OPINION: Social Marketing Set to Make a Big Difference to Business; in Association with Merseyside Acme

Article excerpt

ALTHOUGH social marketing is one of the fastest growing areas of marketing and communications, it's also frequently one of the most misunderstood.

At the heart of social marketing is the desire to change people's behaviour and attitudes for the better.

Many academics have argued it can only be applied in a social setting because it focuses on achieving a "social good", but I believe social marketing also has a place in helping to change behaviours and cultures within corporate organisations too.

Until now, it's true social marketing has been used mainly by government departments and throughout the health sector, to bring about sustainable benefits for local communities such as initiatives around responsible drinking, healthy eating, environmentalism and safer sex.

There's no doubt this approach is producing positive effects for the public sector, and that government spending on social marketing has increased dramatically year on year, while traditional social campaigning and advertising spend has decreased.

But I believe there are real opportunities for businesses to embrace the basic principles of social marketing as well. …