Open University – Social Marketing

OU-Combi68mm-RGBThe Institute for Social Marketing at The Open University (ISM-Open), led by Professor Sally Dibb, was established in 2009.

The institute brings together a team of social marketing researchers who are interested in human behaviour. The team seeks to understand why we live our lives as we do and how our behaviour can be changed to improve our wellbeing or make society a better place to live. In relation to sustainability, why it is that we sometimes behave sustainably, as when we insulate our homes or walk rather than drive to the shops? What motivates us to behave like this and what prevents us from doing so? Given that energy consumption in the home accounts for 27 percent of total UK energy use, there is enormous potential for any discipline that can progress thinking in how to reduce these levels of use. Social marketing brings a unique perspective to the issue.

ISM-Open conducts research in four key areas:

  • The development and evaluation of behaviour change interventions based on social marketing principles.
  • The impact of public policy on health and social wellbeing.
  • The use of behaviour change interventions to deliver more sustainable consumption.
  • The impact of commercial marketing on the health and behaviour of individuals and of society more generally.

Our role in CAPE

As part of the CAPE project, ISM-Open will be working with communities to co-create a system that helps them to reduce their energy bills, feel warmer and cut carbon emissions, whilst learning what inspires communities to get involved in energy projects.

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