Note from James George of Halogen Designs: Today we have a great treat for you. Kenneth Rudich from http://marketing-strategy-management.com/ will be sharing some insight for our readers about Using Social Marketing to Your Business Advantage. Kenneth will respond to any comments left on the blog. You can also reach him through his website.
By Kenneth Rudich
What is Social Marketing?
Social marketing, not to be confused with social media marketing, is the formal application of marketing concepts to support a social good. Campaigns like don’t pollute, don’t litter, save the children, and wear your seatbelt stand among some of the more typical examples. They tend to market causes that promote a societal good, as opposed to seeking a financial gain.
Opt In Marketing
When a commercial marketing enterprise (a for-profit business) engages in social marketing, it’s usually for the purpose of garnering goodwill. In accounting terms, a company’s goodwill is considered a tangible asset. In marketing terms, it can stir a warm-fuzzy feeling between you and your current and prospective customers. It adds value from a psychological standpoint.
Think about it. If you’re evaluating two comparable products, where the only difference between them is that one seller does the social good of planting trees in local parks while the other doesn’t do anything similarly like it, which is more likely to get your nod when the purchase decision is made?
You might even be willing to pay a slightly higher price for the product with the social good attached to it, having convinced yourself that the extra profit margin will go towards a worthy cause. Especially if the seller gives seed to this idea in their marketing promotions. Something like, five percent of each sale goes to [insert charity here] is the equivalent of saying, “buy our product, and we can all join hands together in this communal act of goodness.”
Amid today’s unfortunately abundant crop of social, economic, and environmental concerns, it only makes good business sense to outwardly show support for a societal good of your choice (better yet, something your customers might champion). It puts a human face on your brand, demonstrates you’re a caring and contributing member of the community, and draws valuable attention to your product or service – which, as we all know, is that all important prelude to arousing interest and motivating the purchase action.
You Can’t Lose
It can be one of the most economically sound investments you’ll ever make in your business, provided you leverage it to full promotional advantage.
Nothing too outrageous or overt, mind you, but make sure every piece of marketing material lets people know you support this worthy cause, in both your offline and online marketing. Look at everything — signs, web pages, social media, everything — and ask if this kind of noble message is either missing, too understated, or too overstated. The best balance is between understated and overstated, humble yet earnest. It should subtly blend in with the rest of your marketing message, not overshadow it.
The Unexpected ROI
In the end, you may even discover an unexpectedly nice byproduct: knowing in your heart that you’re doing something for the greater good.
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