Increasingly, social marketing is described as having "two parents." The "social parent" uses social science and social policy approaches. The "marketing parent" uses commercial and public sector marketing approaches. Recent years have also witnessed a broader focus. Social marketing now goes beyond influencing individual behaviour. It promotes socio-cultural and structural change relevant to social issues. Consequently, social marketing scholars are beginning to advocate for a broader definition of social marketing: "social marketing is the application of marketing principles to enable individual and collective ideas and actions in the pursuit of effective, efficient, equitable, fair and sustained social transformation". The new emphasis gives equal weight to the effects (efficiency and effectiveness) and the process (equity, fairness and sustainability) of social marketing programs. Together with a new social marketing definition that focuses on social transformation, there is also an argument that "a systems approach is needed if social marketing is to address the increasingly complex and dynamic social issues facing contemporary societies"
With that understanding of marketing in mind, let's turn now to the focal point of an effective campaign--the consumer. People will have different ideas and beliefs at different times. For example, among smokers, some may not believe smoking is that bad for them, others might understand the risks but not care, still others may not want to take the effort to stop smoking, and a final group of smokers may be actively trying to quit. A social marketing campaign will see all of these beliefs (and their related actions) as part of a continuum, and try to move people along to the next step.
The next milestone in the evolution of social marketing was the publication of "Social Marketing: An Approach to Planned Social Change" in the Journal of Marketing by Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman. Kotler and Zaltman coined the term 'social marketing' and defined it as "the design, implementation, and control of programs calculated to influence the acceptability of social ideas and involving considerations of product planning, pricing, communication, distribution, and marketing research." They conclude that "social marketing appears to represent a bridging mechanism which links the behavior scientist's knowledge of human behavior with the socially useful implementation of what that knowledge allows."
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