The Primary Goal of Social Marketing

The Primary Goal of Social Marketing

Social marketing stands apart from traditional commercial marketing as it prioritizes promoting behaviors that benefit both individuals and society at large.

Key Concepts in Social Marketing

  • Behavior Focus: While awareness and attitudes are important, social marketing centers on prompting targeted audiences to enact positive, healthy, or sustainable behaviors.
  • Audience Analysis: Identifying specific behaviors for modification within chosen groups requires a deep understanding of their needs, preferences, and contexts.
  • Marketing Principles: The tenets of marketing—exchange, segmentation, promotion, etc.—are skillfully adapted in social marketing to make desired behaviors attractive.

Core Objective: Behavior Change

The ultimate goal of social marketing is to induce desirable behavior changes. This includes:

  • Adoption: the introduction of new, beneficial behaviors (e.g., practicing recycling, obtaining regular health checkups).
  • Maintenance: encouraging consistent practice of positive behaviors (e.g., ongoing energy conservation, responsible financial management).
  • Abandonment: discouraging detrimental or unhealthy behaviors (e.g., reducing tobacco use, preventing excessive screen time).

Success Measurement

Determining the efficacy of social marketing programs relies on evaluating progress across different areas.

  • Behavioral Outcomes: Measurement of actual change within the target audience (e.g., increased vaccination rates, decreased litter).
  • Antecedents to Behavior: Precursors to change like increased awareness, shifts in attitude, and higher self-efficacy are also gauged.
  • Implementation Efficiency: Assessing the campaign's reach, cost-benefit analysis, and resource utilization to understand sustainability and scalability.


Social marketing stands as a powerful instrument for creating positive change. Its fundamental aim lies in influencing behaviors that improve the lives of individuals and enrich society. Continual analysis empowers ongoing social marketing strategy enhancements.


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