skip navigation
Communications Toolkit--Telling Your Weed & Seed Story Office of Justice Programs Seal Community Capacity Development Office Office of Justice Programs
Design a Marketing Strategy
Think Like a Marketer—Make It Easy To Act

Principle 3. Make it easy—or even irresistible—for your audience to act.

Remember, social marketing focuses on the concept of exchange—the assumption that people do things in exchange for benefits they expect to receive. Look for the point at which your community members will believe that the benefits sufficiently outweigh the barriers. When that point is reached, they will be more likely to take action.

Some benefits might include—

  • Improved self-image.
  • Good health.
  • Peace of mind.
  • Convenience.
  • Approval of people who matter.

Some barriers might include—

  • Monetary cost.
  • Inconvenient hours or locations.
  • Social pressures.
  • Ignorance about how to act.
  • Lack of ability to act.
For the most part, people act in their own best interests. As you can see from the lists above, benefits and barriers often are based on individual perceptions and can vary from person to person. Emphasize the aspects of the action that your target audience will find beneficial, and minimize or eliminate those things that will get in their way.

Sometimes, it's easy to assume that the benefit that is important to you is the same one that is significant to your target audience. Often, this is simply untrue. Therefore, it's important that you exercise the first principle: Know your audience.

Social Marketing
Five principles of social marketing:
  1. Know your audience.
  2. Remember the bottom line.
  3. Make it easy to act.
  4. Use the 4 Ps: product, price, placement, and promotion.
  5. Base decisions on evidence.

To begin using these principles in the real world, break down the behavior you want to change to understand what is behind it. Only then can you think about how you might change it.