What we do
We conduct social research, engage stakeholders and apply evidence from psychology, social science, marketing and behavioural economics to devise and help implement practical and effective strategies, plans and interventions.
Our approach begins by identifying the current and desired behaviours of our target audience. Delving deeper, we consider their influences and motivations –understanding some of the ways that mental shortcuts and habits can shape their attitudes and lifestyles. We use this insight to devise effective approaches that are based on a firm foundation of evidence of what works.
So how can we help you?
We help Local Authorities make the most of resources – staff and financial, to develop citizen-centric solutions. From channel shift to community engagement with public health, housing, environmental and revenue matters we use practical tools and award-winning approaches to deliver cost savings and more successful partnerships within your area.
We help Students’ Unions develop an evidence-based strategic plan and services that are designed to increase engagement and widen participation – particularly with non-traditional voices. From student surveys to staff workshops and governance reviews, our approach can make all the difference for your NSS but critically, can guide approaches that turn the tide on attainment and retention gaps.
We help charities achieve and evidence impact. From reviewing past performance to setting goals for the future, we’ll enable teams to understand how defined goals, clear metrics and behavioural insights can engage donors and beneficiaries.
- Practical knowledge and experience of developing new ways of working in local public service delivery.
- Specialist knowledge of using social marketing and behavioural science as a means of encouraging behaviour change.
- Extensive experience of working in the not for profit sector, helping to improve effectiveness by adopting more insight-led and evidence-based approaches to work.
- A strong research background with experience of using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods – ranging from focus groups and participatory research, through to Randomised Controlled Trials, systematic reviews and one-to-one interviews.
- A commitment to increase the skills and capabilities of organisations we work with, supporting them to develop their knowledge and expertise, rather than creating dependency on external consultants.
- An approach based on co-design that combines our knowledge and expertise with the insight and experience of staff to develop evidenced-based and insight-led interventions and strategies.
Whatever the project, our personalised approach is designed to support our clients at every stage, combining a tailored response to the brief with high levels of customer service. Our aim is to increase knowledge, capacity and confidence within the organisations we work with, and we use co-design and an iterative design process to enable your team to develop their skills during the course of the project.
Behavioural insights allow us to understand more about why people act and think in the ways they do. Bringing together a range of disciplines including psychology, social science and economics they provide a deeper understanding of the factors that influence decision-making.
Used within a policy context, they allow organisations to develop practice and approaches that are likely to be more in-tune with citizens’ lives and lifestyles. Applying behavioural insights allows us to have a greater understanding of what interventions are likely to work allowing for more cost effective planning and practice.
Against a backdrop of budget cuts, addressing the increasing challenges of public service delivery is increasingly difficult. Quite simply, the old ways just don’t cut it in the search to find sustainable solutions to the biggest problems of our time.
Over recent years we have worked with local authorities, charities and unions to improve the outcomes of projects focused on public health, educational attainment, social inclusion and community engagement. And it doesn’t stop there, using behavioural insights we have been able to improve internal processing realising millions of pounds in revenue (and cost savings) within hard-pressed council budgets.
Do get in touch to see how we can help you and your stakeholders benefit from behavioural insight informed working.
Communication & Engagement
Internal or external, customer or supplier – whatever your organisational objective, effective working relies on the clarity and relevance of your brand and really good stakeholder engagement.
So whether you are looking to refresh your organisational brand or develop programmes or initiatives designed to attract and sustain audience attention it may be time to review your communications and engagement strategy.
From development of wide-ranging research, to capturing the insight of lesser-heard voices, our team can support yours to get a comprehensive understanding of how your organisation can be more effective in engaging stakeholders. And that’s not just external; very often, the change needed is internal, needing to bring along departments with differing priorities, those elected on a specific platform. The result aims to provide clarity and direction for more cohesive working.
And whilst we provide the expertise you’d expect in terms of brand, communications, research and creative development, we underpin this with specialist behavioural insights, meaning that your plans are informed by a greater confidence that your work will resonate with your audiences.
A solid evidence base is essential for any organisation looking to have impact. From developing a business proposition or treatment design through to evaluating its effect, Social Engine have a range of techniques that provide the confidence for organisations seeking change.
If you’re thinking about how best to engage your audiences we can guide you through use of social marketing and behavioural insights techniques in order to give precision to your programme design. With demand management high on many agendas the need to work smarter – not just harder, is key to success.
And if it’s radical thinking you’re after, one of our training or away days could provide the space you need to tackle the big challenges within your organisation. With our experienced facilitators we can help you to create a space where you can identify practical routes forward for some of those trickiest problems.
And if it’s intelligence led commissioning – including social value and outcomes based work you are considering, our understanding of policy frameworks can help you secure internal buy-in as well as measurable impact from interventions.
From research surveys and RCTs, audience segmentation, treatment design, programme delivery and evaluation, our support can make the difference between cost-effective engagement and costly mistakes.
Strategic planning for a new project or creating a multi-year strategic plan provide the opportunity for three vital activities:
- Reflecting on previous achievements
- Considering the current and evolving context
- Setting out a vision for future
These are significant activities; enabling an honest appraisal of success to date and future ambitions.
A strategic plan requires strategic planning. That’s where we come in. Sometimes it’s about asking the hard questions – other times it’s about providing the space to think big. It might be that your organisation needs a rethink. Perhaps competition for funds is too great or the need to develop sustainable services is pressing. Maybe you feel held back by an image that no longer resonates. A few key steps can help clear the way forward. Our team can help you with:
- Facilitating away-days for managers, trustees, governors or council members
- Reviewing brand ambitions alongside vision, mission and values
- Stakeholder mapping and engagement planning
- Governance reviews
- Stakeholder and audience research including surveys, focus groups and 1-2-1 interviews
- Developing your plan and establishing evaluation metrics
And it doesn’t stop there. With a new strategic plan developed, our team is able to support yours to energise and embed new practice across the organisation.