Monday, 17 December 2012

6 Selling skills from Social Activism campaigns

The impact of the web on social activism, is making it faster, cheaper and easier to do than ever before. This has big implications for societies around the world.

Its influence is broad and is relevant to  those of us who make and sell stuff .

 This year the USA  have been through a presidential campaign where social activism has been at its height.
 In the UK we had the London 2012 games in volunteer games makers and ambassadors did a great job to help the greatest sports party in the world work brilliantly. They were knicknamed the twitter games.

“The students are revolting !” - Change merchants extraordinaires.

A provocative claim from Nancy Lublin CEO of DoSomething.Org was that "change is the domain of young people".

Just think of the student protesters in Tienanmen Square in 1989  standing in front of that tank. The civil rights movement was as much worked by the many young people in the lunch  counters queues, those refusing to sit elsewhere on the bus etc.. The LS Occupy movement  even brought a positive response from the spokesman for the Bank of England.

One of their key ‘weapons’ today is that young people ‘ get social’.

 Nancy Lublin stressed 6 key areas that changes by the young can be harnessed in selling of social activism campaigns from her experience with .

Her talk given to a New York Public broadcaster was also aired by BBC radio 4 Four thought programme.  BBC I player site

1.       Choice – Multiple options Ice cream flavours, cocktails

A superfluity of choice may have  little to do with quality, but we live in a world of Ben and Jerry’s of seemingly endless accessories and applications.

The Proliferation of phone covers, ‘Apps’ offers choices.

It always interests me how many American business people use the word ‘vanilla’ ( ice-cream) in a derogatory sense  meaning bland or the limits of a one trick pony offering.  Yet really good vanilla ice cream is takes a ot of beating.

Similarly a straight forward gin martini is superb but for the moment the 'less -s-more' philosophy is taking a back of stage position.

Nancy’s illustration was her fondness for Peanut butter. In her youth there were just two versions Jif or Skippy Peanut  were the offering. But now there’s low calories , low salt etc.

2.       Customisation –  they don’t buy albums they buy songs they remix or they rent them.

Theymake it their own  and localise it. They build their own play list.

3.       Leading from the middle

For many, the power of crowd sourcing is quite a game changer. Lublin offered different label to the 'old skool'  innovator, laggards mass market categories of conventional product life cycles.

Lublin labelled the audience categories of  a social activism campaign as Presidents -VP -Followers –Slackers

She emphasised that her campaigns were weighted towards Vice presidents and followers. Apparently on social media most people are sharers and followers in the sense on clicking on share.

 Sharers and followers outnumber  90 :10 makers according to Lublin.

 4.       Speed
Today communication signals are sent and received shorter and short time lengths.

 Back in the day a car took 7 years to be developed now it is probably under 18 months from CAD to first model off the  production line.
The typical campaign length for social activism from launch through living to it’s death for is six weeks.


5.       Cost

Social activism campaigns amongst young people must consider cost. i.e. NO COST

A paradigm for for social activism campaigning with young people means a campaign must involve  no money, youngsters don’t have much. It must not involve adults since  independence from the power of adults is a crucial value .Campaigns must not depend on cars.

6.       Wired

Young folk are master jugglers of technology. They are continually on multiple devices. A study showed they are capable of juggling 9-11 activities at any one time. Adults are nearer to 5-7 devices- although I am not sure I can even manage that many!

Text messages have very high open rates.  Lublin's campaigns begin with a text to get folks to opt in.

The key is to make this multi choice and multi-channel as easy as possible for your audience.

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Related links
Click here for

 1.  Occupy's influence acknowledged by Bank of England

   2.  Selling methods of Peaceful protest

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