter clothing campaign within your organization is not enough to have an effective Social Marketing, is it?

    If you want to get involved with social causes and really transform society through your business, as in any Marketing campaign, investment is required.

    Market research, audience segmentation, goal setting and elaboration of a work plan with clear and measurable objectives are some of the steps through which Social Marketing permeates.

    To start, keep in mind the importance of choosing the cause in which you will choose to work. It needs to be relevant to the company’s target audience and also be connected to the mission, vision and values ​​of the business.

    Once the cause is chosen, find a way to really work as an agent for change.

    If your company is not able to be actively involved in the cause, one option may be to start with the Philanthropy Marketing, donating to an entity that will do the job in practice.

    But always try to get intensely involved with the cause, promoting effective changes and, of course, publicizing the work a lot, so that consumers can associate your brand with these changes and give more value to your business.

    I could see that this Social Marketing is much more complex than it looks right?

    If you are interested in applying it to your company, be sure to read more about the creator of that term!

    Philip Kotler is one of the biggest names in Marketing and has contributed a lot to various aspects of the area. Learn more about digital marketing and how to get started with the ebook First Steps in Digital Marketing.

    First steps in digital marketing