Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex than our subsequent explanations of them.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

We each have hunches about why people engage in activities such as walking to work, recycling or composting. For instance, theories regarding personal motivations for recycling abound. Recycling, it has been suggested, is popular because it serves to alleviate our guilt for not adopting the more difficult and inconvenient aspects of sustainable living. This hypothesis suggests that curbside recycling is simply an antidote to the guilt we feel when, for example, just after placing our recycling container at the curb, we hop into our own personal global warming factory and head off to work. Other theories suggest that individuals recycle because it is convenient, those around us recycle, it makes us feel good about ourselves, or we are simply badgered into it by our children.

Hunches regarding what motivates people to engage in sustainable behavior are important. However, these personal theories need to be identified for what they are: speculation. Speculation regarding what leads individuals to engage in responsible environmental behavior should never be used as the basis for a community-based social marketing plan. Prior to designing such a plan you need to set aside personal speculation and collect the information that will properly inform your efforts. To create an effective community-based social marketing strategy, you must be able to sort through the competing theories. In doing this, you will discover the actual barriers that inhibit individuals from engaging in the activity, as well as what would motivate them to act. Once you have this information, you are well-positioned to create an effective strategy. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to introduce methods for uncovering barriers and benefits.

Four Steps for Uncovering Barriers and benefits

Uncovering barriers and benefits involves four steps. 1) Begin by reviewing relevant articles and reports. 2) Following this review, carry out observations of people engaging in the behavior you wish to promote (e.g., biking to work) as well as the behavior that you wish to dissuade people from participating in (e.g., driving to work). 3) Conduct focus groups to explore in-depth attitudes and behaviors of your target audience regarding the activities you wish to encourage and discourage. 4) Building on the information obtained from the focus groups, conduct a survey with a random sample of your target audience. A survey can enhance knowledge of the barriers to the behavior you wish to promote as well as what would precipitate action.

If you have a consultant doing this research for you, it is wise to ask for an interim report at the end of these four steps, in which information gleaned from the literature review is presented; results of the observations, focus groups and survey are detailed; and promising social marketing strategies based on this research are identified. For organizations that typically have research undertaken by consultants, this chapter is meant to provide information against which you can assess their work. If you are likely to do this work internally, this chapter will provide you with enough information to define a clear research strategy. When combined with additional reading, this chapter will provide you with a template for conducting your research in-house.1 Finally, if you have limited time and/or budget for discovering barriers and benefits, this chapter concludes with suggestions for how to do this step quickly and inexpensively.

1. Literature Review

Since the barriers and benefits to sustainable behavior are often activity-specific (see the previous chapter for more information), the first step in designing a community-based social marketing strategy is to review relevant articles and reports. Prior to conducting your literature review, you should be clear on your mandate. If your position involves promoting the use of mass transit over driving to work, then your literature search is already well defined. However, if you have a broad mandate, such as promoting residential energy, you will need to further clarify your mandate before proceeding with your search. As noted in the previous chapter, residential energy conservation can include behaviors as diverse as weather-stripping, adding additional insulation to an attic, programing a thermostat, closing and opening windows, installing compact fluorescent bulbs, or planting trees.

There are four sources of information that you will want to include in your literature review.

  • Thumb through trade magazines and newsletters for related articles. Often these articles are summaries of more extensive reports and can provide good leads for where to search for in-depth information.
  • Discover what reports have been written on the topic by other agencies. These reports are often difficult to obtain but are well worth the effort. Begin by contacting organizations that act as information clearinghouses for the behavior you wish to promote. If a relevant clearinghouse does not exist, call several well-connected individuals to trace down reports that have been prepared for other organizations. In addition, search the reports database at the Fostering Sustainable Behavior website ( and post requests for barrier and benefit research to the site’s discussion forums.
  • Search the databases of your local university for related academic articles. Many of the articles that will be of interest to you can now be found online and are sometimes free. When you conduct these searches, pay particular attention to recent review articles that synthesize the current state of knowledge on the topic. Finally, at the Fostering Sustainable Behavior website ( you will find a searchable database of academic articles on fostering sustainable behavior. You can search this database by behavior and/or the behavior change tools described in subsequent chapters.
  • Once you have reviewed the reports and academic articles that you have found, call the authors of studies that are of particular interest. Often these individuals will have pre-press publications that you will not be able to find elsewhere. In addition, they may be currently engaged in research that can further inform your efforts. Academics can be a particularly useful resource for tracking down research articles and reports that you may have missed in your previous searches. Mention the studies you have found and ask if there are other studies that you should be aware of. They may well be willing to email you a listing of relevant articles. Finally, ask if you can call back at a later point in your project to obtain further advice. Cultivating a good relationship with an academic who works in your area can assist you not only with keeping abreast of current literature, but also with issues related to analyzing your barrier and benefit research and designing and evaluating your project.

