Social Marketing

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Description of Social Marketing. Explanation.

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Social Marketing / Non-smoking adDefinition Social Marketing. Description.


Social Marketing is a form of marketing that is designed to influence the behavior of a target audience in which the benefits of the behavior are intended by the marketer to accrue primarily to the audience or to the society in general and not to the marketer.


Typically social marketing is aimed at achieving specific behavioral goals for a social good. Unlike regular commercial marketing which has primarily a financial aim.

Social marketing is normally used by non-profit organizations, health services groups and government agencies. However also businesses and individuals might use social advertisements in special circumstances.


Examples of Social Marketing

One example is a campaign to influence consumers to stop drinking alcoholic beverages.

Other examples are recommending people to use seat belts, asking people not to smoke inside building or in public areas, or influencing them to follow speed limits, avoiding being exposed to too much sunlight to avoid skin cancer), etc.


Origin of Social Marketing. History

Although there already had been earlier examples, social marketing as a formal concept started in 1971, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman published "Social Marketing: An Approach to Planned Social Change" in the Journal of Marketing 35, 3-12.

In 1988, Craig Lefebvre and June Flora argued there are 8 Components of Social Marketing:

  1. A consumer orientation to realize organizational (social) goals
  2. An emphasis on the voluntary exchanges of goods and services between providers and consumers
  3. Research in audience analysis and Segmentation strategies
  4. The use of formative research in product and message design and the pretesting of these materials
  5. An analysis of distribution (or communication) Channels
  6. Use of the Marketing Mix
  7. A process tracking system with both integrative and control functions
  8. A management process that involves problem analysis, planning, implementation and feedback functions (Compare: Deming Cycle)

Not Social Marketing...

It should not be confused with the social impact of marketing (also commercial campaigns might have social side effects or secondary social outcomes).

it should also not be confused with social media marketing (advertising via Facebook, LinkedIn or similar social networks).


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