What’s a Social Marketing Business Model
For an oral history I conducted the other week, I interviewed Bob Bernstein, founder and CEO of Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, Missouri. It was a fabulous interview with a very respectable, admirable man whose passionate about advertising. After the interview, he asked me a few questions about what I was studying and my interests. Thus, we got into a conversation on social marketing. He also added that BR has a non-profit department. Then, he followed-up saying:
Now, if you could figure out a way to make that department in an ad agency profitable, now there you have an idea as he explained that though he is happy to lend BR’s services, it all counts towards outputs.
Thus, this brings me to the conversation: Can social marketing campaigns be integrated into a business model that stays in the black? Many of you out there involved with social marketing agencies may have dealt with this issue.
These are some of my ideas, but I’m curious how it really works:
1) Offer services at a discounted rate.
2) Offer normal services, but market your expertise in social marketing to gain the clientel, showing how it would be worth investing in social marketing rather than taking the left-over pro-bonos a traditional agency may offer.
3) Explain to an agency the non-monetary values in investing in social marketing. These include: increased welfare for society, but also for the agency, possible increased recognition. Often times, with non-profit and social marketing campaigns, the agency is given more creative leeway. In addition these types of campaigns are gaining more exposure and have been recognizzed in some of the top advertising awards ceremonies (i.e. the Cannes Lions.)
4) Find funding through a collaborative approach with many groups towards the SM campaign.