Recent developments in Singapore have propagated it as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Over the years, the country has recorded mixed results attributed to several market forces. For instance, the domestic oriented investments in the country contributed to the steady growth registered in 2017. Many factors claim affiliation for this boom in the economy but of particular interest is the extensive marketing strategies which have been employed in the country to promote growth. Marketing in the context of health improvement is one of the themes that most world countries emphasize on because of its importance to the labor force. Even so, a significant number of working Singaporean adults are undergoing stress. For this reason, it is imperative to come up with social marketing strategies for better management of stress among working Singaporean adults.
The concept of social marketing is one element of marketing that is currently being embraced globally for its massive benefits accrued in the corporate world. Evans (2006) defines social marketing as the concept of applying proven techniques derived from the commercial sector as a way of promoting social change in the community. Proven techniques, in this case, alludes to the diverse methods drawn from the science of marketing, behavioral theory, and persuasion psychology about health behavior, reaction to the delivery of messages and how they have been delivered as well as achieving a market mix. The concept of social marketing is a widely used technique in influencing health behavior and influencing people to shun risky social habits. Evans (2006) mentions that social marketers also use health communication channels to change behavior. For instance, promotions, dissemination and message placement can be done in several points where the public can access and understand the intended message. A multimodal approach can also be used to advocate for better living and avoidance of stress.
Major Cause of Stress in Singapore
According to data from the Ministry of Health (2013), Singaporean police have recorded a rise in suicide cases as well as the number of attempted suicide cases. For example, in between 2011 and 2012, the rate of suicide attempts increased from 19.5 percent to 20.5 percent. The number of deaths also rose from 8.1 per 100,000 population in the year 2011 to 10.3 per 100,000 people in 2012. This indicates a significant increase in the number of suicide cases attributed to high stress levels. The Ministry of Health in Singapore asserts that these suicidal behaviors have several underlying factors. These factors include family, social, and economic sources of stress. Consequently, these factors have contributed to the growing number of people who have taken suicide as the solution. The Ministry of Health (MOH) further states that stress is a high risk factor to the health of employees in Singapore.
According to Singapores Business Review (2017), almost 8 in every 10 bosses in Singapore report that they have experienced instances of stress among their employees. As a matter of fact, the number of employed adults undergoing stress has increased over the previous years. The Business Review (2017) established that increased workloads had caused 56 % increase in the number of people experiencing stress, 54 % results from increased business expectations, 40 % is caused by shorter deadlines and 38 % results from the competitive nature of market places.
Several programs have been adopted to try to deal with the massive levels of stress and promoting positive health practices among the citizens of Singapore. For instance, there are several collaborative efforts which have been adopted by several agencies of the government to reduce the rising rates of stress. This included the collaboration of the ministry of health and other state agencies to reduce and eliminate the negative impact brought forth by the stress of working Singaporean adults (MOH 2013). The Ministry of health had also initiated programs to build a greater resilience among the population. Building resilience involves the process of helping the population and high-risk individuals to identify and establish mechanisms through which they are going to act on the stress factors.
MOH (2013) also asserts that the government through the ministry of health had developed strategies for the diverse group and intervention services for high-risk individuals. According to Pacific Prime (2016), employed adults in Singapore form the largest group of people who face the risk of succumbing to stress. For this reason, 44 % of Singaporean employers offer health, wellness and physical fitness programs to its employees which seek to improve their both their nutrition and provide clinical screening against stressors. However, from the high number of suicide cases, we can deduce that the intervention methods adopted have not been as effective as it has been planned. Social marketing can be integrated into these intervention methods to reduce and eliminate the high rate of stress in working adults in Singapore.
Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning Strategy in Reducing Stress
Segmenting details include works who are mostly afflicted with stress. The social marketing activity will focus on individuals aged between 20 and 35 years. Customer orientation, setting clear moral goals, exchange and creating market mix are the four principles of social marketing which can be used to segment working adults in Singapore and devise the best strategies which can be used to reduce and eliminate stress. Alt and Iversen (2014) established that segmentation of labor depending on their needs has a far reaching effect than the effects of social distance programs. For instance, for those employees who feel stressed by the amount of their work, modern technologies can be applied to simplify the work done by these employees. In using social marketing to improve the health of over worked employees, social marketers need to know that technology is continuously changing the landscape of carrying out business and dissemination of information. According to Hays, Page, and Buhalis (2012), the social media has gained prominence over the years as a vital factor in destination marketing organization in commercial marketing. As a result, social marketers can use social media channels to propagate and advocate for stress reduction among employed adults.
