Social marketing must not be confused with social media marketing. It is a process used to influence the general public to change their behaviour to benefit society as a whole. These changes may relate to health, the environment, safety and the community.
It utilises traditional marketing techniques without the need for monetary payments. Individuals exchange behavioural patterns to achieve a certain goal. Some campaigns may even become statute: in this case the behavioural change will stop an individual being prosecuted or fined.
Examples of social marketing campaigns include:
- Healthy eating, having 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day (health).
- Recycling of rubbish (environment).
- Crossing the road (safety).
- Supporting a clean-up operation after a natural disaster (community).
Examples of social marketing campaigns relating to statute changes include:
- Wearing a seat belt whilst driving.
- Drinking and driving.
- Smoking in public places.
Social marketers may also target Governments, the private and/or other public bodies to support their campaigns. They would generally utilise lobbyist who would have the aim of changing legislation. Examples include:
- The banning of tobacco advertising at sports events.
- The screening of babies for certain medical conditions.
- Parental responsibilities on truanting children.
Kotler, P. (1975), Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Kotler, P. and Roberto, E. (1989), Social Marketing: Strategies for Changing Public Behavior, The Free Press, New York, NY.