Social Marketing—"selling" ideas, attitudes and behaviors!

Social marketing was "born" as a discipline in the 1970s, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to "sell" ideas, attitudes and behaviors. It differs from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization.

 According to a study in “Communication for Development, 3E” by Srinivas Raj Melkote and H. Leslie Steeves (SAGE Publications) until the early 1970s, the approach was very stereotype. Communication campaigns were used one-way, topdown, source-to-receiver transmission models with the belief that effects would occur autonomously once the target received the message. But the major challenges were the changing values and knowledge as well as behavior patterns of the receivers. Later, the scope broadened “that social marketing is about influencing behavior, that it utilizes a systematic planning process and applies traditional marketing principles and techniques, and that its intent is to deliver a positive benefit for society.”

 Social marketing strategies are now mainly designed to influence social behaviors and not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society. The book “Communication for Development, 3E” is filled with latest scholarship on, and practices of, media and communication for development. Tracing the history of development communication, it looks objectively at diverse approaches and their supporters, and goes on to provide models for the future.

To read about more such practices grab your copy now.

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