Social Marketing Approach

Social Marketing is a process that uses marketing principles and techniques to influence target audience behaviors that will benefit society, as well as the individual. This strategically oriented discipline relies on creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have positive value for individuals, clients, partners, and society at large.

Social marketing uses eight marketing principles in contrast with commercial marketing:

  1. Product: a social marketing product is a behavior change or a shift in attitude towards a tangible product, a service, a certain practice or even an intangible idea.
  2. Price: refers to what the consumer must do in order to obtain the social marketing product. This cost may be monetary, or it may instead require the consumer to give up intangibles, such as time or effort, or to risk embarrassment and disapproval.
  3. Place: describes the way that the product reaches the consumer or channels through which consumers are reached with information or training.
  4. Promotion: The procedures/approaches of creating awareness, visibility and sustaining demand for the product.
  5. Policy: An effective social marketing program results to policy change and media advocacy programs. Policy is the intent to influence policy that will not be punitive but will promote positive behavior change.
  6. Publics: refer to both the external and internal groups (target audience, secondary audiences, policymakers, approvers, implementers and gatekeepers) involved in the program.
  7. Procedure: refers to a set of approaches and tools with which the marketing is implemented. Lakhtrem uses creative arts elements including poetry and Theatre of the Oppressed.
  8. Partnership: consists of identifying and teaming up other like-minded organizations or groups in the community.

Social marketing is a proven tool for influencing behavior in a sustainable and cost-effective way. It helps you to decide:

  • Which people to work with?
  • What behavior to influence?
  • How to go about it?
  • How to measure it?

A social marketing approach

Even if you don’t take social marketing any further, just considering these four questions will add value to your projects and policies.

  • Do I really understand my target audience and see things from their perspective?
  • Am I clear about what I would like my target audience to do?
  • For my target audience, do the benefits of doing what I would like them to do outweigh the costs or barriers to doing it?
  • Am I using a combination of activities in order to encourage people to achieve the desired action?

How social marketing helps?

Policy: social marketing helps to ensure policy is based on an understanding of people’s lives, making policy goals realistic and achievable. Policy example: water rationing in Jordan

Strategy: social marketing enables you to target your resources cost-effectively, and select interventions that have the best impact over time. Strategy example:  lung disease strategy in England

Implementation and delivery: social marketing enables you to develop products, services and communications that fit people’s needs and motivations.