Social Marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviours that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good.
Social Marketing practice is guided by ethical principles. It seeks to integrate research, best practice, theory, audience and partnership insight, to inform the delivery of competition sensitive and segmented social change programmes that are effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable.This definition is the result of an on-going and inclusive process that began in February 2012. Members of the organizations were polled to suggest principles to be a foundation for a definition; online voting was then done by 167 members as to which principles they thought were 'essential' or 'important' to a definition of social marketing; and a working group of 14 representatives from the three organizations used these inputs to draft the final document with review and input from their respective Board members.
Five considerations were taken into account in developing the definition:1. It was recognized that the definition would be a consensus statement; it would not seek to limit or curtail debate about the nature of social marketing. The consensus definition's purpose is to enable the supporting associations to develop a common narrative about the nature of social marketing that will assist us in furthering our collective aim of capturing and spreading good practice.
2. The definition should focus on both the purpose and nature of social marketing practice.3. It should be as short and succinct as possible.
4. The definition should be as unambiguous as possible and it should be capable of translation into languages other than English without loss of its substantive meaning.5. The definition should be subject to on-going refinement to reflect the dynamic and developing nature of social marketing theory and practice.
A special thank you to A. Tapp, R. Brophy, M. Carausan, J. Carruthers, S. Peattie, S. Revill, M. Chamberlain, N. Lee, S. Sherif , T. Beall, W. Morgan, C. Lellig, S. Suggs & J. French who dedicated many hours to bringing us a definition around which to deepen and extend our mission to use marketing for good.
So when someone asks, or mistates, 'what is social marketing,' we now have a globally endorsed definition that is also available on the leading social media site. Be bold - use it.