Social marketing to engage forest landowners in the Driftless Forest Network

The article below was recently published in the on-line journal, Journal of Extension. If you’d like to learn more, please let me know.

Using Social Marketing to Engage Extension Audiences: Lessons from an Effort Targeting Woodland Owners

Social marketing involves applying traditional commercial marketing techniques to public good outcomes. We share findings from use of this approach in reaching woodland owners to promote sustainable forestry in southwest Wisconsin. We experimentally tested three direct mail campaigns. Each included two offers—a free handbook and a free forester visit, but the campaigns varied in terms of landowner segments and marketing messages. Key results across the campaigns include consistent performance of the offers (handbook 17%–19%, forester visit 3%–5%) but varied effects of segment and message. Our results suggest that social marketing can pay dividends in reaching landowners and, potentially, other Extension clientele, but there is more to learn.

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