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Social Marketing for Sustainability (ENVS 195)

Fostering Sustainable Behaviors through Social Marketing Draft Syllabus - Spring 2013

Julie Nash (Julie.Nash@uvm.edu) Tarah Rowse (Tarah.Rowse@uvm.edu)

Class Information
Class time: Thursday, 1:00-3:45pm Students: Max 25 (Minimum Sophomore standing) Meeting Place: University Heights 027 Credit Hours: 3

Course Description
The Social Marketing for Sustainability (SMS) course is specifically designed to teach students the principles and techniques of social marketing within the context of sustainability. The class will emphasize the development of effective social marketing campaigns to foster sustainable behaviors and will cover environmental sustainability issues in the areas of energy, climate, water, waste, transportation, and land protection. Conserving energy, recycling waste, and protecting water quality are important sustainable activities. This course will address questions, such as: how can we work to persuade individuals to embrace these sustainable behaviors?, what messages will resonate with the audience?, and, how can we best reach these audiences? To help answer these questions the course will follow the principles of social marketing, a discipline which draws on psychology, sociology, economics and anthropology in an attempt to fully understand how to encourage lasting behavior change. The class focus will be on marketing and persuasion theory, social marketing communication strategy, and campaign development. The marketing and persuasion theory acts as a building block giving students opportunities to connect sustainability behavior theory and marketing frameworks to the practice of social marketing. Social marketing is a practical skill set for students interested in positions at nonprofits, NGOs, or organizations working on health, social or environmental issues. It is also applicable to social entrepreneurs looking to apply marketing skills towards changing the world for the better. This course is designed to complement existing sustainability education course offerings by focusing on social change campaigns designed by NGO and public agencies. Throughout the class there is a heavy emphasis on social marketing case studies in diverse sustainability areas. Students will have the chance to critique and discuss over 20 case studies throughout the semester. Course assignments will include two critical reading responses, a marketing plan, and two exams.

Main Resources
Required Text: McKenzie-Mohr, D., Lee, N. R., Schultz, P. (Paul) W., & Kotler, P. (2011). Social Marketing to Protect the Environment: What Works. Sage Publications, Inc. (Text referred to as SMPE in course schedule.) Primary Website: Tools of Change - www.toolsofchange.com

Learning Objectives
Become familiar with persuasion theory and components of a marketing plan Learn how to design a social marketing campaign

Conduct critical analysis of social marketing campaigns

Course Assignments and Grading

Grading Overview Class Participation (15%) Critical Reading Responses (20%) Marketing Plan (30%) Exams (35%) Class Participation (15%) Good attendance is imperative. Attendance will be taken at every class. The class participation grade will be a combination of class attendance and critical contribution during class discussion and activities. Critical Reading Responses (20%) Students will complete two critical analysis assignments (10% each) of a journal article. A well-developed critical analysis examines the articles ideas, assesses the claims, and decodes its significance. The critical reading response must cover the following five areas: 1) What is the main idea of the journal article?, 2) How does the author support the main idea?, 3) What is the strength of the authors argument?, 4) What are the weaknesses of the authors argument?, and 5) How does this article relate to the class? *Additional assignment details and grading rubric will be provided separately. Marketing Plan (30%) Students will work in teams of three to create a sustainability focused marketing plan. Teams will be responsible for a final paper (20%) and a final presentation (10%) of their plan. The marketing plan will be broken into five separate sections. Program Objectives: Identify Individuals and their Behaviors Research: Identifying Barriers and Benefits Strategy: Developing a Communication Strategy Marketing Campaign: Creating an Integrated Marketing Campaign Impact: Measuring and Evaluating Results Teams will select, or be assigned, one of four provided case studies. Each team (eight total) will develop their marketing plan and will go head-to-head (four head-to-head presentations) with another team who has the same case study. The class will discuss the marketing plans and vote on the winning teams during the final two classes. *Additional assignment details and grading rubric will be provided separately. Exams (35%) Two exams (midterm - 15%, and final - 20%) will cover the key concepts presented during the course. Students will be expected to have an understanding of all course themes and related skills. The exams will have multiple choice and short answer questions.

