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Nancy Lee
Philip Kotler GUIDE

Influencing Behaviors for Good

“Social marketing is a process that applies marketing See Reverse Side for Detailed Descriptions of Each Step
principles and techniques to create, communicate, and
deliver value in order to influence target audience Step #1. Describe the Background, Purpose and Focus for the Planning Effort
behaviors that benefit society (public health, safety, Step #2. Conduct a Situation Analysis
the environment, and communities) as well as the Step #3. Select and Describe the Target Market
target audience.” Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee, and Step #4. Set Marketing Objectives and Goals (Behavior, Knowledge, Beliefs)
Michael Rothschild, 2006 Step #5. Identify Audience Barriers, Benefits and the Competition
Step #6. Write a Positioning Statement
Similarities to commercial marketing include: Step #7. Develop a Strategic Marketing Mix (The 4Ps)
 Customer-orientation is critical  Product
 Audiences are segmented  Price
 All 4Ps are considered  Place
 Market research is key to success  Promotion
 Results are measured for improvement Step #8. Determine an Evaluation Plan
Step #9. Establish a Campaign Budget
In commercial marketing, however: Step #10. Outline an Implementation Plan
 Financial versus societal gain is the goal
 Goods & services are sold versus behaviors Although steps appear linear in theory, they are actually spiral in reality with each step subject to revision as
 Competitors are other similar organizations the process unfolds.


Stages of Change Model describes six stages that The term social marketing was coined in the early Market research has a role to play when developing
people go through in the behavior change process. 70s in a pioneering article by Philip Kotler and each step and properly focused research can make
Gerald Zaltman. Most social marketing efforts are the difference between a brilliant and mediocre
Social Norms Theory is based on the central concept applied to: plan.
that much of people’s behavior is influenced by their
perceptions of what is “normal” or “typical.” Improving public health (e.g. HIV/AIDS, tobacco Formative Research is used to help select and
use, obesity, teen pregnancy, tuberculosis) understand target markets and develop draft
Health Belief Model emphasizes target audiences are marketing strategies. It may be new research
influenced by perceived personal susceptibility and Preventing injuries (e.g., traffic collisions, domestic (primary data) that you conduct, or it may be
seriousness of the health issue, and benefits, barriers violence, senior falls, drowning) research conducted by someone else that you are
and cues to action for the desired behavior. able to review (secondary data).
Protecting the environment (e.g., water quality, air
Theory of Reasoned Action /Theory of Planned quality, water conservation, habitat protection) Pretest Research is conducted to evaluate a short
Behavior suggests the best predictor of behavior is list of alternative strategies and tactics, ensure that
intention to act and this intention is influenced by Contributing to communities (e.g., voting, spaying
and neutering pets, volunteering, crime prevention) potential executions have no major deficiencies, and
perceived benefits, costs and social norms. fine-tune possible approaches so that they speak to
Social Cognitive Theory states that likelihood of your target audience in the most effective way.
adopting the behavior is determined by perceptions UPSTREAM & DOWNSTREAM
Monitoring Research provides ongoing
that benefits outweigh the costs and belief in self- Downstream social marketing focuses on influencing measurement of program outputs and outcomes,
efficacy (ability to perform the behavior). individual behaviors while upstream social often used to establish baselines and subsequent
Exchange Theory postulates that in order for an marketing focuses on influencing policy makers, benchmarks relative to goals.
exchange to take place, target markets must perceive media, corporations and other social influencers. The
same ten step process is applicable. Evaluation Research, as distinct from monitoring,
benefits equal to or greater than perceived costs. is research that supports a final assessment of the


1. Take advantage of prior and existing successful campaigns. 8. Consider nonmonetary incentives in the form of recognition & appreciation.
2. Start with target markets most ready for action. 9. Make access easy.
3. Promote single, simple, doable behaviors – one at a time. 10. Have a little fun with messages.
4. Identify and remove barriers to behavior change. 11. Use media channels at the point of decision making.
5. Bring real benefits into the present. 12. Try for popular/entertainment media.
6. Highlight costs of competing behaviors. 13. Get commitments and pledges.
7. Promote a tangible good or service to help target audiences perform the 14. Use prompts for sustainability.
behavior. 15. Track results and make adjustments.

