Marketing to Canadians of South Asian and Chinese Origin – An Update

One of my first blogs eight years ago was Marketing to Canadians of South Asian and Chinese Origin… a hot trend. I have had many requests to update the blog. So here goes.

Chinese and South Asian Canadians are an increasingly important audience in the market, with populations expected to grow by 80% and 130%, respectively, over the next 15 years.

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But according to IPG Mediabrands, marketers have very little resources on the audience’s attitudes towards brands as well as their media consumption habits.

Closing that knowledge gap is the aim of the IPG Mediabrands Multicultural Media Study 2016. The study included 1,250 Chinese and South Asian respondents living in the Toronto and Vancouver area, and were surveyed last July.

According to the results, Chinese and South Asian Canadians have a different relationship with brands than the general Canadian population, believing more strongly that ads help them stay up-to-date with new products. Both groups were also more likely to buy based on quality rather than price and also considered themselves to be very brand loyal in higher numbers than the general Canadian population.

Chinese Canadians were more likely to report feeling closer to brands that use ethnic languages and pay more attention to those ads than South Asians.

Both Chinese and South Asian Canadians are more connected consumers than the general Canadian population, with higher rates of device ownership and time spent online.

The IPG Mediabrands report looks at the attitudes and media habits of two growing audiences, South Asians and Chinese Canadians. The study, which also sourced data from Statistics Canada and Vividata, was first conducted in 2012 to better understand these significant audiences. Stats Canada forecasts that by 2031, the Chinese population will increase by 80% and the South Asian population will increase by 131%.

The study found that 64% of Chinese and 69% of South Asian Canadians believe that ads help them keep up-to-date with new products, compared to 44% of the general population.

In addition, 61% of Chinese and 64% of South Asians tend to buy on quality, not price, compared to 54% of the general population. What’s more, 52% of Chinese and 58% of South Asian consumers consider themselves to be very brand loyal, compared to only 44% of the general population.

There is a significant reliance on advertising amongst these two particular groups, and that’s very likely to turn into a loyal consumer.

51% of Chinese respondents tend to stick to brands that they’re familiar with from their home country, and 46% pay more attention to advertising that’s in their own ethnic language.

“There are, of course, going to be new brands that they don’t recognize when they come over to Canada and that does present challenges for many advertisers. According to the study “One way to get over that is the fact that the Chinese population is more likely to pay attention to advertising in a Chinese language.

While they stick to brands they’re familiar with, that’s just a starting point, “The shorter amount of time that Chinese group has been in Canada, the more likely they are likely to stick to familiar brands. But the longer they spend in the country, the less likely they are.”

South Asians are more likely to be early adopters than Chinese Canadians. In the survey, 58% of South Asians said they are first among friends to try new products, compared to 43% of Chinese consumers. In addition, 59% of South Asians agreed that people expect them to provide good advice about products and services, compared to 51% of Chinese; and 53% of South Asians said they’re more of a spender than a saver, compared to 37% of Chinese consumers.

The study also looked at Chinese and South Asians’ media habits and their different communications preferences.

Chinese consumers are more likely to feel closer to organizations that advertise in their own ethnic language (45%) than South Asians (39%). In addition, 45% of Chinese consumers agreed they have a “strong affiliation” with brands that advertise in their own ethnic language, compared to 36% of South Asians; and 38% of Chinese consumers think ads in their home language are more meaningful to them, compared to 34% of South Asians.

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“Chinese Canadians are much more dependent on in-language advertising compared to South Asians, and that’s very heavily tied to the prevalence of the English language in South Asian countries.

The study also found that Chinese and South Asians are very digitally savvy groups compared to the general population. The average number of internet-connected devices owned by the general population is 2.4, compared to 3.6 for Chinese consumers and 3.2 for South Asians.

Citing Vividata figures, the study notes that Chinese consumers spend 24 hours a week online and South Asians spend 19 hours a week online, compared to 17 hours for the general population.

For Chinese consumers, time spent on digital media is about the same in a Chinese language as in English. For example, they spend 12.6 hours a week on Chinese social media sites and 12.8 hours on social media in English. But more time is spent with Chinese online magazines (7.1 hours) and newspapers (7.1 hours) than in English (6.2 hours for each).

