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Social Marketing: Effective Marketing Tool

This paper will try to consider sociable marketing as an effective tool in influencing open public behaviour. The concept of using interpersonal marketing used returned to implementation of family planning programs in USA in 1960s. But still social marketing hasn't evolved as a totally specialised self-discipline. In most of the cases unnecessary thrust on promotional aspect restricts communal marketing from obtaining desired behavioural change. Therefore for a better result social marketers need to control all 4Ps. There were instances where marketing programme was successfully integrated for anti drug and anti cigarette campaign, improving the general public health in USA and dealing with occupational safe practices problems among young personnel their by establishing that sociable marketing construct predicated on multi measurements.

Need for such a study

More and more companies, Government authorities, NGOs are employing communal marketing as an efficient tool in influencing specific behaviour. This approach is extremely helpful in execution of various programmes in health related areas and wellbeing of world. Social marketing is employed in anti tobacco campaigns, inhabitants control and other type of social welfare programs in public health related areas. Therefore social marketing has a serious impact on the life span of people particularly people belonging underprivileged section. So effective execution of public marketing programmes is crucial for real human development.


Social marketing is thought as "The application of marketing in the perfect solution is of social and health problems" (Kotler and Zaltman, 1971). In the original days social marketing means marketing of products which are of help in communal change but nowadays it concentrates mainly on influencing individual behaviour to bring desired behavioural change. Public marketing in many cases involve a product offering but there are cases like anti cigarette campaign where thrust is simply on behavioural changes. As much social and health problems have behavioural triggers and marketing influences human behavior, therefore social marketing offers a promising strategy for promoting improvements in health and wellness of society. According to Andreasen " Cultural marketing is a process for developing interpersonal change programme".

Commercial and Friendly Marketing

Defining precisely what is public marketing and what is not is a matter of debate amidst cultural marketers and academics. One fundamental difference between commercial and communal marketing is the fact social marketing entails much more consumer involvement for successful execution of program. The cultural marketing offerings are often much more complicated and it often encounters stiff amount of resistance from consumers as it tries to affect consumer behaviour. Therefore one must be extra careful while creating a social marketing programme. Commercial marketing good examples can be efficiently used in interpersonal marketing programmes. Advanced advertising strategies proposed by Rossiter and Persey (1997) were efficiently implemented in Country wide Illicit Drug Advertising campaign (NIDC) in Australia. In the theory authors proposed four steps in marketing campaign planning- Market and action targets, communication targets and setting, creative strategy and marketing strategy.

In National Illicit Drug Campaign (NIDC) (Talk to your kids about drugs) all the steps are adopted and communal marketing program was successfully applied. Now why don't we examine the programme: (Jones and Rossieter, 2002)

Target audience and action goals: Normally such programs aim for parents and children but this programme solely targets parents who'll play the roles of initiator and influencer in providing medication to children. The action aim is ideal for parents of 12-17 yrs. old to acquire and read NIDC booklets and speak to their kids about drugs.

Communication goal and placement: The communication goal was to encourage parents to speak to their children about ill effect of drugs and providing a guide to children operating as a facilitator.

Creative strategy: This campaign used role models and strategies exactly like as commercial marketing. The execution strategy relied after commercial marketing theory. "Speak to your kids about drugs" is a fresh brand. Thus the psychological portrayal should be an accurate representation of parents desire. The advertisements therefore use a very strong psychological look that engages the worries parents are most likely to own. The mental portrayal was used in TV ads modeling the targeted role for parents.

Media strategy: Like commercial marketers, NIDC employed a mix of TV advertisings, radio, newspapers, journal, online ads.

From the aforementioned circumstance we can conclude that commercial marketing strategies can be utilized in a social marketing program.

The most well-known concept in the industry marketing is 4P theory (Product, Pricing, Place and Campaign). However the same theory can be utilized in public marketing field. (Mathew, 2008)

Social Product: In sociable marketing the "Core" product includes the benefit for behavioural change, which is the real product. The "augmented" product involves "tangible items and services to aid behavioural change. "

Social Pricing: In commercial marketing price is the worthiness paid by consumer to obtain certain product or services. However in sociable marketing cost not only requires the purchase price paid to obtain a particular service or product but also includes the price tag on time, attempts to be employed by way of a consumer to buy a improved behaviour, and there is a price involved with negative impact of social relations with customized social behaviour.

Social Distribution: "To a extent there's a amount of overlap with commercial marketing in making services available to the prospective market. Augmented product elements in cultural marketing program, for example nicotine patches or condoms, have to be physically distributed effectively to potential users. Frequently, however, social marketer's primary concern is the distribution of information or ideas about behavioural change rather than a physical product" (Bloom and Novelli, 1981)

Social Promotion: Earlier dialogue on use of commercial advertising strategy in public marketing programme depicts how advertising can be utilized both in commercial and communal marketing arena.

