Can Social Marketing act as a catalyst to support our frontline workers in these testing times…
“Disappointing to note phrases like "Covid fatigue" to excuse reckless and inappropriate behaviour that accelerates the spread of the disease……sad to see educated, well aware people throwing caution to the wind, and in the process increasing the risk of those who are already vulnerable to the infection”….is what Dilip Jose, MD & CEO of the Manipal Hospital Group opined recently.
Among other factors, this may also be a pointer towards the effectiveness of the social marketing campaign, in respect of the COVID pandemic.
Social marketing is the application of commercial marketing strategies to analyze, plan, execute and evaluate programs designed to influence the behavior of target audiences, in order to enhance personal welfare, the well-being of the society, and as a matter of fact, even the eco system as a whole. It is also the process of changing the attitude of the public and their acceptance of social ideas. While commercial marketing convinces consumers to buy different types of products and services, in the same way, people can be convinced to adopt practices, products and services pertaining to healthcare, education and other social reforms. Commercial marketing is about focusing on customer needs while social marketing is about focusing on consumer behavior.
There are many wonderful examples of impactful social marketing initiatives e.g. the campaigns for anti- smoking, encouraging human organ donation, curbing AIDS, enrolling for immunization etc. Maybe, it is time for us to re-think the way social marketing campaigns are being executed in respect of COVID and apply a course correction so that it results in the population embedding practices and adopting long term COVID precautions, that do not peter away over time and due to ‘COVID fatigue’.