Finally, if you are having the literature search done by consultants, ask that they search for relevant information in each of these four areas.

2. Observations

A surprising amount can be learned by simply observing who engages in the behavior you wish to promote and who doesn’t. For instance, imagine that you are interested in delivering programs to encourage active lifestyles that also reduce CO2 emissions. More specifically, you would like to encourage more elementary school children to walk and bike to school. You decide to begin by observing how children presently travel to school. In conducting these observations, you quickly learn that the majority of young children who bike and walk to school live within a short distance of their school and that their route to school does not involve having to cross major roads. You further notice that children from less affluent neighborhoods are more likely to walk or bike to school than children from more affluent areas. These easily obtained observations suggest potentially important barriers to active transportation as well as what neighborhoods may be most important to target. These observations, by themselves, are not a sufficient basis upon which to develop a program, but along with the literature review they can assist you in developing the questions that you will ask in both your focus groups and your survey. Here are some items to consider in doing observations:

  • Only conduct observations if you can observe the behavior unobtrusively. In other words, your observations cannot be influencing the behavior of those you are watching. Note that while you may not be able to observe the end-state behavior unobtrusively, for example, the installation of a high efficiency shower head, you may be able to observe actions that precede it, such as the purchase of a shower head in a hardware store. If you are able to observe the purchase of an item, note the advice, if any, provided by store personnel. Do they, for example, note the energy and water efficiency advantages of some items over others? You might also note the length of time involved in making the decision, along with the price of the item and where it is placed in the store relative to competing products.
  • Observe both those who are engaging in the behavior to be promoted and those that are engaged in the competing behavior to enhance your understanding of how these two groups differ.
  • When possible, have two or three people independently observe the same behaviors. Their recorded observations should be very similar.
  • Cease doing observations when you are no longer learning anything new.

When observed closely, many sustainable behaviors are actually comprised of clusters of sub-actions that make up the sustainable behavior. For example, composting involves two of these clusters. First, someone has to purchase a composter, put it together and then site it in their yard. Second, they have to find a container in which to store their kitchen organics, begin to place their organics in this container, repeatedly take the container out to their backyard composter, mix yard waste in with the kitchen organics, stir the composter occasionally, and, finally, harvest the compost and then begin the process again. Observations can assist not only in identifying these sub-actions, but also in beginning to identify their barriers. Note that for behaviors that are made up of sub-actions, a significant barrier to any one of the sub-actions may be sufficient to have someone cease engaging in the behavior. Consider the example with which I began this book with. It was no more difficult for my wife and me to collect organics in our kitchen in the winter than it was in the summer. However, it was the sub-action of taking the organics out to the composter in the winter that caused us to compost only seasonally. Exploring the barriers to sub-actions is one of the most important steps you can take in identifying barriers and benefits.

3. Focus Groups

The literature review and observations will assist in identifying issues to be explored further through focus groups. A focus group consists of six to eight individuals who have been paid to discuss issues that your literature review and observations have identified as important. It should be noted that when focus group participants are volunteers there is a strong likelihood that they are participating because they have a greater interest in the topic than others in your target audience. The participants for the focus groups are usually randomly chosen from your target audience. To select the participants, simply choose random phone numbers from the phone book if your project will be targeting the local community, or from a listing of organizations if your program is targeting commercial or agricultural sectors. When contacting the potential participants, be sure to let them know how they were selected. To ensure a good rate of participation, make it convenient for people to participate. Arranging transportation and childcare, when necessary, can significantly increase participation rates. Remember, you want your focus group participants to be as representative of your target audience as possible. The more barriers that you remove to participating, the more representative your focus groups will be.

Focus groups provide an opportunity to discuss in detail the perceptions and present behaviors of your target audience that are relevant to the activity you plan to promote. To maximize what you can learn from the focus group, you should come to the meeting with a set of clearly-defined questions that have been informed by your literature review and observations. Furthermore, you should place those that are already engaging in the behavior in one set of focus groups, and those that are not yet engaged in another set. Mixing those that are active and inactive in the same focus groups can significantly affect the quality of information that you receive from those who are inactive. When someone is not yet engaging in a behavior, such as biking to work, they can feel quite uncomfortable participating in a focus group with others who are.

