(With apologies to Pete Seeger)

 

Where has all the marketing gone?

Long time passing

Where has all the marketing gone?

Long time ago

 

Where has all the marketing gone?

Gone to health comm and social media

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

 

What better time to recommence blogging than at the
National Health Communication Marketing and Media conference?! What better time
to write a therapeutic rant than at this conference?!

 

Events at the last two days of the conference put me in
mind of folk singer Pete Seeger’s wonderful ballad–with a few changes of my
own! Out of over 100 workshops, plenaries and poster sessions, I have only
found social marketing mentioned three times. Most of the conference content
has been about social media, and a bit about communication. Now, I have not
experienced every offering here. I do not know the content of the abstracts
sent to reviewers. And this conference is one of my anchors. But where is the
third leg of the stool promised in the title???

 

Social media is magical! We all need these channels
available in our communication portfolio, with a strategy and goals.
Communication is often a necessary factor in social change, but rarely is it
sufficient, by itself. We need a marketing mindset!

 

Marketing is about making it possible for people–and
communities–to receive real Benefits they want in Exchange for doing (or not
doing) something.  Marketing is about
Lowering Barriers to actions and Increasing Facilitators. It is about Enabling
people to Use all that good knowledge and awareness communication engenders. It
provides a Strategic Framework and logic model to bring together all of our
services, advocacy, communication, outreach and policy change.

 

Most of all, MARKETING IS A BASIC HUMAN FUNCTION. We
have been doing marketing ever since our early human ancestors came out of the
swamp; and the tribe by the river had plenty of tasty fish, but no way to cook
them; and the tribe on the hill had trees for fire, but no fish–and then, they
got together on the plain and traded three logs for five fish!

 

Let’s bring tastiness and warmth back to this
conference–and into our practice! Let’s have more marketing!!