Introduction to Social Marketing: Purpose & Profits Have you ever thought of the value that you are adding when you are studying about marketing? Are you creating the needs or serving the needs of the society. To understand and answer the above questions, we need to understand the concept of Social Marketing. Let’s get started.

Social Marketing

Social Marketing

It is generally believed that motive of marketing is to make profit to the organizations to your company by providing value to the customers. But, value is the most misunderstood term of the above definition. Let us now understand what Social Marketing is. 

For example: It is fact that regular consumption of cola can lead to higher blood pressure, diabetes, obesity etc. Can we find an instance where we find any cola company advertising to consume its content in low amount owing to problems in future? 

Here comes the pick, Social marketing tries to influence the consumers in a way to improve the consumer behaviour for his own and society as a whole. Don’t get confused here with social awareness campaigns.

Social marketing is not announcing information publically, it is distributing the information in a creative way so that there is a better and a longer reach. It tries to understand the social and psychological factors of the society that is resisting the change. It strives to bring the awareness and acceptance among the target group for their greater good.

It requires deep understanding of the consumers whom you are trying to serve and building advertising campaigns around them, rather than creating needs from your perspective.

What is the difference between elements in Traditional marketing and Social Marketing then?

Social Marketing

 Source: Social Marketing

We can say from our above discussion that social marketing's the application of commercial marketing to attain the social endeavours.

Approach of the social marketing campaign is same as any other campaign

  • Identity the change that you want to bring
  • Define the scope
  • Implement
  • Evaluate & Follow-up

Let us try to find out the difference between traditional marketing and social marketing by observing how 4 PS are seen in a different perspective.

4P’s of Traditional Marketing

This question is a cakewalk for every MBA student.


Product is the physical goods or a service or an idea that a company intended to sell to its consumers.


The amount you charge for the product, or service or an idea you sell to the consumer. The amount is directly connected to the value that your customer feels.  Pricing also have external impacts like competition, economy etc.


Place is the channel through you want to sell the product. Where can you find the customers who are interested to buy your product?


 What are the strategies that you use and ensure that consumers are heard about your project? And how effective are they to achieve your targets.

Whereas 4P’s of Social Marketing's the one which most of us might not have heard of.

4P’s of Social Marketing Strategy


Product in this type of marketing is different, it is not about the product but it is the behavioural change that you want to bring. It can be any social change, ending the use of drugs, ending the practice of dowry, solving the problem of littering around in the public places or ending the stereotype associated with certain community/age/gender etc.


Price in this type of marketing talks about the efforts or the time that a consumer has to pay to change his behaviour. For example: A person who is addicted to alcohol or drugs cannot forget the habit in a day or two. Human body takes some time to adjust to the new change. Here cost includes the overall cost of time, efforts and the costs associated with health conditions during the change.

For example: It is believed that people who quit smoking might gain weight.


Place talks about the barriers that are preventing form the consumers to overcome the existing behaviour. For example: If a person is going through a mental breakdown and have constant thoughts of suicide, is there any mechanism to reach out to the person to change his thoughts, it can be an online portal or offline clinic. If not how can we reach him?


Promotion is the strategy you use to foster the social change. The campaigns can be communicated using print, digital and social media, Word of mouth etc. Word of mouth can be the effective campaign as it is more personal.

A best marketing strategy is a one which tries to bring the considerable social change in the society at the lower cost. But the measure of success of marketing strategy is not quite simple. It takes lot of efforts and time to initiate and realize that change that you want to see in the society.

Implementing Social Marketing

Social Marketing's implementation involves strategy and operations. Strategy concentrate more on the behaviour of the consumer you want to change. The reasons behind the resistance for change. Whereas the operations part involves in planning of activities that have to be implemented to achieve the desired result.

Social Marketing


Social Marketing examples in India

Social campaigns are not new in India, there are so many companies in our country who took initiative to bring the social change in the society by using Digital Marketing. Let us look at few examples.

 No Place for Mother Campaign

Social Marketing

Source: Pragnya

This campaign is conducted by Pragnya to highlight the contribution of the mother to home which are mostly unaccounted or neglected in the society. It used a series of posters explain the daily activities of mother and the amount of value she adds to the home emotionally on the occasion of Mother’s day.

Good News is Gender free by Prega News

Social Marketing

Source: Preakness

This latest social marketing campaign is conducted by Preganews with series of advertisements to encourage every parents to welcome the child happily irrespective of the gender. This can be seen as a social change that the firm is trying to bring the in the Indian society where unfortunately girl child is not welcomed happily.

I LoveThathapaati by South India Shelters

This campaign main focus was to show the love that grandparents show to their grandchildren. They came up with unique posts in social media. Then they asked everyone to post their picture along with their grandparents expressing love.


Source: South India Shelters

MomBeAGirlAgain by Amazon

This campaign by Amazon focusses on importance of doing the things which we love. This campaign shows how women leave their hobbies after marriage being busy with their family. This campaign covered lot of advertisements encouraging women to follow the things they love

MovetoGive Campaign by Fortis Healthcare

This is very touching campaign done by Fortis healthcare to promote organ donation. This campaign showcased number of advertisements explaining how organ donation can bring happiness in other person life.

Social Marketing: Conclusion

  • Definition: A commercial marketing with social endeavour.
  • It is difficult to measure the success rate of the campaign and take lot of time to get implemented.
  • Consumer involvement and commitment plays a crucial role in success of the campaign.
  • It concentrates on the profit of the society as a whole rather than concentrating on the individual or firm
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