What Is Social Marketing?

Social marketing is another name for non-profit marketing. Social marketing creates marketing concepts that are not profit-oriented and aim to change society’s consciousness and behavior over the long term.

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Goal Of Social Marketing

In social marketing, achieving social goals should always come first. Here, the classic factors such as profit and sales increases completely excluded, and the focus is on correcting grievances and others’ behavior. Since the consciousness of the customer is to influenced, future purchase decisions will change as well. With the help of [social marketing], however, you can also pursue other goals that are more commercially oriented:

  • Increase in awareness
  • Image cultivation
  • Brand awareness

In addition, attention can explicitly directed to issues that are at the heart of the company. This helps, for example, with fundraising campaigns.

The Areas Of Social Marketing

The core topic of social marketing is the change in awareness. Thus, people should be encouraged to adopt a “better” way of thinking that is more oriented towards the common good. There are 3 main areas of the main focus for this:

Areas of social marketing


  • Anti-smoking, anti-drugs, anti-alcohol consumption
  • Healthy eating
  • Sport and more exercise
  • prevention
  • Donating stem cells or blood
  • More safety in the road and public transport


  • Anti-racism
  • Gender equality
  • Combating trafficking in human beings
  • Combating child labor
  • Anti-bullying
  • Anti-discrimination


  • Animal welfare
  • Resource conservation
  • Combating pollution
  • Reduction of waste production
  • Clean oceans
  • Combating deforestation

Social Marketing in Commercial Enterprises

Not only non-profit companies or government and non-profit organizations use [social marketing] for marketing themselves. Commercial companies are also making increasing use of these measures. They increasingly rely on social commitment and social aspects such as fair trade, animal welfare, or environmental friendliness. However, [social marketing] in the true sense of the word can no longer be 100% assumed since companies’ primary goal is to improve their image, increase brand awareness, or purely brand maintenance. Thus, the focus is not on changing the target group’s attitudes but again on marketing the company. Still, it pays off. Even if no commercial products advertised through [social marketing], measures in this direction can increase a company’s sales.

But be careful: Sustainable and environmentally friendly, and resource-saving productions are currently central issues for companies. Especially in times of Fridays for Future, such aspects have an increasing influence on the purchase decision. Nevertheless: sustainability marketing is not [social marketing]. As already explained, [social marketing] is essential to change people’s behavior for the common good. Thus, the marketing of “green” or “charitable” products not included, as these are marketing purposes that make the product appear more attractive and increase sales.

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