Social marketing is completely different to social media. It ultimately uses marketing to benefit society as well as the individual, and aims to influence the behaviour of people. In contrast, commercial marketing aims to produce a financial outcome from the campaign and for the business to generate revenue, whereas social marketing doesn’t have this motive.

Instead, it aims to change the way people think, feel and behave.

To give you an idea, here are some examples of social marketing:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Healthy eating
  • Obesity
  • Fitness and exercise
  • Organ donation
  • Blood donation
  • Texting whilst driving
  • Road safety
  • Cancer prevention
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Child car seats

Social marketing is very much a form of marketing, and still uses the planning processes used in standard marketing campaigns. The difference is that a social marketing campaign may not have the same budget as commercial businesses, therefore it is run on a tighter budget and funds need to be carefully allocated. Large issues, such as smoking and texting whilst driving, however is usually governmentally supported.

So, is Social Marketing effective? Good Question…

There have been many successful social marketing campaigns. An example being the ‘Change4life’ campaign run by the NHS to encourage families with children to think about what they are eating. Marketing tactics used includes a website, television advertisements and social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. The website includes recipes for parents to follow and an app to download to track your child’s progress.

This campaign has been EXTREMELY effective, with over 1 million people joining up since it began. The aim is to ultimately improve the health of children and reduce the rates of childhood obesity and weight related illness within the UK.

Without social marketing, we wouldn’t be encouraged to change our behaviours, or to be motivated to stay on track. A significant example is from The British Heart Foundation, who produced a graphic advertising campaign showing the result of smoking. As a result, over 62,000 people visited their website for help and support to quit. With 1 in 5 deaths a year – around 114,000 caused by smoking, this is a substantial proportion.

By using social marketing, we can reduce the number of people that have social issues and therefore, reduce the amount of people who depend on services such as the NHS when it can be prevented.

Would you like some more information or assistance in marketing your business or social issue? We are always happy to share our expert advice, simply get in touch via phone or email – 01522 581911 / hello@fillthegapmarketing.co.uk.