Combining ideas from commercial marketing and social sciences results in social marketing. It is a unique approach to marketing and its objective is to alter or uphold people’s behavior to benefit society as a whole. This uses marketing concepts to drive social change for the long-term benefit of the community. It is very much different from the commercial marketing approach that focuses on financial gains and customer satisfaction.
Social marketing is of immense importance as environmental and social problems are increasing day by day. People are now becoming more concerned with such issues and actively taking steps to solve these problems. Commercial marketing is not suited for this purpose as it often ignores the negative social and environmental impacts. The companies and organizations that follow social marketing question whether commercial marketing is the correct philosophy when the planet is facing problems such as climate change, depletion of natural resources, hunger, poverty, low access to education and health.
Difference Between Commercial and Social Marketing
Commercial marketing does not take into account marketing ethics. For instance, businesses following a commercial marketing approach will promote products that have adverse effects on the health of consumers in the long run. The end goal when it comes to this form of marketing is to generate more sales. Meanwhile, social marketing focuses on mutual good and not profits. For instance, it will promote the consumption of healthy food items such as fruits and vegetables instead of fast food.
Examples of Social Marketing
There are innumerable examples of social marketing that show the effort that people are putting into the advancement of society by and large. Some of the prominent examples include the campaigns to reduce drunk driving behavior and antisocial behavior. We all have witnessed the anti-tobacco campaigns run by governments across the globe to decrease smoking rates. In the European Union, anti-palm oil drives are organized to reduce the impact of environmentally unfriendly products.
Main Advocates of Social Marketing
After listening to marketing experts at top marketing conferences, like the Marketing 2.0 Conference (Marketing2Conf), many commercial organizations have started to adopt the concept, although it is limited. Such companies focus on three elements - profits, people, and the planet. However non-profit institutions are the major proponents of social marketing and these include governments, charity organizations, non-governmental organizations, cooperatives, and customary organizations.
Effects of Social Marketing
Social marketing utilizes commercial marketing techniques to achieve specific social change and it is considered successful if the desired social change is achieved. One of the downsides of social marketing is that it takes a lot of time and effort to attain the desired result. For instance, the anti-smoking campaign took 5 years to reduce adult smoking by 3.7% in Australia. We can see the opposite effect with regard to commercial marketing.
Plus Point of Social Marketing
The biggest advantage of social marketing is that more and more individuals become aware of the problems faced by the world and the people around them. Now many consumers prefer to buy products from companies and businesses that are socially, environmentally, and ethically responsible.
After reading this thorough review of social marketing you will develop a better understanding of the subject. If you wish to gain more knowledge of the topic then visit upcoming marketing events.