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Working Group Roundup: Conservation Marketing and Engagement

Last year, just six months after receiving provisional status, the Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group (ConsMark) became SCB’s newest official working group. Today, ConsMark is actively spreading the word of the power of scientifically supported marketing techniques to further conservation efforts. Since ConsMark’s establishment, the Working Group has published peer-reviewed articles on conservation marketing in scientific journals, including Oryx, and Ocean and Coastal Management. In the coming months, ConsMark will present at several professional meetings, including SCB’s International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC4) and SCB’s North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB).

Conservation marketing is an extension of the broader field of social marketing, which draws on the knowledge base and tools of market researchers to solve societal problems. Social marketing techniques have been successfully employed in the realm of public health (e.g. reducing cigarette smoking among teenagers), but only recently have they been directed towards addressing key environmental challenges.  Most conservation problems are the result of human activities. Addressing these problems thus requires modifying the choices people make. Marketing tools offer ways to better understand and build relationships with target audiences, and to inspire them to adopt conservation-friendly behaviors.

Creative Commons 2.0. Photo credit: Filip Milovac.

ConsMark was formed to increase awareness of the advantages of using marketing tools to support the achievement of a range of conservation goals. ConsMark defines conservation marketing as “the ethical application of marketing strategies, concepts and techniques to influence attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of individuals, and ultimately societies, with the objective of advancing conservation goals.”  The working group’s objectives include:

  • Raising awareness, increasing acceptance, and promoting the use of scientifically-supported marketing techniques and strategies to tackle environmental issues and support positive societal behaviour change to benefit conservation efforts
  • Improving access to marketing tools for conservation practitioners and building capacity for their effective use

Science communication is critical to conservation efforts. Marketing tools simply make the process of outreach more efficient. ConsMark may only be at the beginning of its journey, but we are looking forward to helping all in SCB reach their target audiences over the coming years.

You can learn more about ConsMark through exploring our SCB-supported website, as well as following us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re an SCB member, you can join ConsMark by logging into your member profile, and viewing and editing your groups under “Member Quick Links.” If you’re not a member of SCB, you can still join the discussions on the Conservation Marketing mailing list, for which you can sign up on the ConsMark website.

SCB ConsMark Facebook Page

We hope to see you at our sessions at IMCC4 and NACCB. Join us and become part of growing efforts to mainstream the use of marketing tools and principles to address the challenges of conserving biodiversity.