Another study by Environics Analytics states that South Asians passed the Chinese as the largest visible minority in Canada almost 10 years ago and over the next five years their population is projected to grow 19% to reach 2.5 million people.

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What is less appreciated, analysts will tell you, is that this group – which currently makes up almost 5% of the Canadian population – is becoming “a marketer’s dream,” says Rupen Seoni, vice-president and practice leader at Environics. “They are one of the fastest-growing, more affluent, educated and media-savvy groups.”

Some marketers still know very little about this vibrant consumer group, tending to lump them with other Asians or simply ignoring them altogether but that would be a $46-billion mistake, for that’s the total estimated spending power of Canada’s South Asians.”

For info on the Social Asian market see South Asian Market You can find more info on ethnic marketing here. Also check out http://media-corps.com/south-asian-and-chinese-canadians/

 

WORKSHOPS 2017

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Marketing 101 (for Marketers and Non-Marketers)

March 29, 2017

343 Preston Street, Ottawa, ON,

This workshop will provide participants with an overview of public sector and non-profit marketing. The workshop will teach participants how to develop a marketing  strategy and plan as well as how to transform a government/nonprofit organizations from using the traditional communications approach to an integrated, strategic marketing approach.

The workshop will focus on:

  • An overview of marketing;
  • Systematic processes and strategic elements for developing and implementing an action-oriented strategic marketing plan;
  • How to set realistic, practical marketing objectives and goals;
  • How to evaluate marketing efforts with practical ideas on how to improve execution;
  • How to develop a client-based mindset in a public sector or non-profit organization;
  • How to use market research to support a decision-making framework;
  • How to develop a system for measuring progress and monitoring performance.

REGISTER NOW

 

Intro to Social Marketing Planning for Attitude and Behaviour Change

March 9, 2017

343 Preston Street, Ottawa, ON,

Awareness.  Are you getting tired of hearing that word? If you want to move your marketing and communications efforts beyond merely public education and awareness campaigns and into the realm of action-oriented attitude and behaviour change then this workshop is for you

The workshop will focus on:

  • How to use a step-by-step structured approach to prepare a social marketing plan that is actionable, has maximum impact, and leads to successful implementation;
  • How to present and “sell” your social marketing strategy to management;
  • How to implement a social marketing program on a very tight budget;
  • How to monitor and evaluate your inputs/outputs, outcomes and impacts;
  • How social marketing gives you a single approach: for mobilizing communities; influencing the media; activating key stakeholders; and building strategic alliances with business.

REGISTER NOW

 

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What Marketers Need to Know About Generation Z

Many readers of my blog are developing marketing initiatives aimed at youth, especially adolescents. If you thought that understanding and marketing to millennials was a big challenge, wait until you have to market to Generation Z

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Over the past few years, marketers across all industries and categories have been obsessed with millennials — how to reach them and build meaningful connections with their brands. This captivating generation has a unique sense of self and a nontraditional approach to life stages, which has made marketing to them a challenge.

But perhaps even more challenging is the next generation on the rise — Gen Z. If marketers thought they threw out the playbook with millennials, they need to know that Gen Zers aren’t even playing on the same field. They are in a very different world. I have done a fair bit of research on this group and have read quite a few studies and articles. So here is the latest information on Gen Zers.

Gen Z consumers range from ages 2 to 19, though the target range for marketers lies from ages 11 to 16. Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural of any generation. For example, in the U.S. — 55% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American and 4% are Asian. Canada with its very multicultural society has similar situation albeit with some different demographics.

Here is some information  from a terrific article in  Advertising Age. There are a few key beliefs native to Gen Z that marketers must understand. First, Gen Zers are the least likely to believe there is such a thing as the “American Dream.” They look for products and messaging that reflect a reality rather than a perfect life. Gen Zers simply don’t respond to traditional notions of beauty or a projected image of perfection like past generations have. They respond to independence and entrepreneurialism, self-direction and a spirit of ingenuity.

