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The theoretical framework of social marketing - Essay Example

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Social marketing is a calculated process aimed towards bringing about a behavioral change for a social good. It is a modification of the traditional product and service marketing. In other words it's the planning and implementation of programs intended to bring about social change using concepts from commercial marketing…
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Social marketing is not a new concept it has been around for a long time in one form or the other. Ever since there have been societies people have tried to persuade, inform, motivate and some how gain acceptance for their ideas and hence bring about a change. But social marketing was first introduced as a discipline in 1970 by Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman when they realized that the same marketing principles and strategies used to sell products can be used to sell and promote ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Kotler emphasized that the only difference between marketing and social marketing was that in social marketing the aim is not to maximize the benefit for the seller but to bring about a social change. (Weinreich, 2006)
Six basic principles of social management set it apart it from other marketing approaches. Firstly the marketing conceptual frame work is intended to bring about a change that is the ultimate goal of marketing is to influence an action. Secondly there should be recognition of competition as recommended behaviors almost always have competition that should be understood and addressed. Thirdly there is a consumer orientation which is the focus on meeting the needs of one's consumers. Fourthly seminal research is to be used to identify with consumer's desires and needs that is programs will be more successful if they are based on the target audience's own perceptions and views. Fifthly there is to be a segmentation and careful selection of the target audience as audiences are rarely consistent in their perceptions or likely responses to marketing efforts and thus should be separated. And sixthly there is to be constant monitoring and modification of program tactics as the market is constantly changing and the management should be ready to rapidly adjust and alter its strategies. (Social Marketing Institute, n.d)
Social marketing relies on the commercial marketing's conceptual frame work to guide program development and implementation. This frame work places the consumer at the heart of the exchange process where they try to maximize their wants and needs and minimize their costs of doing so. There fore social marketing identifies consumer wants and needs and tries to develop ways to satisfy them. In other words social marketing focuses on the consumer and tries to learn what the consumer wants and thus attempts to provide for the his or her needs. The planning process takes this consumer focus into account by concentrating on the elements of the marketing mix. This refers to the Ps of social marketing which incorporate the four Ps of marketing which are price, product, place and promotion as well as a few others. (Meischke, n.d)
The first "P" is the social marketing product which might not always be in physical form. Products can be tangible such as condoms, ideas such as environment protection, habits or practices such as healthy eating and even services such as regular medical check ups or exams. For the product to be effective the consumers have to identify the fact that they have a problem and that the product offers a good solution to that problem. Here research can be used to determine the consumer's perception of their problem and how willing they are to solve that problem. (Weinreich, 2006)
The second "P" is price which refers to what the consumers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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