The 21st Century marketing strategy also presents a good alternative plan for reducing and eliminating stress among employees. The 21st century marketing strategy is this case refers to incorporating trending technological advancement to drive social change with a target audience of 15-35 years. Since technology is continuously changing and improving how businesses are conducted, social marketers can advocate for the adoption of technology which will, as a result, reduce the workload of employees. Poland, Lehoux, Holmes, and Andrews (2005) established that the incorporation of high technology is arguably one of the dimensions which can be used to improve social care and well-being. In this regard, social marketing can also use this approach to propagate healthy options and avoidance of stress among working adults in Singapore.
Social factors are known elements which contribute highly to the elevated levels of expectations held by individuals. For instance, people always show a tendency of striving to fit into a particular social class. As a result, they are forced to harbor high expectation at their workplaces which usually leads to stress if not achieved. Through segmentation, social marketers can create products which target a particular group of individuals. For example, social marketers can develop brands on the basis of lifestyle and health behaviors of a particular set of employees. After developing brands which outline health themes and proper goal setting, social marketers can then seek to encourage exposure to the social change message and health improvement theme delivered by the products. Evans (2006) states that social change and truth campaigns aim to provide alternative healthy behaviors. Ideally, this is achieved by creating appealing images that depict healthy lifestyles as the preferable option as compared to unhealthy practices. In this case, social marketing will have provided healthy options and educated the working adults about the importance of proper goal setting for employees.
Dou, Lim, Su, Zhou, and Cui (2010) assert that positioning brands in a way that they are easily differentiated from competitors brands remain as one of the critical issues that is yet to be mastered by most of the businesses. Positioning is even worse when it comes to working places in Singapore. There are still gaps which indicate that there are no proper health improvement strategies which have been adopted to assist employees in overcoming stress at their workplaces. Proper positioning can be achieved by putting up a solid plan that will ensure that employees are not faced with the ghost of dealing with shorter deadlines. As a social marketing strategy, employees need to make sure that they schedule their work and create a program that will allow them to with stand the challenges of shorter timelines. In the case of proper positioning, social marketers should avail educative materials and information on stress management at positions which increase their likelihood of being accessed.
7Ps and Hierarchy in Social Marketing
Incorporation of the 7Ps of marketing mix is a strategic means which can be used by the social marketers to reduce and eliminate stress among employees. These 7Ps include product, promotion, price, place, people, process, and physical evidence (Hanlon 2017). This matrix covers both products and the services offered by a firm. The product quality, marketing strategy, pricing aspects and the trade channels work together to create a market mix regarding the products provided by a company. The people engaged in marketing, the focus which the process gives to the customer, and the physical evidence of the experience felt through the acquisition of the product contribute to the creation of a perfect market mix for services.
Larashati, Hudrasyah, and Chandra (2012) state that there is a relationship between the importance of the level of each of the facets of 7Ps and the degree of influence it has towards the consumers willing ness to buy. This finding can be used as a suggestion that the 7Ps can be used to advocate for better mental health and wellness among staff and employees of a particular firm factoring in consumer trends. In the case of Singapore, statistics indicate that a significant number of employed adults experience stress at their workplaces (Business Review 2017). For instance, in processes, business firms can be encouraged to use more staff in the process of conversion and selling of products in their respective markets (Hanlon 2017). As a result, the effectiveness of carrying out the sales and marketing of products is improved. This strategy is also used where a larger number of employees are engaged in the discharge of a certain task which may be challenging. In effect, the stress that a few individuals would face as a result of the desire to perform better is eliminated or reduced by distributing the job among many employees.
Brand, Value Proposition, and Benefits
Kube, Marechal, and Puppea (2012) expound on the principle of reciprocity and its importance in value creation and exchange. This idea is the basis on which the soc...
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