To begin the session you will want to inform participants that they were chosen at random to provide your organization with information about the relevant behavior. You should also reassure them that there are no right or wrong answers for the questions that you will be asking them and that what you are most interested in is their perceptions. You will also want to remind them that their responses are confidential. Since you will be steering the conversation through the set of questions you have created, you should have a co-worker act as a note taker.

As the facilitator for the discussion, it is important that you establish a supportive, but firm, role with the attendees. It is not unusual to have one or two members of a focus group attempt to monopolize the discussion and in so doing make other members feel that their comments are not important. Your role is to facilitate in such a way that less assertive members, or individuals who might have differing views, feel comfortable in speaking out. Prior to conducting your first focus group you will need to be comfortable with statements such as, “I have received some very informative feedback from you, now I would like to hear what others have to say,” or “I understand that you feel strongly about this issue, but I also know that some people have very different views on this matter, would anyone like to share them?” These statements assure participants that, even if there are some belligerent or overly-talkative members, you are ensuring that other members’ views will be heard.

You should also remember that you are interested in people’s views unadulterated by any information that you might present in your subsequent program. Therefore, avoid sending information packages prior to conducting focus groups, though handing them out afterward is fine. If you provide information prior to running the focus groups, your participants will no longer be representative of your target audience.

When the focus groups are completed, you will want to summarize the comments that have been made. One effective technique is to tabulate the number of times that a specific comment was made, or agreed with, by members of the focus group. In general, you should pay close attention to comments that are made frequently, for example, “I would bike to work, if our roadways had protected lane ways that were just for cyclists.”

4. Survey

Focus groups are an essential step in enhancing your understanding of how community residents view the behavior you wish to promote. However, by themselves, focus groups do not always provide sufficient information to develop a community-based social marketing plan. Focus groups are limited by the small number of participants, the impact that members of the focus group have upon one another, and the qualitative nature of the answers obtained. The small number of participants makes generalizing the results to the larger community unwise and, while interviewing participants in groups is cost-effective, members of a focus group can have a substantial effect on what opinions are expressed. Furthermore, the qualitative data obtained in focus groups places limits on the types of analyses that can be performed. Despite these limitations, focus groups provide valuable in-depth information about what issues participants see as important and also how they speak about the topic (e.g., do they use the word watershed in speaking about local rivers and lakes?). As such, focus groups will help enrich your understanding of the activity you wish to promote, and help ensure that your survey will be well-constructed, comprehensive, and contain questions that will be readily understood by the respondents.

Several methods are available for obtaining reliable information on the current beliefs and behaviors of your target audience regarding the activity you wish to promote. These methods are person-to-person interviews, a mailed survey, and a phone survey. While personal interviews are capable of providing reliable and in-depth information, they suffer from two significant limitationsthey are expensive to conduct and take a considerable amount of time to complete. To conduct person-to-person interviews, a random sample of your target audience would first be selected. Next, each of these potential participants would be mailed a letter introducing the purpose of the interview. Each would then be called and, if willing, a time for an interview would be arranged. Paid interviewers would then travel to each participant to conduct the interview. While this detailed process is occasionally warranted, conducting person-to-person interviews is usually an inefficient use of your resources.

In contrast, a mailed survey is much less expensive to conduct and the entire survey can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. However, mailed surveys have a major drawbackthe number of people who will complete and return the survey, or what is referred to as the response rate, is often less than 10%. Such a low response rate brings into serious question the representative nature or generalizability of the findings. Given the inconvenience of completing and mailing the survey, individuals who participate are likely more interested in your topic than those who elect not to participate. As a result, participants in a mailed survey often provide an unrealistic picture of your target audience’s attitudes and behavior.

Phone-based surveys have several advantages over mailed surveys and person-to-person interviews. First, compared with a mailed survey, it is possible to obtain a higher response rate, which will provide you with a more accurate assessment of attitudes and behavior. While it is possible to obtain a higher response rate, clearly not everyone will agree to participate. However, those individuals who choose not to participate can be asked to complete a brief refusal survey. A refusal survey consists of three to four questions that are also found in the complete survey, for example, does your household purchase green power? Further, the refusal survey normally takes no longer than half a minute to complete. Because the refusal survey is so brief, individuals who wish not to participate in the full survey frequently agree to complete the briefer refusal survey. By comparing responses of refusal-survey participants with those of full-survey participants, potential differences between participants and non-participants can be explored. If no differences exist between the two sets of responses, the results of the full survey can be more reliably generalized back to your target audience. If differences do appear, greater caution is warranted in generalizing the results. In addition to providing a higher response rate than a mailed survey, as well as the opportunity to conduct a refusal survey, phone surveys are less expensive to conduct than interviews and can be completed in a much shorter amount of time than person-to-person interviews.