SOURCE: Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good Philip Kotler and Nancy R. Lee (SAGE 2008)
Contact Nancy Lee at

Copyright Social Marketing Services Inc. 2008

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PURPOSE, FOCUS Relative to the purpose and focus of the plan, describe the factors and forces in The bull’s-eye target market for your
Note the social issue the plan will be the internal and external environment that are anticipated to have some impact marketing efforts is selected and
addressing (e.g., obesity), including a on planning decisions. described. A marketing plan ideally
statement of the problem. Summarize focuses on a primary target market,
factors that led to the development of Micro Environmental Factors Macro Environmental Factors although additional secondary markets
(Strengths & weaknesses) (Opportunities & Threats) are often identified and strategies are
the plan.
Resources External Publics developed for them as well.
Then develop a purpose statement that Past Performance Political/Legal Forces
reflects the benefit of a successful This is a 3 step process.
Current Alliances and Partners Economic Forces
campaign (e.g., reduce obesity) and a 1. Segment the market.
Service Delivery Natural Forces
focus that narrows the scope of the 2. Evaluate segments.
Internal Publics Demographic Forces
plan’s purpose to one the plan will 3. Choose one or more as a focal point.
Issue Priority Cultural Forces
address (e.g., physical activity). Management Support Technological Forces

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OBJECTIVES & GOALS Barriers are reasons your target audience cannot (easily) or does not want to STATEMENT
Social marketing plans always include adopt the behavior. Positioning is the act of designing the
a behavior objective – something you Benefits are reasons your target audience might be interested in adopting the organization’s actual and perceived
want to influence the target market to behavior or what might motivate them to do so. offering in such a way that it lands on
do. Knowledge objectives include and occupies a distinctive place in the
information or facts you want the Competitors are behaviors your target audience prefers or organizations that mind of the target market – where you
market to be aware of – ones that support or promote “undesirable” behaviors. want it to be. Fill in the blanks to : “We
might make them more likely to want (TARGET AUDIENCE) to see
perform the desired behavior. Belief Desired Behavior Competing Behavior (DESIRED BEHAVIOR) as
objectives relate more to feelings and Barriers/Costs (DESCRIPTIVE PHRASE) and as more
attitudes. Benefits important and beneficial than

A product is anything that can be Price is the cost that the target market Place is where and when the target Promotions are persuasive
offered to a market to satisfy a want or associates with adopting the desired market will perform the desired communications designed and delivered
need. In social marketing, the product behavior. Pricing-related strategies to behavior, acquire any related tangible to inspire your target audience to action.
is the desired behavior, as well as key reduce costs and increase benefits objects, and receive any associated At this step you determine messages,
perceived benefits for adopting the include these 6: services. Options include: messengers and communication
behavior, and any tangible objects or 1. Increase monetary benefits for the  Physical locations channels.
services that add value. desired behavior.  Phone
2. Decrease monetary costs for the Major social marketing communication
 Mail
desired behavior. channels include:
 Fax
3. Increase nonmonetary benefits for  Advertising
 Internet
the desired behavior.  Public Relations
 Mobile Unit
4. Decrease nonmonetary costs for  Special Events
 Where people shop
the desired behavior.  Printed Materials
 Where people hang out
5. Increase monetary costs for the  Special Promotional Items
 Drive-throughs
competing behavior.  Signage and Displays
 Home Delivery/House Calls
6. Increase nonmonetary costs for the  Personal Selling
competing behavior.  Kiosks
 Social Media
 Vending Machines
 Popular/Entertainment Media

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An evaluation plan outlines why you will be evaluating, what will be measured, Identify price tags for strategies and The implementation plan functions as a
how and when. What is measured often falls into one of the categories below: activities with cost-related concise working document to share and
implications. track planned efforts. Most commonly,
PROCESS EVALUATION IMPACT EVALUATION  Product-related costs plans represent a minimum of 1-year
Short-term Long-Term  Price-related costs activities, and ideally 2 or 3 years.
Inputs Activities Outputs Outcomes Impacts  Place-related costs
Resources Campaign- Campaign Changes in Improvement  Promotion-related costs
used for the related visibility, behaviors, in social WHAT WHO WHEN MUCH
 Evaluation-related costs
campaign activities exposure knowledge, condition

Copyright Social Marketing Services Inc. 2008