PSP Sustainable Social Marketing Self-Assessment Tool

Publication date: 2007

Social marketing organizations (SMOs) can conduct their own sustainability analysis using the Sustainability Continuum for Social Marketing. Because so many of the factors affecting sustainability are context-specific, sustainability assessments are more qualitative than quantitative. This tool facilitates the staff or stakeholders’ analysis of an SMO to measure where it fits within the sustainability continuum and to set goals for strengthening sustainability along the continuum’s dimensions. Any SMO can use the tool, regardless of where it currently fits within the continuum, and self-assessments can be conducted as often as needed. SMOs should conduct a self-assessment at least annually. Each SMO should analyze the results of the self-assessment tool within the context of specific program goals. In general, however, the objective is to maximize the number of “Yes” answers for the “Yes/No” questions. For the open-ended questions, compare each answer with the indicators in the sustainability continuum to establish performance benchmarks. I. TechnIcal SuSTaInabIlITy a. Products yes no i. Is the SMO dependent on receiving donor-procured products?   ii. Can the SMO source quality products locally from the private or public sector   to ensure product availability? iii. Can the SMO procure its own products through open international tenders?   iv. Has the SMO developed distribution agreements with commercial partners or   negotiated other partnerships with commercial partners to ensure product supply? b. Price yes no i. How often does the SMO review prices for possible increases or decreases? __________________________ ii. Does the SMO adjust prices for inflation?   iii. Does the SMO track differences between actual and suggested retail prices and   adjust prices when the actual price exceeds the suggested one? Sustainable Social Marketing Self-Assessment Tool � b. Price (continued) yes no iv. Has the SMO conducted willingness-to-pay surveys with its target groups?   v. If so, are prices increased when people are willing to pay significantly higher   prices than the one being charged? vi. Does the pricing policy reflect market-segmentation strategies?   vii. Does the recommended retail price for each target group fall within   the range that each target group is willing to pay? viii. What percentage is the unit price to the trade of the unit ______ percent cost of goods sold? c. Promotion and communication yes no i. What is the ratio of brand-specific advertising and promotion expenses to sales revenues from the brand? ____________________________________________________ ii. What is the ratio of brand-specific advertising and promotion to generic behavior change communication? ______________________________________________________ iii. Are commercial entities investing in branded communication   for health products related to the SMO’s objectives? iv. Does the SMO have internally controlled, entrepreneurial sources of   funding that subsidize generic behavior change communication? v. Does the SMO have monitoring systems to ensure that target groups are   exposed to branded and generic communication? vi. Does the SMO use communication strategies that work through local   institutions that can assume message dissemination beyond the life of a campaign? vii. Has the majority of the target group acquired basic knowledge about   the healthy behavior? viii. Has the majority of the target group adopted the healthy behavior?   d. Distribution yes no i. What percentage of SMO products are distributed using ______ percent the SMO’s sales force? ii. What percentage of products sold require donor subsidies ______ percent to reach end consumers? I. TechnIcal SuSTaInabIlITy (continued) � iii. What is the ratio of cost per unit distributed to the unit cost of goods sold? ________________________________________________________________________ iv. Is distribution targeted to high-risk groups receiving specific subsidies   from a donor or other source of revenue? II. FInancIal SuSTaInabIlITy yes no i. Does the SMO have a core business based on the social marketing of one   or more products or services that can be sustained without donor support? ii. What is the ratio of sales revenues to total costs? _______________________________________________ iii. What is the ratio of unit revenue per product sold to the unit cost of goods sold for each product in the SMO’s range? ________________________________________________ iv. For distribution or communication activities that require donor subsidies,   is the SMO able to separate funding requirements for each activity? v. Are sustainable revenues diversified across a range of products and services?   vi. Are subsidized activities diversified across a range of donors?   III. OrganIzaTIOnal SuSTaInabIlITy a. leadership yes no i. Can the staff and members of the governing body of the SMO   articulate its mission and the vision? ii. Is there a long-term planning process that builds on the organization’s   mission and includes stakeholders? iii. Does the SMO understand its market and the needs of its clients?   I. TechnIcal SuSTaInabIlITy (continued) d. Distribution (continued) yes no III. OrganIzaTIOnal SuSTaInabIlITy (continued) b. Management capacity yes no i. Does the SMO have financial systems capable of tracking and aggregating costs   and revenues to facilitate management and planning decisions? ii. Does the SMO have financial and administrative systems that allow management   to track the performance of each product line or business unit? iii. Does the SMO have personnel systems capable of recruiting,   developing, and retaining qualified staff? iv. Are key management staff members employed by the SMO and based   in its home country? c. governance yes no i. Is the SMO a registered legal entity in its country of operation?   ii. Does its legal status support a full range of commercial and social activities   foreseen in the mission of the SMO? iii. Are the SMO’s governance structures appropriate and effective?   IV. MarkeT SuSTaInabIlITy yes no a. Has the market been expanding in terms of the number of consumers,   the level of sales, and the number of competing products? b. Is the commercial contribution to total consumption (including social marketing   and public sector contributions) at least 40 percent of the total market? c. Does the market leader have a market share below 40 percent of the total market?   d. Is there evidence of an increasing number of consumer segments or market   niches that demand more sophisticated variants of the product? DISCLAIMER The authors’ views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United States Government. For more information about PSP-One or current publications (available for download) please contact: Private Sector Partnerships-One Abt Associates, Inc. 4800 Montgomery Lane, Suite 600 Bethesda, MD 20814 USA Tel: (301) 347-5000 Fax: (301) 347-5601 E-mail:

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