Additional advantages of phone surveys include:

  • Random-digit dialling of community residents is possible. This ensures a random sample of community residents;
  • Phone access to otherwise difficult-to-reach populations is possible, for example, high rise apartments or rural households.

Phone surveys are relatively easy to staff and manage. Compared with personal interviews, fewer staff are needed, the staff need not be near the sample geographically, and supervision and quality control are easier. Note, however, that participation in phone surveys has been steadily dropping. In response to these declining participation rates, it would be worthwhile to see barrier and benefit research being taken on by federal agencies, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics or Statistics Canada as these agencies often obtain high rates of participation.

Seven Steps: Survey

Items to include in your survey will be guided by your literature review, observations, and focus groups. But how do you begin to write the survey? Writing a well-constructed survey takes time and patience. Use the following seven steps as guidelines to make that process easier.

Step One: Clarify your Objective

Begin by writing a simple paragraph that describes what the survey is meant to accomplish. This paragraph has two purposes. First, it will force you to be clear on what the survey is to measure. Second, once you have it completed, you can show it to others involved in the project. You will be spending considerable time writing, conducting and analyzing the data from the survey, so you will want to make sure, from the outset, that those who have a stake in the results are all onboard regarding what the survey is to accomplish.

Imagine that you are designing a community-based social marketing strategy for composting. You have two purposes: 1) To encourage people who are presently not composting to begin; and 2) To encourage seasonal composters to compost throughout the year. Given this background, your objective statement might read something like this:

Sample Objective Statement:

This survey’s primary purpose is to determine which factors distinguish year-round composters from individuals who never compost. A secondary purpose is to determine which factors distinguish year-round composters from seasonal composters.

Note that the objective paragraph for the survey indicates that there are two purposesone of which is more important than the other. Giving priorities to different survey objectives can assist you later in deciding how many questions to devote to each task that the survey is to perform. It should also be noted that comparisons between three groups are required: year-round composters; non-composters; and seasonal composters.

Step Two: List Items to Be Measured

Once you are happy with your “survey objective statement,” the next step is to create a list of items that “might” be included in the survey. Note that at this time you are not concerning yourself with writing questions, only with determining the “themes” that will be covered in the questionnaire. Most of the items on your list should come from what you have learned from your literature review, observations and focus groups. Once you have created a comprehensive list, organize it into logical groupings. Place items related to behavior together, group items related to attitudes together and, similarly, group demographic topics. Finally, once you have grouped the items on your list, you are ready to check each item against your “survey objective paragraph.” For each item on your list you want to determine if it furthers the purpose of your survey. In other words, does it help to determine any of the goals laid out in your objective statement? If it doesn’t, it should be eliminated. When you have your list finalized, you are ready to begin writing the survey.

Step Three: Write the Survey

In writing the survey, you will want most, if not all, of your questions to be closed-ended. The answers to open-ended questions are difficult to analyze and greatly extend the length of your survey. Keep in mind that you will want respondents to be able to complete the whole survey in 10 minutes or less. To be able to ask as many questions as possible in a short amount of time, you will want to use only a few types of scales in your survey.

Six or seven-point scales are preferable to three-, four- or five-point scales, as they allow for a broader range of answers. Having a broader range is important, if most people are likely to be clustered at one end of the scale or the other. It is likely, for example, that if asked how frequently they recycle glass and food cans on a four point scale most people would respond with a “3” or “4”. However, when the scale is expanded to six items, answers will be more dispersed. Whether you use a six- or seven-point scale will depend upon whether you wish to provide respondents with a midpoint. Using an odd-numbered scale provides a midpoint that allows respondents who are divided as to how to respond to select this option. However, the midpoint may also be selected by respondents who are unsure of how to answer. Whichever option you select, stay with it throughout the survey to avoid confusion for respondents.

