Marketing Exchange Relationships, Transactions, and Their Media

By Franklin S. Houston | Go to book overview

10
Inequitable or Incomplete Social Marketing: The Case of Higher Education

MARKETING AS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL EXCHANGE

That marketing is a process of social exchange may well be the most agreed-upon assertion in all the social sciences. A marketing exchange is a special type of social exchange, one ordinarily assumed to include a commercial dimension, that is, an exchange for monetary profit by the seller. To earn the marketing rubric the process must conform to such frameworks as the four or seven Ps models (various authors have enlarged on the earlier version.) Although virtually any form of social interaction can be described in terms of a product exchanged for a price, discussed (communicated), and delivered, the parties to a marketing transaction are, at least implicitly, assumed to have engaged in the exchange process for "business." The seller prefers the price received to ownership of the product disposed of, and conversely for the buyer who "got his money's worth."


Social Marketing

When the product being exchanged is a social idea such as disease prevention or human rights, the process is called social marketing, a subdiscipline of the marketing domain that has gained considerable attention since the appearance of a paper by Kotler and Zaltman ( 1971). Social marketing is the application of marketing theory and methods to the dissemination of socially beneficial ideas. Under a social marketing approach, the execution of a program is planned in accordance with the same principles by which a commercial product is delivered. Social marketing is to the changing of behavior what commercial marketing is to profit-making business. It has been applied by this researcher to such diverse "social products" as manpower training, energy conservation, alcoholism control, religion, health care, and education for food safety in developing countries, where food contamination is a significant cause of illness, disease, and mortality. Other social marketers have worked successfully in the fields of oral rehydration, literacy, population control, nutrition, and human rights ( Barach 1984; Duhaime et al. 1985; Hensel and Dubinsky 1985).

A Shift in Marketing Focus In recent years the marketing process has been characterized by sharp focus

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