Millennials are the generation of customer service — such as the creation of the Apple Genius Bar — to solve problems at any moment. They design their own, unconventional paths, yet they anticipate consistent success (and hand-holding) along the way. Gen Z is a generation of highly-educated, technologically-savvy, innovative thinkers. They look for solutions on their own. They set out to make things on their own.

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Marketers must create products/services and marketing that empower this group to be their best selves. They must also create places — locations, websites, online communities — where Gen Zers feel welcome walking in and logging in, and feel just as wonderful walking out and checking out. Organizations  that offer programs and services and an experience that help Gen Zers define and express their individuality and lifestyle will succeed with this group.

Millennials grew up with computers in their homes. But Gen Z is the first generation born into a digital world. They don’t know a world without PCs, mobile phones, gaming devices and MP3 players.

They live online, sharing details of their lives across dozens of platforms and dictating what they like and dislike with a tweet, post or status. And Gen Zers expects to virtually engage with their favorite products in doing so. So products can’t simply “embrace technology” as millennials have. They must act digitally native, too, creating a seamless and strong overarching brand experience across digital and mobile. To reach Gen Zers, it is paramount to reach them through two-way conversations, which are initiated online. An authentic digital and social presence as well as a slew of complimentary digital experiences in which Gen Z fans can engage with and share their brand allegiance is perhaps the best currency a marketer could generate.

Generation Z is open-minded and adaptable, not a group known for fixed opinions or inflexibility. Organizations that build careful marketing strategies that connect with the values of the younger set and offer a better digital experience online will be successful among this new, young, powerful generation.

Here is some important marketing intelligence on Gen Zers from CMO.com.  Gen Zers are entrepreneurial and resourceful, courtesy of growing up during a recession. Marketers will need to take all of this into account when shaping their strategies for this group. Note these are US stats but are applicable to the Canadian market.

  1. Consumers 19 and younger prefer social networks like Snapchat, Secret, and Whisper, and a quarter of 13- to 17-year-olds have left Facebook this year.
  2. Gen Z are adept researchers. They know how to self-educate and find information. 33% watch lessons online, 20% read textbooks on tablets, and 32% work with classmates online.
  3. Whereas Millennials use three screens on average, Gen Zers use five: a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad.
  4. The average Gen Zer has the attention span of about eight seconds. They have grown up at a time when they’re being served media and messaging from all angles, and have adapted to quickly sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information.
  5. Gen Z shares the entrepreneurial spirit of Millennial innovators: About 72% of current high-schoolers want to own their own businesses, and 76% hope they can turn their hobbies into full-time jobs.
  6. Gen Zers are do-gooders; they want to make a difference in the world. 60% want their jobs to impact the world, 26% of 16- to 19-year-olds currently volunteer, and 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet.
  7. 58 % of Gen Zs are either somewhat or very worried about the future.
  8. 79% of Generation Z consumers display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their personal electronic devices.
  9. 55% of those 18 years of age and younger would rather buy clothes online, and 53% would rather buy books and electronics online.
  10. 42% of Gen Zers follow their parents influence, compared to just 36% of Millennials.
  11. Generation Z consumers spend 7.6 hours per day on average socializing with friends and family.

The Hamilton Spectator  had an excellent article on Gen Zers with some very interesting information . With the oldest members of this cohort barely out of high school, these tweens and teens of today are primed to become the dominant youth influencers of tomorrow. Flush with billions in spending power, they promise untold riches to marketers who can find the master key to their psyche. Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson, calls them “millennials on steroids.”

While it is easy to mock the efforts of marketers to shoehorn tens of millions of adolescents into a generational archetype, à la the baby boomers, it is also clear that a 14-year-old now really does inhabit a substantially different world than one of 2005.

Millennials, after all, were raised during the boom times and relative peace of the 1990s, only to see their sunny world dashed by the Sept. 11 attacks and two economic crashes, in 2000 and 2008. Theirs is a story of innocence lost. Generation Z, by contrast, has had its eyes open from the beginning, coming along in the aftermath of those cataclysms in the era of the war on terror and the Great Recession, Greene said.

