iSMA is so very grateful to all the members who took the time to complete the 2019 Survey! You have provided much thoughtful insight into who our member base is, and much thoughtful feedback and suggestions for improvement of our services. We are committed to provide a valuable array of useful resources to our members to advance the practice of Social Marketing approaches that address social challenges around the globe. We pledge to incorporate as many of these suggestions as are feasible. Here is a summary of what you told us…

Who Are Our Members?
The Survey’s participating iSMA member base was comprised of 33% Social Marketing practitioners, with the remainder being researchers and academics, a full 68% of whom work in the public sector. Small percentages of 2% each represented public health communications and social justice fields.

When identifying the subject matter in which survey responders work, public health made up 42%, with environment and public engagement following at 22% and 11%, respectively. Almost 50% of the responders came from the United States, 20% from Australia, followed by New Zealand, Canada, and Uruguay.

56% of iSMA member responders have been working in Social Marketing for more than ten years, while 29% are relatively new to Social Marketing, working in the field from one to five years. The majority of responders (62%) are working  predominantly domestically, while 31% are working on both international and domestic projects.

A majority of responders (33%) registered through the International Social Marketing Association (iSMA). 27% of members joined through the Australian Association of Social Marketing (AASM), and 24% joined through the Social Marketing Association of North America (SMANA).

Many survey responders (56%) registered within just the last one to three years. The remainder have been a member of iSMA from four to ten years.

Perspectives on iSMA Webinars
Of our member offerings, 67% of survey responders said that webinars best support their work. And of those, 31% have attended one to two webinars in the last two years, while 27% have attended three to seven webinars in the last two years.

Of those respondents who have not attended a webinar, 50% said that the timing of the event was not convenient for them (particularly the Australian respondents), while 25% stated said the topic of the webinar did not interest them. 15% said they did not see any promotional marketing for the webinar.

Perspectives on iSMA Newsletters

The iSMA Bi-monthly Newsletter was the second most popular resource offered by the organization after webinars. 58% of survey responders said that the newsletter supported their work. A full 80% of respondents said they read the iSMA newsletter and their preference were for content featuring case studies (71%), webinar information (66%) and updates from the regional associations (45%). An events calendar was accessed by 56%. Job Board was at 37%.

Perspectives on iSMA Training and Topics

iSMA has recently added Training in aspects of Social Marketing Frameworks as a member feature. From this survey, 36% of respondents felt this would enhance their work in Social Marketing. Broken down into potential topics: 44% found interest in a comprehensive overview of Social Marketing, 52% were especially interested in Emerging Social Marketing Issues. The most interest came from an “Ask the Expert” topic, both for webinar and training. Effective Research Methodologies followed closely behind.

Perspectives on iSMA Web

Why do members come to the iSMA website? 51% said they come for conference and event information and related member discounts. 44% of survey responders said they were seeking effective social marketing resources. 40% were looking for both webinar information and calendar information. Information on Board updates was sought by 27% of members. Responders generally visited the website monthly (62%), 11% visited weekly and 27% never came to the site.

Perspectives on iSMA Social Media

Social Media provides a major advantage in reaching our audience and in driving traffic to our resources, particularly the website. From the survey we found that 44% of respondents interact with our social media channels between 1 and 4 times monthly, although that same amount have never interacted with social media. Only 11% say they frequently interact with iSMA social media. The channels of choice are Linkedin at 65% and Twitter at 55%. Facebook is the third choice at 48%. The most preferred topics to engage with through social media channels include content about improving practice (73%), followed by academic research (62%) and social marketing training and events (60%).

General Feedback and Comments

iSMA member respondents reported seeking content most often through journals (69%), followed by webinars (51%) and through books (47%). Other less popular channels are through blogs and podcasts.

Suggestions to improve website: Invite members to write articles, innovate approaches to practice and how to perform research in constrained settings, provide more enticing member resources in addition to the webinars, include less content on the website (referencing the original iSMA website), ensure the website is clean and easy to read.

Suggestions to improve Social Media: Post more activity overall, tag/link to other thought leaders, use hashtags, use quizzes, more photos/videos, feature a social marketer spotlight monthly from different regions around the world, employ targeted and paid advertising for iSMA.

Suggestions to improve Newsletter: Add an innovation corner or feature to highlight new tools/methods, include more case studies and lessons learned, highlight planning models, spotlight iSMA members from around the world.

Suggestions to improve webinars: Measuring impact, feature topics such as guns and violence, growing challenges in the boomer generation (aging), climate change, NCDs, how to use tools to monitor campaign impact (mobile, smart voice automation), evaluation methods for campaigns.

Social Marketing Conferences: 74% of survey responders regularly attend social marketing conferences. What draws them to live events is the opportunity to engage and network with the community, and expand contacts with practitioners and academics. Suggestions for improving conference content included attracting more diverse audiences, such as government officials (policy) environment, business, not just the health sector.

Of the conferences social marketers attend, the World Social Marketing Conference held top billing as effective for their social marketing goals. USF Social Marketing Conference was also highlighted, as was the International Social Marketing Conference and the Change event (both AASM)

General comments:

  • I don’t think many members realise that they can also partake of iSMA benefits, that they are also members of iSMA.
  • How can we fundraise so that social marketers in the Middle East and Africa can attend Social Marketing Events?