HTH 351 – Chap.8- Social Marketing

Social marketing:
use of commercial marketing techniques to help in acquisition of a behavior that is beneficial for health of target population.
Social marketing is becoming popular
in gov. sector as well as the not-for-profit sector in the US and other countries around the world for influencing behaviors.
In the field of health, some important applications of social marketing include:
1. Recruiting blood donors
2. Smoking prevention in adolescents
3. Family Planning
4. Condom Use
The primary difference between social marketing and commercial marketing is
their objectives.
the primary purpose in social marketing is
to benefit the target audience and change behaviors that have social implications.
Social marketing has origins
in India
Used in 1960s in
promoting the family planning program, particularly for marketing of condoms
In the US, a sociologist, G. D. Wiebe, first suggested in 50s that marketing might be applied to
social ideas
“selling brotherhood”
1st social marketing textbook published in
Purpose of Commercial Marketing
Making profits
Purpose of Social Marketing
Making behavior change for social causes
Expectations of Commercial Marketing
Expectations of Social Marketing
Scrutiny of Commercial Marketing
Usually done in private sector
Scrutiny of Social Marketing
Done from a variety of sources
Novelty of Commercial Marketing
Usually selling a known product
Novelty of Social Marketing
Sometimes selling an idea that is totally new
Educational level of audiences of Commercial Marketing
Variable and includes different sections
Educational level of audiences of Social Marketing
Usually vulnerable sections with low literacy
Distasteful behaviors of Commercial Marketing
Usually caters to what public likes
Distasteful behaviors of Social Marketing
Often deals with what people do not want to change (e.g., wearing a seat belt)
Involvement between marketer and public of Commercial Marketing
Involvement between marketer and public of Social Marketing
Often very high
Benefits of Commercial Marketing
Clear in profits
Benefits of Social Marketing
Often invisible
Third parties of Commercial Marketing
Direct benefits to people using the product
Third parties of Social Marketing
Often the benefits are to third parties, such as poor people
Self-rewards of Commercial Marketing
Usually the rewards are external (e.g., discount, better product, etc.)
Self-rewards of
Social Marketing
Usually the rewards offered are internal or self-rewards (e.g., weight loss)
Budgets of Commercial Marketing
Budgets of
Social Marketing
funding of commercial marketing
Usually private
Funding of
Social Marketing
Usually government or not-for-profit foundations
Choices of products of f commercial marketing
Choices of products of
Social Marketing
Exchange theory implies
the transfer or transaction of something valuable between 2 individuals or groups.
In social marketing, the emphasis of this transaction
is voluntary and must underscore the benefits to the consumer.
Exchange Theory
Benefits (as viewed by target audience) must outweigh the costs for making the behavior change
Exchange Theory example
health promotion program encourages participants to engage in PA. The cost to the individual might be loss of free time, loss of time to watch television, etc. As a result, the benefits the social marketer offers must be more appealing (more energy to do things, ability to lose weight, etc.)
Steps in Social Marketing
(Andreasen (1995) has defined six stages:)
1. Listening stage
2. Planning stage
3. Structuring stage
4. Pretesting stage
5. Implementing stage
6. Monitoring stage
Listening stage
in which background analysis and listening to the target audience is done
Planning stage
stage in which the marketing mission, objectives, goals, and strategy are defined
Structuring stage
in which a marketing organization, procedures, benchmarks, and feedback mechanisms are established
Pretesting stage
in which key program elements are tested
Implementing stage
in which the strategy is put into effect
Monitoring stage
in which program progress is tracked
Steps in Social Marketing (Weinreich (1999) described five steps: )
1. Planning
2. Message and material development
3. Pretesting
4. Implementation
5. Evaluation
Audience Segmentation
Identifying distinct groups of people who are similar to each other in different characteristics and likely to respond to messages in a similar way.
Segments may be based on:
geographic factors
demographic factors
medical history factors
personality characteristics
attitudinal factors
behavioral factors
After identifying the segments
knowledge, attitude, and behavior data are collected from the target audience.
Audience Segmentation uses qualitative methods
such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, case studies, or quantitative studies using surveys are used.
Key Constructs of Social Marketing
Purse strings
Behavior or offering that is intended for the target audience to adopt. Ex:
Condoms, mammography, stress management
Tangible and intangible things that the target audience has to give up in order to adopt the new idea (product). Ex:
Time, effort, old way of life
Distribution channels, where or how customers will get product. Ex:
TV spot, newspaper, internet article, bulletin board
Mechanism by which one gets the message across to the target audience. Ex:
Contest, public service announcement, health fair
Primary and secondary audiences involved in the program. Ex:
Individual, family and peers.
Establishing collaboration with multiple partners who will work on the same issue. Ex:
Coalition comprised of different organizations
Creating the environmental supports in order to sustain the behavior change. Ex:
5 or more FV per day, seatbelt laws
Purse strings
Amount of money available at one’s disposal for the campaign. Ex:
No profit to sustain efforts, donations or grants?
Advantages of Social Marketing (not really important)
1. Extensive formative research
2. Pretesting of the components before implementation
3. Use of marketing mix
Limitations of Social Marketing (not really important)
In public health, the goal is to reach as many people as possible. However, in social marketing, audience segmentation and use of tailored messages filter out many people who may be in need of the services or behavior change.
Social marketing requires a lot of lead time; often, that much time is not available for program planners.
Limitations of Social Marketing
May be considered “motivational manipulation.”
There are multiple definitions, the field is not differentiated well, it lacks academic stature, and there is a lack of appreciation of social marketing at top levels.
Usually effective for behaviors that need to be changed once or only a few times but is not effective for behaviors that must be repeated and maintained over a period of time.

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