This 4P theory (Product, Price, Place, Advertising) has been considered create a new paradigm in public marketing known as SIVA (Solution, Information, Value and Access) that modifies 4P for cultural marketing program. (Dev and Schulz, 2005). The genesis of this theory returned to an idea that 4P concentrates mainly on products not on consumers. The founder of the model targets the actual fact that customer wants information, the client wants solution and customer is not looking for next new thing but instead buying a need to be met, in this information age customers wants to learn more.

The 4P has been altered as follows,

Product = Alternatives.

Promotion = Information.

Price = Value.

Place = Access.

This model advocates that marketers do not develop and market products, somewhat knows and solves problems, all in the context of helping the client think of values (i. e how much will the power outweigh cost). This model has an opportunity for interpersonal marketers to develop a program keeping consumers at centre.

Another aspect that inks commercial marketers and sociable marketers is partnership. The sociable marketers need to focus more on relationship than commercial marketers as they lack resources like a sales force, founded distribution network etc. Community marketers need to build a infrastructure and market place to effectively sell their products. It really is a difficult activity with limited resources, therefore public marketers need to rely upon relationship more than commercial marketers.

Challenges for interpersonal marketing

In age rapidly changing current market, social marketing has to continually take up itself to new environment as changes in commercial marketing affects social marketing. Books revealed that lots of challenges faced by social marketing as follows: (Dann, Harris and Gillian, 2007)

New dominant logic and new eras of marketing:" Marketing is moving from goods-oriented exchange method of service dominant logic and value creation paradigm. As cultural marketing regularly been seen as the copy and request of commercial marketing, communal marketing practitioners and academics need to adapt to keep rate with advancement of mother or father discipline"(Jones and Rossiter, 2002). So challenges for social marketing is to continuously reinvent itself and take up to the service prominent logics, marriage management.

Clarifying social marketing in interpersonal change industry:

As more and more commercial marketing process are being used in cultural marketing, the series demarcating commercial and communal marketing is getting blurred and commercial intrusion is creating distress what is actually social marketing. It includes mainly concentrated on the downstream methodology of changing behavior but an upstream methodology of integrating community, multimedia, legislations, business into social marketing will bring a far more favourable change in individual behaviour.

Developing social marketing concept for cultural marketing applications:

It is a major challenge for interpersonal marketing to strongly create itself as a self-discipline. Social marketing programs are mainly developed on lent theories from health, psychology and commercial marketing. It often causes more focus on health aspects or business aspects alternatively than having desired behavioural changes. So there's a need to develop sociable marketing specific theories.

Putting the consumer first in software industry: Unlike commercial marketing where consumer reaches centre of activity, in sociable marketing often interpersonal marketers chooses the plan i. e a top down strategy is implemented. So consumer often resists changing their behavior. To put consumers first sociable marketers need to do more research on communal marketing product buying behaviour and consumer behaviour on future uncertain benefits, so that sociable marketing offering can become more suitable to consumers. In circumstances specific behavioural goal changes evolve over a period of time as interpersonal marketers receive responses from audience. In order to reduce newborn mortality rate in growing countries WHO undertakes a program to reduce amount of children dying from avoidable disease. Diarrheal dehydration was the major reason behind infant death in many countries. So communal marketing program was initiated to reduce diarrheal dehydration. But last mentioned it was discovered that social marketing programs addressing diarrheal dehydration was ineffective in reducing child mortality, because diarrhea was only first threat to infants life. After making it through the bout of dirrhea, the newborn continued to perish of respiratory infections or some immunizable diseases. It had been learned as time passes that to achieve the goal of lower mortality it was necessary to have a bundle of interventions. Sociable marketers attained the conclusion after having opinions from consumers.

Social marketing programs over the years have been dominated by public advertising and cultural communication. The participation of general public sector in public marketing is liited and it lacks strategic eyesight. There simply is no brand professionals, no marketing executive no integration of product development, charges, distribution and advertising in the general public sector.

