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Social Marketing Concept Assignment Help

- Define social marketing, and explain how social marketing contrasts with commercial marketing

- Discuss how law and education fit within the social marketing framework.

- Discuss why the use of upstream interventions in social marketing is debated.

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Social marketing campaigns are derived from commercial marketing techniques in order to increase social engagement and influence the target audience to change their behaviour for the benefit of the entire society (Hoek, & Jones, 2011). These marketing strategies are basically related to public health, safety, environmental protection, and community development. The present report outlines details about social marketing and its relationship with commercial marketing. Furthermore, the inclusion of law and education within the social marketing framework and the use of upstream interventions has also been mentioned.

Social marketing

Social marketing is defined as a means to develop activities in order to change or maintain the behaviour of people towards the benefit of the individual or society as a whole for a social cause. It uses commercial marketing techniques and principles for the welfare of people and their environment. It is careful, systematically planned long-term approach to change human behaviour. Based on the report by Tapp, & Spotswood, (2013), it is based on maintaining or changing people's behaviour by integrating with other marketing approaches. Besides, it is to be noted that the method is ethically guided by principles, which makes it effective, efficient, sustainable, and equitable. This marketing strategy focuses on understanding the target audience and the activities that will benefit them. The social marketing helps to ensure that the policy is created to understand the life of people and achieve realistic goals. This marketing approach is considered by most of the business because it enables to target the available resources in a cost-effective manner and select the most suitable interventions which have the best outcome over time (Wood, 2008). Most of the business relies on the social marketing approach because it develops creative ideas, and promotes positive social change and enables them to develop products and services which is appropriate according to the needs and motivations of the people. The social marketing strategy achieved acceptance in the 1990s onwards when a campaign "Life be in it" motivated most of the population in Australia to exercise (Wood, 2008). For successful social marketing, marketers need to consider three basic levels; philosophy, plan, and tactics (Tapp et al, 2013).

Contrast between social marketing and commercial marketing

Despite, the fact that social marketing incorporates commercial marketing tools in its approach, it is more thorough than the commercial method. It is a fact that social marketing approach is grounded in the theory and practices of commercial marketing. In this context, it adopts customer-focused marketing philosophy by putting the need of customers at the centre of the organisational activities. It also creates mutually beneficial exchanges between the customers and the organisation by segmenting the target customers (Hastings, & Saren, 2003). It is to be noted that, unlike commercial marketing, the social marketing approach is mostly adopted by the non-commercial sectors. The reason is the commercial marketing give more emphasis on gaining monetary profit by offering specific products and administrations. In this context, the commercial advertisers focus on selecting target groups, that will provide them with the best volume of the beneficial deals. On the contrary, social marketing implies the same approach by focusing on societal benefit (Hastings, et al. 2003). In conjunction with this, target customers are selected on the basis of common social issue and try to overcome it by shifting people's behaviour and attitudes. In addition to selling tangible goods like commercial marketing, social marketing also sells intangible ideas (Wood, 2008). Due to its involvement in social benefit, it is mostly funded by donations and taxes to perform non-financial metrics.

On the other hand, commercial marketing is usually funded by a company to perform financial metrics. Commercial marketing holds a short term goal in which it can sell a particular product to the targeted customers, while social marketing is a long-term process which aims to change customer behaviour. In contrast to the commercial marketing approach, it includes psychology, sociology, and other well-being related activities to connect with the target customers and gain public acceptance (Wood, 2008). Commercial marketers focus on gaining financial profit, whereas the bottom line for social marketers is to bring the expected behavioural change. The social marketing focuses on evaluating the knowledge and interest of target adopters about a particular issue and requisite behaviour prior to the design of the marketing campaign. Finally, commercial marketing uses 4Ps of the marketing mix elements, that is, price, promotion, place, and product. In the case of social marketing, organisations include 8Ps of the marketing mix, that is, price, promotion, place, product, public, partnership, policy, and purse strings (Hastings, et al. 2003).

Importance of law and education within the social marketing framework

It is evident that social marketing is related to the shift in people's attitude and behaviour for their betterment. However, all forms of behaviour are not suitable to be modified by this marketing strategy. Thus, the attitude and behaviour which cannot be easily enforced and are considered as important criteria or mandatory aspect for the society are addressed through the law reform or educational messages (Andreasen, 2003). In this context, the law reforms are backed up with education for explaining in detail about the law. In detail, laws are described as the government endorsed coercion for achieving the desired behavioural outcome (Hastings, et al. 2003).

Further, education access media to transfer message and inform people about bringing involuntary change for self and societal benefit. Thus, there exists a basic level of interaction between marketing, law and education for accomplishing a common cause. Considering the interaction between social marketing and education, both of them focus on voluntary change. In this scenario, education provides the basic knowledge needed to bring the change whereas marketing outlines the incentives required to begin the change (Andreasen, 2003). In a similar manner, marketing and law also work side by side to provide the required change for the environment. Marketing makes the change as a voluntary requirement whereas law makes the change as a mandatory requirement (Wood, 2008).

