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Social Marketing
Since the 70s, social marketing has been undertaken by many public sector organizations around the globe with the goal of fostering behaviour for improved social outcomes. Sustain works within the social marketing context with a methodology developed for environmental initiatives. This methodology was developed by Doug McKenzie-Mohr of New Brunswick, Canada, and is based upon research in the social sciences that demonstrates that behaviour change is often most-effectively achieved through initiatives delivered at the community level. Doug is more specific about CBSM: “Community-based social marketing borrows from the social marketing an emphasis on understanding what impedes and motivates a target audience to act, as well as the importance of piloting programs prior to their broad scale implementation.”

We are pleased to present, with his permission, Doug’s overview of CBSM.
CBSM Overview

Promoting behaviour change
  • Community-Based Social Marketing Program Planning and Execution
McKenzie-Mohr’s five-step methodology is described below and is skilfully implemented by Sustain team members.
Step 1: Select which behaviours to target
  • Analyze the behaviours that have the greatest impact on the desired outcomes.
  • Ensure that the behaviours are not divisible and are end state.
  • Compare behaviours as to:
  • Impact.
  • Current level of penetration.
  • Probability that those not doing that behaviour will adopt it.
Sustain team members have over 40 years of collective experience in working within the systems thinking realm where process analysis occurs. To successfully select a behaviour to target, the underlying processes of the intended audience need to be understood through process and impacts analyses.

Sustain is well versed in these types of analyses. To determine targeted behaviours, Sustain will use its market research skills and work with existing research and subject matter experts to identify the behaviours and estimate their impact.

Step 2: Identify barriers and benefits to selected behaviour
  • Literature Review
  • Observations
  • Focus Groups
  • Surveys
Sustain has undertaken significant best-practice jurisdictional scans for a major Canadian municipality. A research methodology has been developed over the years for observations, focus groups, and survey tools. Sustain uses a statistical process control (SPC) approach in it statistic/performance measurement assignments. Three Sustain team resources are Lean Six Sigma certified professionals.

Step 3: Develop a strategy
  • Commitment
  • Prompts
  • Norms
  • Social Diffusion
  • Incentives/Disincentives Communication
Sustain promotes the use of facts and data in making recommendations for process improvement, and applies this same rigour to working with clients to develop a strategy using one or some of the behaviour change tools identified by McKenzie-Mohr.

Sustains communications team members are well-versed in the various communications tools and will use their experience to devise supporting communication tactics that consider the many factors outlined by McKenzie-Mohr.

Step 4: Conduct a pilot
Sustain can effectively plan and implement pilots using its extensive project management experience. Our quantitative approach ensures that resources are allocated wisely. If a pilot indicates that a selected strategy is not working, then the pilot will be reworked.

Step 5: Broad scale implementation and ongoing evaluation
Once a pilot has proven to be effective at changing behaviour, Sustain will work with clients to implement the program across the entire community. To promote continuous improvement, performance measures will be taken at the start, during, and end of the implementation.

Finding program partners
  • Sponsorship and Partner Recruitment
Sustain has decades of experience in sponsorship recruitment and puts this to work for clients on communications and CBSM projects.