Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00
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Big budget, campaigns have no effect on consumer behavior –– Experts

Stakeholders at the recently concluded African Social Marketing Forum in Abuja have posited that commercial campaign, experiential marketing, engagement through winning propositions and amount spent on campaigns do not guarantee a successful change in consumers’ attitude.

This was the assertion of life experiences of discussants at the Forum hosted by EXP, an activation agency in Nigeria.

It was said that it does not matter how big budget in a campaign but rather, what strategies and tactics are deployed to break down the barriers confronted daily. Experts also said that only strategic approach can  help companies achieve their objectives of engaging and making a difference.

Speaking at the forum, David Boon, Group Director, EXP International, on ‘Experiential marketing, Insights, Learning and  Best Practices,’ said, “from experience, concept  of experiential marketing knowledge does not change consumers insight. “We do a lot of work across Africa and have seen a trend of opening the corridors of communication and networking, sharing ideas across industries – all with the view to trying to help in learning from each other in making their efforts more effective.”

According to him, “Whether we are in commercial marketing or Social Marketing, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) field, we are all about behaviour change, while noting  that there are three levels of knowledge  which are; shared understanding, shared commitment and unity of action.

Based on these actions, Ms. Lillian Achieng, Social Marketing Regional Coordinator, EXP, East Africa had to tie this to the sanitation programme in Tanzania and Lighting Africa Programme in Kenya, whilst giving best practices and insights from East Africa on sexual and reproductive health, renewable energy, civic education, hygiene and sanitation which worked as a result of the social marketing mechanism fused into the programmes.

Prof. Jeff French, a  Social Marketing expert and a visiting professor at Brunel University who delivered the keynote address tagged: ‘Applying Behavioural Theory,’  gave insights why companies need to apply social marketing principles and what social marketing is and not, using examples from around the world, giving suggestions for improving the impact.

According to him, “Successfully addressing most wicked problems requires achieving sustained changes in behaviour.” He noted that the effectiveness of traditional approaches to influencing behaviour (e.g. legislation, sanctions, regulations, taxes and subsidies) may be limited, without some additional tools and understanding of how to engage citizens in cooperative behavioural change will pose difficulty.

Contributing, Richard Burns, Managing Director, Exp Social Marketing Foundation gave instances on how he has been able to developed sustainability strategies to enhance reproductive health commodity security in USAID’s reproductive health care programme in Ghana.


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