When a change is presented by law, it is usually in a form of non-negotiable agreement. Enforcing laws on people bounds them to obey the desired behaviour as there is the inclusion of penalties for lawbreakers. Some of the common law assigned for public events include mandatory voting and obeying traffic rules. The penalties designed for disobeying these laws are jail are heavy financial compensation.

The government has also conducted social marketing individual behaviour through positive intervention (such as subsidizing the cost for environmentally friendly fuels) and negative intervention (such as heavy taxation on the price of cigarettes) (Hoek, et al. 2011). Law acts as a measure of coercive that can be implemented in a positive way to reinforce people's behaviour. For instance, subsidy law acts as a bonus for compliance. In a similar way, the law for a compulsory helmet wearing for the teenage cyclist overrides the opposing social pressure. Moreover, another example of law to bring a positive social change is wearing seatbelts. This law invalidates any type of social pressure upon the use of seat belt and voluntary compliance.

The social marketing with the education approach is appropriate when the target market is prone to the desired behaviour, while the law-based approach is relevant to those target market who are resistant to the suitable behaviour. With the implementation of the educational approach, the benefits of the desired behaviour can be easily communicated to the audience which also matched their self-interest of the target market. While with the use of law based methodology, the benefits of the behaviour cannot be easily transmitted to the target market as it does not match the self-interest of the market. On the other hand, the use of social marketing in combination with law and education makes it easier to convey those messages whose level of competition is minimal, active or unmanageable. It is a matter of fact that, social marketing, education, and law are suitable for some specific type of change, however, none of the three is universally applicable to each and every behavioural issue (Hoek, et al. 2011). Thus, it can be concluded that each of the approaches can be implemented according to the complexity level and people's interest at the individual and society level.

Significance of upstream intervention in social marketing

Social marketing is basically used for persuading the customers to incorporate the recommended behaviours, which is referred to as the downstream intervention. While the upstream interventions emphasise on adoption and employment of marketing and other related approaches to bring change in behaviour and attitude of the decision makers (Key, & Czaplewski, 2017). These decisions makers or policymakers hold the power to bring positive changes in the surrounding environment and resolve social issues. There has been a constant debate and argument about the implementation of upstream interventions should be the primary focus of social marketing. It is believed that the upstream approach is capable to induce the desired individual behaviour, usually without their conscious agreement (Fu, Fan, & Feng, 2015). Moreover, the researchers believe that the upstream approach is not only applicable to individuals but also best suitable for the professionals, managers, policymakers, and developing the socio-economic environment.

According to the concept of upstream approach, the organisation can manipulate the desired change in behaviour without their actual knowledge. Unlike the downstream approach where the major focus is on individual behaviour change, the upstream approach emphasises on environmental, and policy change strategy. For instance, in an objective for energy saving, the approach is useful to ensure the influence on executors and policymakers of organisations by bringing change in the workplace culture, structure and process. The use of the upstream approach in social marketing by the government and business has helped in limiting the electricity consumption pattern. It has been identified as a successful method to bring structural change in society through the policymakers. There are several other social issues which can be easily addressed through this approach such as, environmental degradation, drug use, obesity, and fast fashion (Key, et al. 2017). It is considered as most effective since the primary target market includes industry, organisation, and government level.

There exist some critical problems which cannot be resolved alone by social marketing and thus need the assistance of upstream intervention. In this way, the individuals in the key policy decision positions are intervened for mitigating the critical problems. According to the report of Fu et al (2015), the problems which are messy, complex, uncertain and are interlinked with other factors, can be resolved at a higher level with the help of political judgements. It is an effective strategy for social marketers for influencing solution and policy adoption, as it gives emphasises on the structural environment instead of individual downstream level. For instance, this approach is highly efficient in creating change in voter behaviour, community meetings, corporate policies, policy debates, judgements and legal principle application. This approach charges the social markers towards the environmental problem and derives the possible solution to get a supportive environment. According to the recent reports by Key et al (2017), the government has been including the strategy as an approach to limit the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol. In this regard, the upstream method has been adopted interventions such as limiting advertisements, restricting use in public places, increasing prices, and putting license.


In summary, the report describes the concept of social marketing for the betterment of individual and society. This marketing strategy is concluded to become the first preference of most of the business as it stimulates change with the available limited resources and emphasizes the voice of the majority population. Important concepts related to law and education-based marketing has also been discussed. It is discovered that with the use of law and education in the social marketing campaign, complex issues at an individual and societal level can be resolved easily. Finally, the report emphasizes the use of upstream interventions in social marketing as the approach opens a new path where the political judgement of the decision makers at the higher level can be influenced to bring a positive outcome at the community level.

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