Where do social marketers get their inspiration?
In an attempt to share how social innovation and social marketing intersect with a colleague of mine, the colleague responded something along the lines of: “I don’t get why it matters. Social innovation sounds like everything we’re already doing in social marketing.”
Exactly. Social innovation touches on everything we’re doing in the social marketing field and vice versa. It matters.
The momentum is building. Case in point: The most popular SocialButterfly post from 2012 is actually SB’s category of posts on social innovation. Social marketers, meet social innovation. Social innovations, meet social marketing. You’re welcome. Both of you offer a world of inspiration to the other.
A Word on Defining Social Innovation
Definitions for social innovation are broad and often changing given no universally accepted definition exists (something we social marketers can relate to). A good guide is the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s updated definition of social innovation. They share:
Our complete definition of social innovation: A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals. A social innovation can be a product, production process, or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention, or some combination of them. Indeed, many of the best recognized social innovations, such as microfinance, are combinations of a number of these elements.
Canada’s Centre for Social Innovation shares that simply, social innovation “is an idea that works for the public good.” Their fuller definition includes references to creating benefit to both “people and planet”, being “systems-changing”, sustainable and changing perceptions, behaviors and structures. Sound familiar? How do you define social innovation? The video above shares how some leading minds defined back in 2011.
Top Posts of 2012
Rather than share SocialButterfly’s top posts, I’ve curated some of the top posts relevant to both the art and science behind social change, touching on both social marketing and social innovation:
- The Most Dynamic Social Innovation Initiatives of 2012, Forbes
- 10 of the Year’s Best Designs for Social Good, Fast Company’s Co.Exist
- The Best of Social Marketing in 2012, On Social Marketing and Social Change
- The Top 10 Social Capital Blog Posts of the Year, Social Capital Inc.
- The Year in Social Media Research, Nieman Journalism Lab
- The 10 Best mHealth Papers of 2012, On Social Marketing and Social Change
- Social Media for Social Good’s Favorite Things of 2012, Armchair Advocates
- Best Cause Marketing Campaigns of 2012, Selfish Giving
Social marketers, you are social innovators! Social innovators, you will benefit from wearing a social marketing hat. Showing how social marketing and social innovation connect, SocialButterfly Mike Newton-Ward wrote a chapter on social marketing as part of a three-book series on social entrepreneurship that was published in late 2012, titled Social Entrepreneurship: How Businesses Can Transform Society.
We need to listen to one another. The world needs us to listen.
Inspired for 2013
Exploring the world of social innovation is where this SocialButterfly and social marketer finds her inspiration for 2013. This encompasses social design, social capital, social entrepreneurship, social value, social business and B corporations, the built environment movement, impact investing, philanthro-capitalism, studying innovation models and more.
Based on how you readers enjoy posts tagged with social innovation, it looks like I’m not alone.
What are your thoughts on social marketing and social innovation?