No question Millennials were digital; their teenage years were defined by iPods and MySpace. But Generation Z is the first generation to be raised in the era of smartphones. Many do not remember a time before social media. They are the first true digital natives, they can almost simultaneously create a document, edit it, post a photo on Instagram and talk on the phone, all from the user-friendly interface of their iPhone.” “Generation Z takes in information instantaneously, and loses interest just as fast.” “We tell our advertising partners that if they don’t communicate in five words and a big picture, they will not reach this generation,” said Dan Schnabel, the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a New York consultancy.

So far, they sound pretty much like millennials. But those who study youth trends are starting to discern big differences in how the two generations view their online personas, starting with privacy.

Generation Z tends to be the product of Generation X, a relatively small, jaded generation that came of age in the post-Watergate, post-Vietnam funk of the 1970s, when horizons seemed limited. Those former latchkey kids, who grew up on Nirvana records and slasher movies, have tried to give their children the safe, secure childhood that they never had, said Neil Howe, an economist and the coauthor of more than a dozen books about U.S. generations.

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Finally, a very informative article comes from Canada’s Macleans Magazine . Much of the current chatter surrounding Gen Z has been generated by the 56-slide presentation “Meet Generation Z: Forget everything you learned about Millennials,” produced by New York City advertising agency Sparks & Honey. It found that 60 % of Gen Zers want jobs that had a social impact, compared with 31 % of Gen Ys. It deemed them “entrepreneurial” (72 % want to start their own businesses), community-oriented (26 % already volunteer) and prudent (56 % said they were savers, not spenders). Gen Z is also seen to be more tolerant than Gen Y of racial, sexual and generational diversity, and less likely to subscribe to traditional gender roles.

Other studies paint them as the new conservatives. A Centers for Disease Control survey of 13,000 high school students released in June reported that teens smoke, drink and fight far less than previous generations (though they’re more likely to text while driving). “Overall, young people have healthier behaviours than they did 20 years ago,” reported study coordinator Dr. Stephanie Zaza, who noted that use of drugs and weapons and risky sex have declined since the study began in 1991.

The influential author and consultant Don Tapscott is a Gen Z optimist. His 2008 book, Grown Up Digital, features a study of 11,000 kids who were asked whether they’d rather be smarter or better looking: 69 % chose “smarter.” So is social researcher Mark McCrindle, of Sydney-based McCrindle Research, who has been looking at Gen Z for seven years. “They are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation in history,” he says. “They don’t just represent the future; they are creating it.”

Their defining characteristic, so far, is that they’re a new species— “screenagers,” the first tribe of “digital natives.” The result could well be the most profound generation gap ever: a digital divide between parents who see the Internet as disrupting society as we know it (and making them feel obsolete) and their kids, who are not only at home with the technology— “it’s like air to them,” Tapscott says—but are already driving many of the shifts happening in how we communicate, the way we access information and the culture we consume.

Gen Z are bellwethers, says McCrindle: “Where Gen Z goes, our world goes.” What that portends is seismic social disruption and the commensurate anxiety. “This is the first time in history kids know more than adults about something really important to society—maybe the most important thing,” says Tapscott. “[It’s] a formula for fear.” Despite this tension—or perhaps because of it—expectations for a generation have never been higher. Forbes has dubbed Gen Z “Rebels with a cause.” The Financial Times posed the question: “Generation Z, the world’s saviours?” Tapscott says Gen Z doesn’t have a choice: “My generation is leaving them with a mess. These kids are going to have to save the world literally.”

Gen Z is “a global experiment,” says McCrindle. “A magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work.” One experiment showed a little girl sliding her finger in frustration over a glossy fashion magazine as if it’s an iPad.

Sparks & Honey reports that reliance on mobile devices has led to kids having poor spatial skills and trouble navigating streets without GPS; hours spent in front of screens puts them at increased risk for obesity.  If you define a generation too early, “you’re really looking at the way their parents are operating, not who they are,” says Robert Barnard, CEO of Toronto-based Decode, a company that provides data on youth. Still, he argues that the older end of any demographic tends to be an early influencer or indicator of a generation’s values. He also makes a distinction between broad “generational traits” and “life-stage traits” consistent across generations.

