What is Taking Action?
CCIS believes that the adoption of invasive species prevention best practices that encourages the public to get involved, change their behaviours, and start taking action will result in the reduction of introduction and spread of invasive species. This approach is based on the principles and theory of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM), which is described as:
"Initiatives delivered at the community level that focus on removing barriers to an activity while simultaneously enhancing the activities’ benefits."
— Doug McKenzie-Mohr, Ph. D. from “Quick Reference: Community-Based Social Marketing”
See Take Action Programs for Canada for more details/case studies on specific national programs being developed based on the principles of Community Based Social Marketing. Read more below about the principles and theory behind CBSM, and key components to an effective CBSM plan:
Community Based Social Marketing – Principles and Theory
Traditional marketing often is focused at creating awareness. Many of the measures of traditional marketing success are awareness measurement analytics – examples include: number of promotion pieces distributed, number of people to an event, number of subscribers to a magazine a particular advertisement has been placed in, etc. Unfortunately, there is not a direct correlation between awareness and having people actually moving to the next step of the desired action.
A classic example of this lack of correlation between awareness and taking action can be found examining blood donation in Canada. The Canadian Blood Services survey data has determined that: 97% of people are aware of blood donation; additionally they also understand and agree that donating giving blood is critically important. However, on average, only 3% of people in Canada actually donate blood. This is the challenge between creating awareness verses motivating people into changing their behaviour so they start taking action.
Key Definitions associated with CBSM:
- Social Marketing - 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 or to stop behaviors that are spreading invasive species (Source: Wikipedia).
- Branding - Branding is critical component of creating a common consistent recognizable and repeatable message and is an important part in developing and delivering effective programs. A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or program that the target audience (consumers) connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan or design of the organization who owns the idea or image. Brand recognition also builds organization reputation and sets a standard to which the organization should strive to maintain or surpass. CCIS recognizes the importance and value of having commonly recognized aligned brands and programs across Canada. Across Canada, Council’s members will work to build common national education and awareness approaches to help improve consistent messaging and effective programs. Over time, the goal is to have a rich range of resources that are used across Canada with key target audiences.
- Measurement methodology - for measuring changes for target audiences - Measurement of behaviour change is important for determining effectiveness of programs. Surveys have been used successfully in the past to measure changes in awareness and in targeted behaviours by comparing baseline pre-program data to data after the program has been implemented. Positive behaviour change has shown to be successfully achieved after implementation of the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers program in the US. This was one of the first invasive species programs developed specifically using CBSM principles.
7 Key Components to an Effective Community Based Social Marketing Plan:
- Identify a mandate – mission statement. Why are you doing this?
- Research – get some background on your project.
- Survey - Next, survey your audience.
- Pilot the Project - try it out – smaller scale means less expense before you go for full deployment.
- Build - you know what you want to build – what tools do you need to do it?
f. Remove Barriers/obstacles
- Deploy Social media vehicles with traditional vehicles:
a. Wired and non-wired. E-banners, bulletins, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, Wiki’s, Blogs.....non wired – guerrilla tactics, door to door, in the malls focus testing
b. Focus group test again – control group receives no prompts/intervention while the other group receives the social prompts. Randomly assign households/individuals to either group.
- Measure, measure, measure
Note: Full deployment is ready once focus groups have effectively changed their behaviour. Failure to identify barriers and benefits will often result in a program that either has a diminished impact or no impact at all (Doug McKenzie-Mohr)
CCIS has developed an Action Plan that identifies key priorities for managing invasive species in Canada through changing behaviour, including national education and awareness goals and objectives.
National invasive species management programs and initiatives are based on key pathways for the introduction and spread invasive species across Canada.
Across Canada, many of the programs that have been implemented in the past several years have been based on using the principles of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) and targeted at changing specific behaviours of individuals.