Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Review: Social Marketing- Improving the Quality of Life (by Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee & Ned Roberto)

For those of us who took up Marketing Communications, Philip Kotler and Ned Roberto are no strangers. Kotler was most probably the author of your Marketing 101, Comm 101 or Advertising 101 book. And Roberto, on the other hand, was probably a demi-god to your market research professor.

So put them together and add Nancy Lee (whom I only later lea
rned is a social marketing guru of sorts, since the 70's), and you've got one really great resource book with practical guidelines on how to market your advocacies.

The book takes you through a different kind of thinking, starting even from the point of defining your "product", and who you should see as your "competition". What I found very interesting was how they defined a social marketing product as mainly composed of three parts - a core product, actual product and an augmented product. And how your positioning then not only becomes how to leverage yourself against the competition but also how to balance between all three levels of your own product.

The strength of this book, I think, is how the authors really impress upon the reader that social marketing campaigns are all about creating change - and so they walk you through the process of how to craft your campaigns in a way that will result in behavioral changes as opposed to mere awareness or buzz-generation.

Complete with the usual textbook offerings - tons of examples of social marketing campaigns, practical templates, models and case studies to illustrate all their points - you can't go wrong with this book. I think any NGO that's trying to up their efforts in the marketing and communications side should have a copy of this in their office.

But having said that, I will have to warn you that I got my copy back in New York so I can't guarantee that you will find this in your friendly neighborhood National Bookstore or Powerbooks (although I'm pretty sure Powerbooks can import it for you by special order). But if in case you really really can't find it, drop me a message and maybe I can lend you mine (if you promise to take really REALLY good care of it!).

One last note - this book was written more for people in NGO's than for brand or advertising people. If you're looking for good commentary on the best ways to link your brand to CSR efforts or how to build brand equity using advocacies, well, this isn't the book for you. I'm still on the hunt for something like that so if you do know of any, I'm very open to recommendations :-)

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Photo from
Average customer review: 5 stars
Citations: This book cited in 100 books

A re-post from my multiply account.

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