Entrepreneurship is also a big buzzword: in a world where full-time jobs and pensions are in decline, it’s a glossy way of saying Gen Z is on its own. According to the Sparks & Honey survey, this cohort places less value on higher education (64 per cent want advanced degrees, compared to 71 of Gen Y). In response, universities have replaced the emphasis on the now-dated corporate M.B.A. with “entrepreneurial hubs.” Technology is seen as the great generational divide here, but if there is a pan-generational leveler, paradoxically, it’s technology, and the fact we’re all equally hooked; adults are just addicted to older, in some cases obsolete, technologies.

The most active people on Facebook, Barnard notes, are 30- to 40-year-old women; their children use Slingshot or Tumblr. (Sparks & Honey noted Gen Z places greater value on privacy than Gen Y, because it chooses anonymous, ephemeral communication tools such as SnapChat, Secret and Whisper, although the bigger appeal of these technologies may just be that they’re newer.)

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They “don’t trust anyone over 30” mantra espoused by youth in the 1960s has gone full circle: now no one trusts anyone over 20.

Let me know what you think and good luck marketing to this illusive group.

For more information on the Canadian perspective on Generation Z click here

 

MARKETING WORKBOOKS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR & NON-PROFIT MARKETERS & COMMUNICATORS

Two workbooks ideal for marketers and communicators working for government departments/agencies, non-profit/volunteer organizations, associations and social enterprises who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products, programs and/or services
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs

Social Marketing Planning to Change Attitudes and Behaviours Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for a successful social marketing program to change attitudes and behaviours. The content is the result of more than 30 years of direct experience in the social marketing arena.  It will assist public sector, non-profit organizations and associations involved in marketing, communications, public awareness/education and outreach.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/social_marketing_workbook/

Order Now and You’ll receive a PDF download immediately!

 

Alternatively, you can register on our MARCOM Conference site to attend an upcoming Introduction to Social Marketing Planning for Behaviour Change Workshop where we offer the workbook as part of 1-day interactive workshop

 

Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers Workbook

This workbook provides users with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for developing a successful public sector or non-profit marketing program.

It also will provide you with an overview of public sector and non-profit marketing and highlight the importance of market research to support a decision-making framework.

To purchase workbook, go to https://cepsm.ca/product/marketing-101-for-marketers-and-non-marketers-workbook/

Order Now and you will receive a PDF download immediately!

 

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Museums need Marketing

A number of years ago I was having dinner with Northwestern Marketing Professor Philip Kotler and he mentioned to me that he was working on a book on Museum Marketing with his brother Neil (Neil G. Kotler is the president of Kotler Museum and Cultural Marketing Consultants, Arlington, Virginia, and a former museum professional at the Smithsonian Institution.) The book which has had two editions is an excellent resource for Museums. See: Museum Marketing and Strategy: Designing Missions, Building Audiences, Generating Revenue and Resources

Dr. Kotler mention to me at the time that Museums are great institutions but in general, are lousy at marketing and he hoped the book would assist museum managers “to increase revenue while enhancing the customer experience”.
I was thinking of Dr. Kotler’s book when I read an article in our local paper, Attendance drop at National Gallery an “urgent” problem, director says .

In the article we learn that attendance at the National Gallery of Canada has been in decline for more than a decade, and the problem is “urgent.” Marc Mayer who is Director of the National Gallery states in the article that “It’s a big issue. “You want to be relevant, you want to have an audience, and the audience has been dwindling for over 15 years now. We’re not quite sure we know why. . . It’s really very important to me, and to most people who work here.”

National Gallery September 2011, compressed blog

Well as a public sector marketer and an “art lover” that got my attention. I love art museums and galleries and have visited many of them in North America, Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe.
The numbers for the current year at the National Gallery are projected to increase by 10 per cent or more from the previous year, but over the longer term the numbers are trending down, even as they’re trending up at prominent galleries elsewhere in Canada. “It’s increasing in cities like Paris, New York and London,” Mayer says, “but in many cities in North America the audience has been drifting away and we’d like to know why. There are all kinds of different theories.”

