Before you start your social marketing project, and particularly if this is the first time you have thought about using such an approach, it is useful to carry out some initial planning. This may cause you to ask some hard questions about whether social marketing is what you need and if you have the support to carry it through.
There are broadly three areas that you should think about at this early stage: the issue or challenge you want to address; the resources and assets you might be able to draw on, along with any risks that you can identify; and initial plans and timescales.
As part of this getting started phase, you may also want to think about how much original research you will need to carry out into your target audiences and if you will need to commission external help, for example from a research, marketing or other organisation. If you do feel that work will need to be commissioned externally, a good source of advice and guidance is the NSMC procurement guide for social marketing services.