Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Monday 8 October 2007

The added value of marketing

The traditional expert approach to biodiversity conservation is to research and map the whole situation and try to think of a logical system of interventions that address all aspects of the biodiversity issue. The concepts and models of landscape approach, protected area systems, eco-networks or ecosystem approach are then translated into often large and ambitious projects. My experience is that such projects seldom lead to real and lasting changes.

In the private sector a marketing strategy is a process that helps a company to concentrate its (always limited) resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. For the biodiversity conservation community a marketing strategy can help to focus on the greatest opportunities to realize and increase impact and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage for conservation and sustainable use issues vis-à-vis other interests.

The Maya nut case study provides a good example of the added value of a marketing approach next to a protected area approach. The posting triggering positive change is another illustration. On the web I found two other interesting examples, one focusing on bananas, the other on sugar. Marketing focuses on what people or institutions would motivate to do things differently. It often starts small, focuses on visible success and on triggering word of mouth. The latter then makes change take off on a larger and sustainable scale.

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