Ticket sales account for only a few percentage points of the gallery’s overall income, but any decline in that revenue stream exacerbates the overall problem, and since the 1990s the gallery’s average annual attendance has dropped by more than half. One passage in the gallery’s corporate plan for 2013-14 and beyond makes the situation clear: “The Gallery faces a challenging financial climate. The cost of doing business has increased substantially. Simultaneously, increased funding from traditional sources has been limited.”
Mayer says the gallery is asking itself many questions about attendance, including, “is it us, or is it art? Is art the handicap, or is it that the National Gallery’s intimidating? Is it not fun to come here? We need to find that out.”

“The audience has been drifting away, and we’d like to know why,” he said in the recent interview. “I don’t know that we have the time to figure out exactly what the problem is. We’ve got to start solving those problems that we think we have.”

What is interesting is that the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montreal are enjoying steady gains in attendance year after year — the former rebuilding steadily after being closed for construction and the latter having doubled its annual attendance in less than a decade.
Yet the steady decline is unnervingly clear. In the 1990s the gallery routinely pulled in more than a half-million visitors per year; several years topping 600,000 or even 700,000. But the gallery hasn’t come close to a half-million per year since 2002, and the past two years (if projections for the current year hold) will be well under 300,000 visitors.

The gallery has also made substantial cuts to programming and staffing to get costs in line. (Note that the first cuts came in Marketing and Communications which in hindsight may have not been a good strategy)
“Museums and galleries have got to be the place, period, and art is only part of the equation,” says Stephen Borys, director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. “There’s no way we’ll survive if it’s just about the art. We try to be as accessible as possible, in that there are fabulous shows on, and we’ll continue to do that, but sometimes it’s not enough. The object is not always king: sometimes it’s the experience.”

Mayer states that “We need a reason for them to go in the door, and it might not be art for this person — but it could be. If you’ve got them in the building then you say, well, one more step and you are in the most extraordinary art collection in the country.

“We’re researching all kinds of data,” Mayer says. “We’re asking people why did you come, we’re asking people why they’re not coming . . . What is that we’re doing wrong? How can we improve the visitor experience?”
A weak spot in the gallery’s front is communications, a department that took big staff cuts. As a result, says Diana Nemiroff, a senior curator at the National Gallery for 15 years, the gallery’s communications effort “is not as good as it should be. “You could really question whether the gallery reaches its intended audience at all levels, and in as efficient a way as it could . . . You can’t go to an exhibition if you haven’t really heard anything about it,” Nemiroff says. “There’s a real communication problem.”

Jason St-Laurent, the curator at the artist-run SAW Gallery in Ottawa, says “we receive brochures from all the museums in Ottawa, except for one. The National Gallery’s material is nowhere to be found in any of the city’s galleries, which I find strange.

” Mayer acknowledges the issues with public outreach. “We’re figuring out that we’re not spending enough money on marketing. . . We’re figuring out how we can get better and market more intelligently.”
The gallery has also designated a one of their manager as “deputy director of institutional advancement and public engagement,” to co-ordinate the quest for more visitors.

As readers of my blog know I am an advocate for public sector marketing and am frustrated when I see public sector and non-profit organizations who should be adopting a strategic marketing approach fail to do so. In particular, Arts and Culture organizations, many of which could use marketing, see marketing as a fringe item (or fluff) and rarely have a prominent marketing function in their organization. They tend to see marketing as a commercial strategy so they tend to hire people who are experts in outreach and public engagement but rarely experts in marketing. In addition, many of them think marketing is promotion and have no idea or understanding of the marketing mix i.e. the 4 p’s.

So here is my advice to the National Gallery or any Museum experiencing a decreasing demand for their product, particularly those institutions going through a downward spiral over a long period of time. You clearly need a comprehensive marketing strategy. And don’t confuse a marketing strategy with a communications or outreach strategy. Both are important but marketing deals with all 4 p’s i.e. price, product, place and promotion and all 4 of these components of the marketing mix need to be examined.

