Moving Communities Forward: Social Marketing and Social Change for Transportation

Project ID: CTEDD 017-06

Author(s): Julie Bond, University of South Florida

CTEDD Funding Year: 2017 General RFP

Project Status: Complete

UTC Funding: $50,000

End Date: July 31, 2018


Many of the transportation-related challenges facing society today could be addressed by seemingly simple changes in behavior.  For example, vehicle trips would be reduced if more people chose to take transit, bicycle, walk, or telework instead of drive. Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good. Social marketing is not the same as social media marketing.

Behavior change requires an action to be effective, not simply the recall of message. These behaviors could include encouraging adoption of a new behavior such as riding transit to work or rejecting a potentially undesirable behavior such as riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road. Other efforts might seek to modify a current behavior such as driving outside the peak periods or abandoning an old undesirable behavior such as texting while driving.

This action-oriented workshop was designed to improve knowledge and application of established behavior change theories. Attendees learned skills such as creating journey maps, segmenting the market, and pretesting materials. Participants developed people-centered social marketing plans that relied on insight and understanding, as much as on data for the creativity, design, and management of programs that strive for changes for good. This workshop combined online learning and in-person training at locations nationally, including Boise, Idaho, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Arlington, Texas.