Class Schedule (subject to change)

Note: Guest lectures will be included where relevant and as the schedule allows


TOPIC Introduction to Marketing and Marketing Planning

Marketing Plan o Market Research o Strategy Development and Communication (Target Population, Target Behavior, Strategy Development) o Marketing Mix Social Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing Introductory Mini Case Studies on Social Marketing



Jan 17

Introduction to Persuasion Theory & Changing Attitudes and Behaviors

Defining Persuasion Attitude Definition and Structure (Values and Beliefs, Attitude Consistency) Models of Attitude-Behavior Relations (Theory of Reasoned Action, Theory of Planned Behavior) Processing Communications (ELM Theory, Oprah Effect, Jargon) Message Factors (Comprehension, Evidence, Fear Appeals, Guilt Appeals, Source Factors) Identity and Cognitive Dissonance Theory Normative Theory & Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Jan 24

Perloff, Chapters 1-3: 1) Introduction to Persuasion, 2) Attitudes: Definition and Structure, 3) Attitudes: Functions and Consequences

Critical Reading Response #1 Due

Social Marketing Introduction

Five Steps to a Social Marketing Plan Program Objectives: Identify Individuals and their Behaviors Research: Identifying Barriers and Benefits Strategy: Developing a Communication Strategy Marketing Campaign: Creating an Integrated Marketing Campaign Impact: Measuring and Evaluating Results Mini Sustainability Case Studies on Social Marketing Sustainability Buffet Activity Overview of Marketing Plan (MP) Assignment and Grading Rubric

Jan 31

SMPE Chapter 1

Program Objectives
Target Behavior Identification The Art of Consumer Segmentation Strategic Value Target (Who will do What by When?) The Behavior Loyalty Ladder Sustainability Topic Focus: Protecting Water Quality & Reducing Water Use (Case #3.1 - Natural Yard Care, Case #9.2 - Dirty Dairying, Case #11.1 - Conserving Water in Hotels)

Feb 7

SMPE Chapters 3 & 9

Market Research

Feb 14

Primary versus Secondary Sources Conducting Primary Research (Qualitative and Quantitative Techniques) Secondary Research Tools Guest Lecture: ?? Sustainability Topic Focus: Transportation (Case #4.2 TravelSmart)

SMPE Chapters 4 & 10

Strategy Development 6 Feb 21

Situation Assessment Marketing Mix (Incentives (Price), Convenience (Place), Communication (Promotion), Goods and Services (Product)) Case Study Focus: Goods and Services for Sustainability

Academic Readings TBD

Critical Reading Response #2 Due

Marketing Tool Kit (Marketing Campaign)

Traditional Media (TV, Print, Outdoor, Public Relations, Point of Sale) Case Study Focus: Traditional Advertising Sustainability Topics Covered: Protecting Water Quality & Reducing Waste (Case #3.2 Scooping the Poop, Case # 8.2 - Reusing Leftover Food, Case #9.1 - Vietnamese Radio Soap Opera to Reduce Pesticides)

Feb 28

Program Objectives & Market Research Draft Due (Marketing Plan)

Midterm Review 8 9 Mar 7 Mar 14 No Class - Spring Recess Midterm Team Meetings
(Return and review Program Objectives & Market Research Drafts)


Marketing Tool Kit (Marketing Campaign) 10 Mar 21

New Media (Social Media, Twitter) and Emerging Techniques (Gamification, Smart Phone, Crowdsourcing Content) Case Study Focus: Gamification and Smartphones Sustainability Topics Covered: Protecting Fish & Wildlife Habitats (Case #7.1 - Seafood Watch, Case #7.2 - Grass Fires)

SMPE Chapter 7

Marketing Tool Kit (Marketing Campaign) 11 Mar 28

Community Based Activities, Word of Mouth Case Study Focus: Community Based Normative Marketing Sustainability Topics Covered: Reducing Waste (Case #2.3 - Curbside Recycling of Organics, Case # 12.1 - Prompts to Turn Off Lights)

SMPE Chapters 2 & 8

Marketing Tool Kit (Marketing Campaign) 12 Apr 4

Financial Incentives and Disincentives (Cash, Prizes, Discounts, Low Interest Loans, Fines) (Case #2.2 - Decreasing Use of Plastic Bags) Case Study Focus: Financial Incentives and Disincentives Guest Lecture: Efficiency Vermont (??) Sustainability Topics Covered: Energy Use Case #6.2 - ecoEnergy Home Retrofits

SMPE Chapters 6 &12

Impact Measurement & Evaluation

Estimating the Likeliness of Successful Change Communication Costs Return on Communication Investment Case Study Focus: Measuring Impact Sustainability Topics Covered: Reducing Waste & Water Use (Case #5.1 - Water Use on Lawns, Case #8.1 - Europes Packaging Waste Reduction)


Apr 11

SMPE Chapters 5, 11, & 13

14 15 16 17

Apr 18 Apr 25 May 2 Exam Week

Marketing Plan Head-to-Head Presentations Marketing Plan Head-to-Head Presentations No Class (Classes end on May 1) Final Exam

Marketing Plan Paper & Presentation Due Marketing Plan Paper & Presentation Due

Final Exam