Effectiveness of a Social Norms Marketing Campaign on a University Campus – Critical Evaluation

Effectiveness of A Social Norms Marketing Campaign on A University Campus Critical Evaluation Title * Yes, the title is informative, interesting and to the point. The main objective of this case study was to assess the effectiveness of a social norms marketing poster campaign in order to increase the prevention of alcohol related automobile accidents by stopping friends from driving while intoxicated.

Moreover, the authors of the research paper have selected college students as their sample and the poster campaign was launched in a selected university. Hence when the title is considered it is phrased as “Effectiveness of a Social Norms Marketing Campaign on a University Campus” which entails both the earlier suggested ideas. Authors * Yes, they have sufficient knowledge and background to carry out quality research but it is questionable whether they are capable enough to assess a marketing theory.

Both the authors are specialized in the area of health and medicine and therefore it is not doubtable in their capabilities of researching on alcohol prevention but as social norms marketing is a different area of study it is questionable that whether they capable of handling it with a similar proficiency. Abstract * Yes, the abstract summarizes the main points of the study accurately and adequately. The abstract starts off with the objective of the survey and then give the place and the time it was carried out, followed by the actual responses received on the poster.

Finally the outcomes of the findings are discussed. Therefore it is understandable that the abstract has presented the main points of the study accurately and adequately. Introduction * Yes, the problem/area of interest/research question is clear. The introduction gives details about the alcohol related motor vehicle accidents and percentages of them and who are the victims of these incidents. It points out that although such occurrences have gone down over the years an increase is seen in the accidents in certain age groups (16-17 and 18-20). Also it is stated that college students are the most vulnerable in getting xposed to these kinds of accidents. Hence, these details altogether describes the problem identified by the authors which is clear and understandable. Also the area of research and interest of the authors were accessing the effectiveness of the social norm marketing campaign and this is also very clearly stated in the research paper in several different places (In the title and in the introduction). * Yes, the authors appear to know the subject and they do appraise a range of relevant research. They don’t provide any conflicting information but provides supporting evidence and theories.

The authors have considered a more general theory “Accidents caused by drinking and driving” and had provided evidence to it. Then they have come down a level lower and identified and presented the facts of victims of those accidents and the styles of drinking. By doing this the authors’ show that they are trying appraise a certain specific matter with lot of supporting facts. By presenting the other strategies to reduce the accidents they yet again show that they have considered several areas when performing their study. Aims/ objectives * No, they do not follow a logical sequence. But the objectives are clear.

The research paper gives the survey objectives in several places which distort the logical sequence of it. At the end of the 3rd paragraph the objectives are stated as “The study examines the effectiveness of a social norms marketing campaign. ” And also the 6th paragraph is dedicated to describe the aims of the study. Therefore, it is unnecessary to duplicate the same objectives over and over again, which harms the logical sequence of the research paper. It is notable that as the 6th paragraph gives a very clear picture of the objectives, the logical sequencing problem goes unnoticed.

Method * Design Yes, the design is adequately described and the design seems appropriate. The authors have first described the poster and where it was positioned. Then they discuss about the contents of the questionnaire and to whom it was sent. This methodology seems appropriate and adequate enough to define the design. Assumptions are not highlighted in the paper. Although assumptions are not highlighted in the paper it is understandable that the authors have assumed that the campus that was selected can be generalized to others as well and the sample selected was also appropriate.

These assumptions are justifiable only up to a certain extent as the selected campus is from one state of the country. * Ethical considerations Yes, the study is ethically acceptable. When selecting the student population the authors have obtained the permission from the Internal Review Board, which shows that the authors have handled the situation very professionally. Furthermore, when displaying the poster they have gained permission from the university and positioned them.

They have adhered to the rules of the university when displaying the posters, as they state in the paper that only one poster was displayed in places as Fraternity and Sorority houses. * Data Collection No, the data can’t be generalized to whole population. Sample size is adequate but it is not representative. The survey was carried for a selected university in one state (Texas) of United States and therefore as the country consists of number of states this data set can’t be generalized to the whole population as one state itself will differ from another.

As a mid-size university is selected the results can vary due to this aspect as well. The university had a total student population of 15000 and questionnaires were sent to all of them and the responded 454 were selected as the sample. Hence the sample size is adequate but it is not representative because of the earlier discussed reasons. Copies of assessment form, questionnaires are not obtainable. Although the authors state in the paper that they have used a questionnaire with 13 items the exact 13 items are not available and can’t be obtained.

The data collection method used in this research is questionnaires as they have stated clearly that a questionnaire along with a cover letter was mailed to all the undergraduates via the campus email. * Analysis Yes, the method of analysis appears appropriate. The method was analyzed in a very straightforward manner from designing the poster to gathering the responses. The authors have analyzed thoroughly on where the posters will be positioned and what are most crucial questions that should be included in the questionnaire and who will be the sample of the survey.

No, it is not clear why statistical tests have been used. The overall survey itself carries only statistical data and thereby in the analysis also they have used statistical techniques. The authors have not given any assumptions or theories as to why they haven’t used non-statistical techniques. * Research methodology / Sampling technique The authors have used both quantitative and qualitative research methods to do their research. They have used other research papers, reviews, journal articles and their own knowledge when doing the research which adds to the qualitative component to the research.

Moreover, they have used the questionnaire to add the quantitative component to their research. Deductive research methodology was used during the research as the authors’ are trying to reason from a more general idea to a more specific one. Conclusions of the deductive methodology are reached logically from the facts and it is evident that this was used in this research paper. The sampling technique that was used can be identified as random sampling. This is because every student had an equal chance in getting involved in the survey. But as only 454 students responded they were thereafter selected as the main sample.

Results * Yes, the results are easily interpreted. Both raw data and percentages are provided. The table provided is helpful and it is explained well. Advanced statistical techniques are included. The results are easily interpreted as each small item is explained in very clear manner and as they have provided both raw data and percentages it is easily understandable. Moreover, they have presented the core statistics in table to get a quick understanding on the survey. This is very helpful to a reader and it will be more appropriate if graphs were incorporated as well. The results were analyzed using SPSS version 14. which can be identified as a very reliable, advanced way of analyzing the data. References * The list is more impressive because of its quality not the length. The authors have used very reliable sources to gather information and hence it can be seen as a quality research. They have mostly used journal articles, research papers and reviews during the research which yet enhances the quality of the work. Only one web site was used and it is understandable that it was also a very reliable as it is the web site of the National Social Norms Resource Center. Thereby, the reference list is more impressive because of its quality.