To End Homelessness

A Review of Marketing Social Change to Resistant Audiences


  • Stephanie Frances Bowen


Altering attitudes, community-based social marketing, NIMBY, public perception, homelessness, resistance, segmentation, social marketing, stigma


Homelessness in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has reached alarming proportions in the past decade, and the city of 400,000 residents now features a homeless population of roughly 1,500 individuals. Due to this high volume and unsuccessful attempts to treat the problem in the past, there is a high incidence of the NIMBY, or "not in my backyard," phenomenon amongst the city's population. Accordingly, the Coalition to End Homelessness, tasked specifically with dealing with the homelessness issue, must approach the general public in Victoria in a manner that will win their support for upcoming initiatives. This study reviewed social marketing research and initiatives that deal with resistant audiences, stigmatized conditions and social issues, and the general public. Using qualitative coding, a series of themes emerged from the sixteen studies reviewed. These themes were then applied to the specific situation in Victoria, generating a list of seven recommendations for creating, implementing, and monitoring a social marketing campaign aimed at the city's housed population.