This blog is premised on our social nature and our innate sense of fairness. Those impulses lead to the design, distribution, pricing and promotion of social goods, or marketing the social good. Trends in demographics and technology are pointing to a major change in our society where there are more people than jobs. As social beings concerned with fairness, should we institute a universal basic income for everyone, regardless of whether they work?
Distribution is a pillar of marketing, but distribution differs in fundamental ways between the for-profit and the public and social sectors. Millions of lives can hang in the balance.
Low-income kids fall behind during the summer, not just academically, but in health and nutrition as well. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),
“During the school year, 21 million children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch. But when school is out, many of the children relying on these school meals go hungry. Summer Meal Programs help close that gap. Summer Meals give children the nutrition they need so they are ready to learn when they return to school.”
How do communities reach these 21 million children when they aren’t in one handy location such as the neighborhood school?
Distribution is vital when launching a new product such as a movie studio’s summer blockbuster, an automaker’s new car model, or a state’s legal recreational marijuana.
In recent years three American states–Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state–have legalized recreational marijuana. Even though marijuana is still a heavily regulated commodity, the states have an interest in wide distribution if they hope to realize the increased tax revenues they expect from the new product.
How did the various states structure their distribution channels?
In business school, we poured over case studies, stories about how companies solved, or didn’t solve, a particular challenge. So here’s a challenge for you: how would you use existing products, distribution channels and means of promotion to improve nutrition in one of the largest and richest countries in the world?
This blog needs a definition of “social goods.” That’s a bit difficult, though. Even economists don’t have a clear and agreed-upon definition. So by way of definition, let’s discuss the characteristics and problems of social goods, and how those characteristics pose problems for traditional marketing activities such as design, distribution, pricing and promotion.
You might think of the social insects as builders: ants and termites, bees and wasps. Social mammals also build for the community. For instance, tunneling mammals like prairie dogs, voles and meerkats build communal networks of tubes and chambers.
To continue bringing you topics of interest in the new year, I took a look back at what you read the most this year. Here are the top five posts published in 2015, as measured by your views:
It’s nearing the end of the calendar year as I write this, and measurement naturally arises during this season. How did your public or social sector organization do in the past year? Did you move closer to fulfilling your mission, or did you spin your wheels for 12 months?
While listening to news recently about the current migrant crisis I began wondering if we need borders at all any more.