Drinking and driving

You are in charge of a very limited marketing budget for a non-profit organization
whose mission is to stop drinking and driving among college students. It’s your job
to educate the marketing committee about how your organization can change
attitudes among college students. Assume you attending a meeting and hear the
following exchange.

Board member: Okay, I’ll admit it. My kids are grown and I have no idea what
college students think these days. How are we going to understand their attitudes
about drinking and driving? Who do we ask? I want to make sure we have accurate
information about student attitudes—attitudes we know are honest and
representative of the target audience. Without this information, we cannot create a
convincing communications plan.
I want to make sure we lead with the right message, and I want to make sure we
know how to measure the impact of our efforts. There is no room for guessing
here—I want to make sure we’re listening first, and then delivering message with
truth, impact, and measurable results!

Social Media Specialist: This is not an easy task. Budget aside, we need to make
sure we identify meaningful reference groups for college students. Students will
listen to their peers if we target the right reference groups and come forward with a
no-nonsense, honest message. Credibility is critical. We need to make drinking and
driving their issue—not ours. But back to the budget for a minute—I’m concerned
we have limited resources to identify and target these reference groups.

Marketing Director: We have a budget for research, creative, and media placement.
It’s not much, but keep in mind we have an advantage with this audience. With a
message like this one, we can do the whole campaign online. That’s the best way to
get the maximum impact with a target audience of college students. But we need to
concentrate on the details. We need to understand existing attitudes, identify the
reference groups, listen and find the way to change attitudes about drinking and
driving for the better. – And know the best places to reach our students, where they
will both pay attention to and be receptive toward our message.

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