Finally, museums that are experiencing declines in revenues and attendance need to:
• Define the exchange process between a museum’s offerings and consumer value
• Differentiate and communicate its unique value in a competitive marketplace
• Find, create, and retain consumers and convert visitors to members and members to volunteers and donors
• Plan strategically and maximize marketing’s value and
• Develop a consumer-centered museum

 

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Get Certified: Sprott Professional Programs

If you’re new to marketing or even if you’ve been wearing multiple marketing hats over the years – it may be time to earn a Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing to support you in your professional development. With a rising need for highly skilled marketing professionals in the public and non-profit sectors many are looking for professional advice about how to bring products, services and messages to citizens, stakeholders and their specific target audiences in new and impactful ways. Take advantage of a condensed, intensive 6-day program from in  February 2016 at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University and be recognized for your skills. Learn more

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British Columbia Ministry of Health: Taking a Leadership Role in Social Marketing

In September 2014, I had the opportunity to work with the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s Population and Public Health Division to co-host social marketing sessions in Vancouver and Victoria to explore shared strategic approaches for social marketing and engagement across health promotion and disease/injury prevention partners in British Columbia.

The sessions included presentations from experts on social marketing and behaviour change, branding and the latest trends in marketing and engagement.  Participants also heard about the Healthy Families BC policy framework and the Ministry of Health’s mandate to support a more collaborative approach to health promotion and disease/injury prevention social marketing across BC. Participants also had the opportunity to provide feedback through facilitated sessions.

This is an important initiative and it is great to see the province of BC taking a leadership position in social marketing.

Governments and non-profits in Canada spend millions of dollars on attempting to change the behaviours and attitudes of Canadians. Much of the social marketing we see at our Centre across Canada is not strategic, or well-structured and effective campaigns with measurable results are hard to find. As I stated in a previous blog surely it is time for public sector and non-profit organizations to move from public education campaigns which are mostly focused on awareness to social marketing campaigns which engage and motivate audiences to change their attitudes and behaviours.

What we find at our Centre is that many organizations presently involved in attitude and behaviour change campaigns have different approaches to campaigns to change attitudes and behaviours. To be successful, these organizations should be engaged in following the key principles of social marketing best practices with emphasis on a consumer focus, consistent messages, market segmentation, clear calls to action, controlled channels and monitoring and evaluation. This includes a shift from promoting public education interventions that prescribe how people should behave to one that engages the audience to identify what motivates them and what actions will nudge them toward a new behaviour.

Getting back to the BC Ministry of Health their next steps will be the formation of a working group of marketing leads from the BC Ministry of Health and from each of the health authorities. This working group will report to the Provincial Public Health Committee.  The group will also develop its terms of reference collaboratively, and work through the recommendations  prepared by the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing in conjunction with the Health Engagement Unit, Ministry of Health BC to improve social marketing activities in BC . A key action will be to develop a broader, collaborative community of practice to engage all health promotion/disease prevention marketing partners throughout BC – government, health authority and non-government.

The Health Engagement Unit will also share Healthy Families BC brand guidelines and create a network to share information. They will look to improve collaboration where partners have common objectives.

healthy families BC

Collaborating on health promotion/prevention strategies and sharing communication channels, assets and learnings among partners in the health and NGO sector should also result in achieving better economies of scale for health promotion/prevention social marketing activities.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing has a Social Marketing Planning Workbook that is designed to provide communicators and marketers with an end-to-end planning tool that lays the groundwork for a successful social marketing program. We also run training workshops to help marketers and communicators to prepare a social marketing plan that is actionable, has maximum impact, and leads to successful implementation.

 

Get Certified: Sprott Professional Programs

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If you’re new to marketing or even if you’ve been wearing multiple  marketing hats over the years – it may be time to earn a Professional  Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing to support you in your professional development. With a rising need for highly skilled marketing professionals in the public and non-profit sectors many are looking for professional advice about how to bring products, services and messages to citizens, stakeholders and their specific target audiences in new and impactful ways. Take advantage of a condensed, intensive 6-day program from February 8-13, 2015 at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University and be recognized for your skills. Learn more

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