Note also that only the endpoints should be spelled out for each scale (e.g., “1=never” and “6=all the time”). Providing just the endpoints reduces the length of time it takes to read the survey to the participants. Furthermore, it allows you to assume that the distance between each of the items on the scale (e.g., 4 to 5) is equal. If you provide labels for each of the items on the scale, the respondent can no longer infer that the distance between each of the items is equivalent. For example, we understand that the distance between 5 and 6 is equal to the distance between 4 and 5. However, we can’t assume equivalence with labels (e.g., Is the distance between “6-strongly agree” and “5-moderately agree” the same as the distance between “5-moderately agree” and “4-mildly agree”?). Because the distance between the scale items is no longer equivalent when you apply labels, there are more limitations placed on how you can analyze the data subsequently.

Make sure that instructions to the surveyor are typed in capital letters to distinguish them from what is to be read to the respondent. You should not have to write the whole survey yourself. You may wish to include questions that were part of other surveys (just seek permission before doing so).

Remember, you can use the demographics items in other surveys as guides for your demographic section. Finally, as you write your survey, Fowler notes that you will want to ask four questions of each question in your survey:2

  1. Is this a question that can be asked exactly as written?
  2. Is this a question that will mean the same thing to everyone?
  3. Is this a question that people can answer?
  4. Is this a question that people will be willing to answer?

Step Four: Pilot the Survey

Once the survey has been written, pilot it with 10 to 15 residents. During the pilot, the wording and order of questions in the survey can be scrutinized. Questions that respondents find confusing or difficult to answer can be rewritten before the full survey is conducted. The pilot also ensures that each survey can be conducted in under 10 minutes. Miscalculations regarding the length of time that it takes to contact respondents or complete the survey can be very costly when it comes time to conduct the survey. Your pilot will help you to ascertain if your budget is realistic. Do not include the data you obtain from the pilot with the data you obtain from the actual survey.

Step Five: Select the Sample

Once you have completed the pilot and made whatever revisions are necessary, you are ready to obtain your sample. At this point you have two options. First, you may decide to have the survey completed by a survey research firm. You will likely be quoted a price per survey that will include all charges, including conducting the survey, the refusal survey, and entering the data into a software program for data analysis.

If you decide to conduct the survey yourself, and your target audience is residential, you may wish to have a firm provide you with a list of randomly derived residential phone numbers for your community. How many people should you sample? There is no easy answer to this question and here is where cultivating a good relationship with an academic working in the field can be of assistance. The size of the sample and how it is obtained will determine how confident you can be in your results. However, there is one other issue that will determine the sample size needed. Certain types of statistical analyses require a minimum number of participants for each barrier investigated (often 10 to 15) and often an equal number of individuals who are active and inactive on the activity you wish to promote.

Step Six: Conduct the Survey

Complete the survey as quickly as possible to reduce the likelihood that some real-world event coincides with it. For example, imagine that you were conducting a survey on pollution and wildlife just as the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico began spewing oil.

Step Seven: Analyze the Data

Many of the current statistical packages, such as the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) make analyzing data much easier than it was even a few years ago. Obtaining descriptive statistics, frequencies, and comparing means is now as simple as pulling down a menu and selecting the variables and analysis that you want. Gone are the days when you had to write complex computer instructions to analyze data. The result is that basic statistics are now within reach of virtually everyone. However, you will want to go beyond obtaining the means and frequencies to lay the groundwork for your community-based social marketing campaign.

If you glance back at the survey objective statement, you will notice that the survey had two purposes: distinguishing between composters and non-composters, and distinguishing between year-round composters and those who compost seasonally. To answer these two questions requires multivariate statistics such as multiple regression, discriminant analysis or logistic regression. Multivariate statistics allow you to determine the factors that distinguish householders who compost from those who do not, and also enables you to analyze the relative importance of these factors. For example, in a study that I conducted with a former student, we used discriminant analysis and revealed the following five factors were most important in distinguishing year-round composters from non-composters.3 Note that these factors are presented in order of importance:

  • Those who composted reported a greater desire to reduce the amount of waste they produced than did non-composters.
  • Non-composters perceived composting to be a more unpleasant activity than those who composted (e.g., they associated it with unpleasant odors, flies, rodents).
  • Composters perceived the activity to be more convenient than did those who did not compost.
  • Those who did not compost believed that they did not have the time to compost.
  • Composting households reported recycling glass and cans more frequently.

Knowing which factors are most important in distinguishing individuals who have adopted a sustainable behavior from those who have not is an essential step in developing a community-based social marketing strategy. The results above provide a clear indication of some of the barriers that would need to be surmounted to encourage more people to compost. For example, perceptions that composting is unpleasant, inconvenient and involves a significant investment of time are important issues that a community-based social marketing strategy would need to address.

