Office of Environmental Sustainability

More on CBSM

The Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) method of sustainable community development was created to develop effective behavior change programs.

Historically, organizations have implemented behavior change programs -- committing significant amounts of time and money -- into campaigns that were ultimately ineffective. Many costly and time-intensive programs fail to drive behavior change due to only addressing economic incentives or attitude change through increased information. Some campaigns have too broad a scope (like promoting 20 different behaviors through the same campaign) with mixed results. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, the author of Fostering Sustainable Behavior-An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, created the CBSM method to address the psychological motivations and barriers that influence people to behave differently.

CBSM encourages program administrators to take a systematic, empirical approach to behavior change, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of their program dollars. The method involves five steps: behavior selection, identification of barriers and benefits, strategy development, program testing, and broad-scale implementation. Effective use of CBSM techniques ensures that administrators target high-impact behaviors, look at the broad array of factors that influence behavior (for example, social cues, self-image, local values and identities) and use state of the art influence tactics to design their interventions.