Apart from planning and execution related challenges social marketing must face many ethical issues. "Social marketing is a two edged sword felt to have major beneficial elements, but also filled with the potential to cause significant moral controversies. "(Laczniak, Lusch and Murphy, 1979). Communal marketing provides an opportunity to express ideas ina better way but at the same time it could be misused by people or organizations having financial or political ability. "Social marketing could finally operate as a form of thought control by emotionally powerful" (Laczniak, Lusch and Murphy, 1979). In such instances communal marketing can be misused to mould the thought process of contemporary society to serve the vested interest. Therefore the role of communal marketers for proper usage of this powerful tool becomes important. The misuse can be prevented by using the techniques of self regulation, professional rules and federal government control. Cultural marketing tools and techniques are like other tools that can be used for both good and wicked purposes and end user determines the results not tool. Therefore public marketers need to try out a vigilant role while employing the programmes. In most cases the public marketing programme goals are determined by government agencies and cultural marketers act as hired guns. Using one side public marketing can be cured as value neutral tool kit for social change and on the other hand it can be considered as an instrument set up having implicit value assertion. If social marketing tool equipment has implicit value statement then it can only be used for good purpose and communal marketers are doers of good. But if it is a value natural kit for public change then your public marketers themselves weren't destined to be "doers of good" just as much as they were bound to be users of the sociable marketing tool set. Using metaphorical explanation public marketing tool system is a hammer (Dann, 2006a) and interpersonal marketers are appointed guns (Andreasen, 1995). As the hammer cannot determine the results, the tool set up cannot determine the outcomes of a sociable marketing programme. It is just a couple of marketing hammer (and other blunt equipment) for use in cultural marketing promotions (Dann, 2006a). But this neutrality of tool set contradicts this is of communal marketing. Social marketing can be provided as " the use of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and analysis of programmes made to impact the voluntary behaviour of market in order to boost their personal welfare which of their world (Andreasen, 1995). Therefore he main of cultural marketing discussion is the utilitarian moral discussion of action for welfare of society. So interpersonal marketers have to bear the partial responsibility of using sociable marketing tool set for sociable good.

Now we will study cases where communal marketing program has been put in place to address cultural and medical issues. Public medical issues often have social sizes and addressing cultural aspect is a key to solve ailment.

In USA medical condition of men and women with colour are quite bad in comparison with majority white populace. Normally these people participate in low income category and less educational record and this aggravates their worse health. Their diet and lifestyle are often major reason behind this health problem. The sociable marketing programme can act as an effective tool in handling the issues. Most of the programme suffers from a challenge that often these programmes are designed by people belonging to majority inhabitants with rigid mindset about the city. If the program is developed and executed by people belonging to minority community it often produces better final result. In Atlanta a programme is developed to reduce the potential for exposure through contact with caregivers who had been cleaning and cleaning chitterling, a normal food for African American infants, to a bacterium that triggers diarreha. The program was developed by people owned by same community with better socio financial background and reduced diarreha outbreak. It implies that a successful connections between cultural marketers and target audience requires a way of thinking shift which allows to get more detailed culturally appropriate and ethnically relevant models to reach minority population. For this transfer of mindset sociable marketers need to follow a three step guidelines which are as follows:

Know what minority marketplace needs: This means cultural marketers must really know what minority population needs rather than giving them what sociable marketers deems befitting them. This process discusses getting knowledge from target audience.

Need what minority marketplace knows: This principle focuses on the value social marketing expert places on the knowledge purchased. The marketers must understand and agree to these values. The mark audience becomes tool collaborator somewhat than mute recipients.

Target programmes to specific minority markets, but market to moving targets:

The interpersonal marketers shall keep in mind that knowledge about the needs of the minority community is not static. They have to collect responses at regular intervals from target audience and accordingly change the programme to accomplish better end result.

Social marketing in public areas health

North Carolina Department of People Health (NCDPH) made a decision to use public marketing to improve behavior of its staff by using cultural marketing concept. It followed the many stages of cultural marketing programme. It chose the programme staff and programme manager as market. A organised interview was carried out to learn what these people think about communal marketing programme, what are the barriers and great things about social marketing program. It made the audience research stage of communal marketing programme. The precise behavioural objectives are established for every group. The cost and advantage arising out of the programme for each group is developed in a way that advantage must outweigh the price. The product, price, place and promotion strategies were developed to aid the programme. This streamlined way led to a far better performance of NCDPH staff.

In USA the breast tumors is the major cause of death amongst African American Women (AAW). There are many factors that have been determined as contributors to this unusual high rate, such as insufficient knowledge, limited education, social beliefs, language barriers, late stage examination, reduced access to care and attention, and deprivation, but eventually socioeconomics is a central determinant in differing effects of breast malignancy mortality. Public marketing program originated to increase breast cancer awareness that empower women with knowledge regarding early on detection and elimination. In interpersonal marketing promotional plan a cable TV program Sister Discussion was aired to increase understanding about breast tumor. The members were given educational materials and other resources so that program may have a enduring impact. Many other promotional promotions were also launched which included billboard advertising, radio and television program, community health program to promote awareness etc. All these promotional campaign upgraded awareness about breast tumor among AAWs, but the major weakness remains that such programs focused on advertising only neglecting product, price and place aspects.

