Alan R. Andreasen
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing; Spring 2002
According to the author, Social Marketing can be defined as a process involving the design, implementation and control of social change programs aimed at increasing the acceptability of a social idea in one or more groups of target adopters as well as bringing about the desired behavioural change. Even if the idea that is being marketed is accepted, social marketing is not successful till it is able to induce an action in the individual as well. Andreasen believes that social marketing is unique because it:
1. upholds the need for bringing about behavioural change
2. is extremely customer-driven
3. requires a high level of creativity and ingenuity
Social marketing is in the growth phase of its product life cycle. It came into prominence with the family planning promotions of the 1960s. It was mentioned in the works of Kotler and Levy (1969) and Kotler and Zaltman (1971). It gained acceptance over the years and currently, it is taught at many business schools and conferences and seminars regarding the same are regularly held the world over. It has become a major vehicle in the process of promoting various health and safety issues that affect society such as smoking in public, immunization of children, wearing of seat belts and driving under the speed limit, AIDS awareness programs, education of the girl child, etc.
Barriers and Obstacles
Andreasen, however, feels that social marketing runs the risk of not meeting its true potential because of several barriers. These barriers exist because of lack of a clear understanding of what exactly social marketing is and what benefits and services it has to offer. A systematic study carried out by the Social Marketing Institute identified four key problem areas:
1. Lack of awareness among top management: It was observed that leaders of various non-profit organizations... [continues]
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