Environmental Marketing Strategy for Behavior Change

Nicholas School of the Environment

How long?

  • 8 weeks
  • online

Nicholas School of the Environment

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About the course

This course provides environmental professionals with a process for developing a marketing strategy for developing a campaign to change environmental or conservation behaviors. The field-based skills gained through this course will benefit all practicing environmental professionals faced with the challenge of changing behaviors using social marketing.

This course provides environmental professionals with a process for developing a marketing strategy for developing a campaign to change environmental or conservation behaviors. This course, over just a few weeks, will help students clearly articulate the strategy for one environmental or conservation behavior for a large group which the student has selected. This is a companion course to Environmental Communication for Behavior Change, which gives the overall approach to developing a behavior change campaign. The courses can be taken stand alone or in either order. These courses originated and have been taught online for many years, by the same faculty person.

Virtually every environmental and conservation problem we face is caused by human behavior, yet the tools most often used – which assume that knowledge changes attitudes, which in turn changes behaviors – are not effective for the majority of target audiences or issues. The content of the course centers around techniques from the commercial marketing world that have been adapted to accomplishing social good, which are called Social Marketing. While social marketing has been around for decades, it is just becoming widely used for changing environmental behaviors.

The course is seven weeks in length (with a one week break for US Thanksgiving) and is taught in an entirely online, distance learning format, with both asynchronous and synchronous portions. No campus visits are required. Depending upon enrollment, we anticipate offering 1–2 times each week that you can interact with instructors and classmates via Zoom.

A sequential topic in developing a marketing strategy will be the topic of each week’s interactive webinar,accompanied with the opportunity to practice the skills and end with a draft marketing strategy for your selected behavior.

This course may be taken as part of the Environmental Communications Certificate program. Please note this a non-degree course and cannot be counted towards student credits.

COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1: Technology Orientation and Materials Overview

This week Duke staff will hold a practice session using the web conferencing Zoom app and walk–through the online course material platform. It will also be a good time to test out all the technology and ask any logistical questions for the course. Students will introduce themselves so that the course begins to come together. There will be a short introduction to the course. For those that have not taken the Environmental Communication for Behavior Change – there will be one article to read to help you understand where the strategy fits in the large communication model.

Week 2: Strategy Implementation requires a Brand

This week is meant to help everyone understand the critical role of a Brand, why it is important, and should you use one you already have or one specific for the campaign. How does brand impact behavior change? We will develop the brand using a brand key, so that all aspects of the Brand are understood. To take this first step the student would be best positioned, to maximize the learning from this course, by having selected an audience of over 300 people, and the specific behavior they would like to change.

Week 3: Developing your Positioning Statement.

From the work you will have done prior to this point, you need to develop the very nature of your strategy and form it into a single sentence. What is it? How can we use it? Can you really change behavior? How does social marketing work at the community or larger level? How can environmental professional use it to address specific problems?

Week 4: Developing a Marketing Mix

Having developed your Positioning Statement, we now need to use the practical/tactical approach to develop your campaign. This is the marketing mix or what is often called the 4Ps. It comes from commercial marketing but is tweaked for different behaviors..

Week 5: Writing the Creative Brief

Marketing is half science (or process) and half art. The course focuses on the “science half”. In order for the art to deliver the strategy –there is a method used to communicate your strategy to the creative team (usually a marketing or advertising firm) called a creative brief. It is called brief as it needs to be – to get the best results from the creative team. This session is about how you write that brief.

Week 6: The Baseline Survey

After delivering your creative brief to the creative team, you are then, having completed your strategy, ready to put in place the “before” survey so you can measure your campaign’s effectiveness. What is most often used is a standard format survey called a KAP study. It is tailored specifically to your campaign and is repeated after the first full iteration of your campaign – usually a year later. How you structure and word the survey, as well as determine the sample size, will be covered in this session.

Week 7: Students take this week to work on their Final Paper

In lieu of a formal class, instructor Brian Day will host an online “office hours” session.Students may log in to ask questions or receive feedback on their final projects.

COURSE DETAILS

Structure This course will require 40 hours over the 7-week class period. Time will include:

  • Synchronous web-conference sessions where students and instructor will address the week’s theme and materials. Please note: Meeting times will not be determined until registration is closed. Times depend on registrant availability, which will be elicited via email to registrants.
  • One asynchronous web-based session
  • Discussion via online conferencing tools, including discussion. Participation will be encouraged through the posing of various questions based on readings, previous discussion, and future directions of the class. In addition to exploring general course topics, web discussion tools will also allow students to work through issues related to their paper topic – exploring opportunities and selecting the correct strategies with help from others in the class and instructor’s guidance.
  • Reading of assigned materials.
  • Creation of, and response to, final paper assignment actually designing a social marketing program for an issue and target audience of the student’s choosing.

Please note: While specific components of outlined class structure may change, it will be expected that students commit to 40 hours over the 7-week class period.

Experts

Brian Day

Brian A. Day is a well-recognized environmental educator and communicator with over 35 years experience in more than 30 countries. He is a leading authority and practitioner in environmental social marketing and communications training. He served most recently as Director of Social Marketing for ...

Environmental Marketing Strategy for Behavior Change at Nicholas School of the Environment

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