Social marketing in social issues

Apart from health related issues interpersonal marketing has found program in responding to issues such as occupational health safety among young employees. It is one of the most prevalent protection problems in many countries including developed countries like USA, Canada etc. The most challenging problem is that the most influenced group the young professional workers will not rank safeness as a priority issue for the coffee lover. To be able to address this issue training and education has been imparted to improve safe practices condition but public marketing provides a more detailed approach. Using social marketing theory staff member may be persuaded to give up the benefits of the unsafe manners or habits that the staff member has previously involved in; what's gained by the staff member is an enhanced level of safeness and a greater possibility that he/she will not be injured. Comprehensive interpersonal marketing promotions generally create a strategy by manipulating several of marketing s 4 Ps (product, place, price, campaign).

Product: The product' aspect of the cultural marketing mixture can be split into the actual, core, and augmented product. Actual product is the required behavior being advertised (e. g. , wear gloves while operating a machine). Center product is the end benefit of undertaking the desired tendencies (e. g. , top quality of life, or a much better promise of future pay). Augmented product includes tangible products (e. g. , gloves, helmets, back again braces, goggles, etc. ) or intangible services (e. g. , training workshops on basic safety).

Price: The price" the prospective audience will pay for carrying out a particular safeness practice might be a reduction in the quickness with which employment can be carried out. The purchase price could be financial, if the employee must buy expensive work boots, for example, rather than wearing athletes. The sociable marketers process is to show the value of safety, so the 'price' paid seems worth the safeness that has been gained.

Promotion: It is always an inseparable part of public marketing campaign in the form of booklets, training, advertising etc.

Place: Place' is the spot that the product is manufactured available and where security behavior can be executed. If use of a particular work-safety product has been advocated, such as rubber gloves or goggles, then locating that product handily for worker use is a crucial element of "place'.

If comprehensive interpersonal marketing programs are developed by manipulating all 4Ps then it can go quite a distance improving safety among young workers rather than merely focusing on promotional aspect only.


Social marketing as a discipline continues to be at its growing stage. It is not yet established as a full-fledged willpower. Social marketing has to assimilate the theories of commercial marketing such as 4P (Product, Price, Promotion and Place) in its own way and develop its variants. It will help social marketing to tell apart itself with other types of marketing such as cause related marketing, CSR etc. Within the social change industry several marketing concepts like cause related marketing, not for marketing, CSR etc are trying to influence individual behaviour just as as communal marketing will. Therefore social marketing has to be competitive for same budget and needs to prove that it is capable of attaining better outcome. Public marketing was able to bring desired change in specific behaviour. It had been successfully integrated in many health insurance and social issues. Specifically in case of minority and other disadvantaged neighborhoods the significant problem associated with general population health is not having less medical facilities but bigger problem is lack of awareness about the health. The key task is to develop a programme that allows the marketers to provide its message to target group. To be able to address this problem I suggest that while developing a social marketing program for a particular community the marketing team shall include people owned by the same community, who may have a better information about the necessity and culture of the community. Understanding the culture of community is extremely important because if the subject matter does not get a fit with the culture and principles of the community, then it is highly unlikely that community will accept the subject matter. Another major problem is that a lot of communal marketing programs sets too much thrust on promotional aspect. But it extremely important that sociable marketers shall also concentrate on product, prices and place. Cultural marketing program shall develop some tangible products because it helps the given individual to connect with the program and it supplements the promotional work. In communal marketing applications non financial costs will be more than economic cost as communal marketing aim is to bring change in individual behavior. Bringing behavioural change is the toughest job and it requires a big cost in the form of social, emotional etc. Which means promotional campaign will be built in a way that aim for group must understand that great things about changing behaviour outweighs the cost. Only this exchange can bring desired behavioural change. Therefore price will play a crucial role in the success of a sociable marketing as well as for the success of programme profit must outweigh the price. In most cases this program is associated with some tangible products like remedies, pills, nicotine strap etc and one major aspect is the fact to make these products available to concentrate on group as and when they want it. Here the place aspect i. e circulation channel will play an important role. The sociable marketers shall design the distribution channel so that market can easily access the distribution channel. Therefore the promotion will be supplemented by other three Ps and extensive approach can bring desired approach. Sociable marketing is certainly an effective tool that if properly employed it can help to solve various social and public medical issues like AIDS control, reducing baby mortality rate, minimizing gender inequality etc and it can play even more critical role in addressing the issues of socially disadvantaged areas and on the other palm if it is employed for unethical purposes by people having money electric power, it can mould general public judgment in a distorted way that can do major injury to society. It's the role of public marketers that will determine the future of public marketing and if they can play a constructive role communal marketing can create itself as most strong tool for taking desired public change in cultural change current market.

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