Analyzing the data using multivariate statistical techniques is an essential aspect in the development of a sound marketing strategy. Less sophisticated statistical approaches, such as calculating means or correlations, are limited in their ability to provide information on the relative importance of the factors that lead individuals to engage in the behaviors of interest to you. Unless you or someone else in your organization has a background in statistics, you will want to obtain assistance at this point. Many graduate students are trained in multivariate statistics and with a few phone calls you should be able to find someone who will do your analyses for you. Don’t be daunted at this point. While the statistical techniques that are needed require someone who is statistically sophisticated the results of these analyses can be presented in a straight-forward, understandable format as can be seen above.

When you have little time, money or both

It is tempting to skip barrier and benefit identification when you have limited time or financial resources. While the temptation is understandable, failing to conduct barrier and benefit research dramatically reduces the likelihood that your program will be successful. Rather than skipping this step, do the following to obtain useful information regarding barriers and benefits.

  • Conduct a literature search as it can be done quickly and inexpensively.
  • Carry out observations of those who are engaged in the behavior you wish to promote and those who are not. Observations can also be carried out quickly and inexpensively.
  • Replace the focus groups and survey with intercept surveys. An intercept survey involves asking two simple questions of representatives of your target audience: “What makes it difficult or challenging for you to do ‘X’?” and “What do you see as beneficial or rewarding about doing ‘X’?” Go to locations where you target audience congregates. For example, if the topic of interest is reducing the transfer of aquatic invasive species from one watershed to another, then boat launches and marinas would be good locations to ask these questions. Ask people if you can have a moment of their time to ask them two questions. You should pose these two questions both to people who are engaged in the behavior to be promoted and those that are not. Make sure that you carry out these intercept surveys in a variety of locations to ensure greater representativeness. Finally, tabulate your responses to reveal how these two groups differ.

Conducting a literature search, observations, and intercept surveys might be done in as little as a week and can provide you with a firm foundation for developing a community-based social marketing strategy.

Some Closing Thoughts

Identifying barriers is an essential first step in designing a successful program. While significant pressures exist to skip this step, the simple truth is that it is impossible to design an effective strategy without identifying barriers and benefits. In my experience, the four most common reasons for skipping barrier and benefit identification include:

  • Belief that the barriers to the activity are already known;
  • Time constraints;
  • Financial constraints;
  • Managerial staff who do not support conducting preliminary research.

Preconceived notions about barriers and benefits to an activity are difficult to overcome. By our very nature we develop theories about why people behave as they do. If we didn’t, we would find it very difficult to understand and interact with others. This tendency to develop theories about the behavior of others can lead to a strong sense of self-assurance that the barriers and benefits for an activity are already well understood. Research in social psychology convincingly demonstrates, however, that once we have developed a “hunch” we tend to pay attention to information that supports our view, and discount or disregard information that would contradict it. As a consequence, we can come to believe very strongly in our own personal theories, even though they may have no factual basis. To be an effective community-based social marketer requires a healthy dose of skepticism about your own and others’ personal theories.

Conducting preliminary research to identify barriers and benefits takes time. In a well-organized project you can expect the identification of barriers to add two to four weeks to the development of a strategy (less if you use intercept surveys). However, the length of time required to identify barriers and benefits pales when compared to the time and effort involved in having to design and deliver a new program if the first is unsuccessful. Similarly, while identifying barriers and benefits adds to the expense of delivering a program, given the much greater likelihood of delivering a successful program there is a high return on investment.

Building support among managerial staff will often involve dealing directly with the concerns listed above. Time and cost issues can often be dealt with by noting, as discussed above, that identifying barriers and benefits will usually save both time and money by reducing the likelihood of having to mount multiple campaigns. Managers, like everyone else, develop theories about behavior and are just as prone to believe that they already know the barriers and benefits for the activity you are trying to promote. There is a strong likelihood that they may ascribe to the attitude-behavior or economic self-interest approaches discussed in the first chapter. These perspectives are, after all, widely accepted. Finally, arrange, if possible, for managerial staff to read this book or attend a workshop on community-based social marketing. This book has been widely read in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. In these countries workshops on community-based social marketing have been attended by a large number of managers. In fact, in these nations, community-based social marketing is being increasingly specified by management as the method by which programs must be delivered.

Once you have identified the barriers and benefits for a behavior you wish to promote, you will want to consider what strategies you can use to address them. The next chapter provides an overview of how to develop a community-based social marketing strategy. It is followed by a series of chapters which introduce behavior change tools that you can incorporate into the programs you design.

Next Chapter » Step 3: Developing Strategies