Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Deb in Amman

Deb in Amman

On March 19, 2012, Posted by , In Travelogue, By , With Comments Off on Deb in Amman

I forget to mention an extraordinary thing I observed when we visited Pella. Our male waiter was wearing shoes that had greatly extended pointed toes that turned upward at a 45-degree angle! According to Mona, that is the new fashion!

I spent the day with Maha D. (not to be confused with Maha K.) (re)designing a one-day training program on social marketing. The concept of social marketing is fascinating, because the focus in on changing a specific individual behavior that will benefit either water or energy conservation or solid waste management.

Both in Lagos and here in Amman, they have dual flush toilets. One social behavior that a US AID grantee might focus on could be using the least amount of water necessary when flushing. Or turning off lights when not in a room. Or gathering picnic materials rather than littering in a park.

According to Wikipedia
“Social marketing is the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioral goals for a social good. Social marketing can be applied to promote merit goods, or to make a society avoid demerit goods and thus to promote society’s well being as a whole. For example, this may include asking people not to smoke in public areas, asking them to use seat belts, or prompting to make them follow speed limits.
Although “social marketing” is sometimes seen only as using standard commercial marketing practices to achieve non-commercial goals, this is an over-simplification.
The primary aim of social marketing is “social good”, while in “commercial marketing” the aim is primarily “financial”. This does not mean that commercial marketers cannot contribute to achievement of social good.
Increasingly, social marketing is being described as having “two parents”—a “social parent” = social sciences and social policy, and a “marketing parent” = commercial and public sector marketing approaches.
Beginning in the 1950s when Weibe asked “Why can’t you sell brotherhood and rational thinking like you can sell soap?”, it has in the last two decades matured into a much more integrative and inclusive discipline that draws on the full range of social sciences and social policy approaches as well as marketing.
Shaklee Corporation, who pioneered social marketing over 50 years ago, has trademarked the term “Social Marketing.”
Maha D. had a tough time explaining the 4 P’s of marketing and how they pertained to behavior change. The 4 P’s, for those of you who, like myself, know nothing about marketing, are Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Here are the descriptions of the 4 P’s from Mona:

Product refers to the desired behavior you are asking of the audience, associated benefits of doing the desired behavior and any tangible objects or services that support or facilitate the desired behavior.

Price refers to the cost and barriers the target audience faces when changing to the promoted behavior. Non-monetary costs, such as physical, emotional, time and/or psychological cost should also be considered. The benefits of changing to the new behavior must be greater than the cost in order for the target audience to adopt it.
Place refers to where the target audience will perform the desired behavior or where the product or service is made available to the target audience. Place is often associated with the problem if it is geographic.

Promotion refers to persuasive communications designed and delivered to inspire your target audience to action.
I’ll be working with Maha D. and Maha K. to design this training, which I anticipate titling Creating a Social Marketing Campaign. It will have to include modules on change management (a topic with which I am comfortable and have content) as well as the 4 P’s.

It is really interesting how simple things create unanticipated difficulties. For example, in my detailed instructions for the 5 day train the trainer program, I indicated my preference that the materials be in 3-ring binders rather than individually stapled. Well, they don’t have 3-ring binders in Jordan (only 2 and 4 ring) and the staff was very stressed over how they would accommodate my need. I felt terrible when I understood the problem.
I also indicated a preference for each document to be printed in a different color, to make them easier for participants to locate. A fellow came in with a variety of colored paper, but not enough colors to comply with my request. He joked (at least I think he was joking) that he would have to go to Syria and Egypt to find other colors. Luckily, he did have other colors that we could also use.

My printing instructions for my Train the Trainer program are difficult enough for English-speaking folks to follow. I didn’t think about how incredibly difficult they would be in translation.

There will be 50 participants (split into two 5-day sessions). Each person needs a copy of each day’s materials plus two reference packets plus approximately 10 associated individual documents.

Then, on two days, the participants will be evaluating each other- so that is 50 participants x 50 copies for each day, or a total of 5, 400 pages (if my math is correct, so you might want to check it..)

In addition, there are activity material pages with 2-3 different pages. These involve 3 or 7 people at a time, so we only need 17 or 10 sets. Explaining this strained all communications, so for ease they are going to print enough for each person and then discard the extra pages. But this is an incredibly expensive way to resolve the problem.
Okay, this is plenty for today!




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