What is social targeting

Social marketing

Social marketing, on a general level, the planning, implementation and control of programs to influence the acceptance of social ideas and behavior in one or more target groups (Kotler & Roberto, 1991). As Management technology Social Marketing transfers the systematics and terminology of commercial marketing to social issues. Unlike commercial marketing, social marketing is not profit-oriented; products such as AIDS prevention cannot be changed at will. The basic philosophy is the assumption that social change can be influenced in a targeted, systematic and controlled manner and that the exchange of social ideas and behavior is subject to similar rules as the exchange of economic goods. Accordingly, social marketing deals with the design of Exchange processes. In a commercial transaction there is an exchange of money and goods, in social transactions there is an exchange of e.g. changed behavior for social recognition. In order to be able to organize exchange processes efficiently, social marketing is characterized by the strict orientation on the demand side, on the needs, wishes and expectations of the people who are to be reached.
Social marketing is a step-by-step process of market and consumer analysis, planning of a target group-specific marketing mix (taking into account the dimensions of product, price, distribution and communication), development, testing and refinement of the materials to be used as well as the entire conception, controlled execution or market launch, Assessment of effectiveness in the market - based on individual elements of marketing, the implementation processes and the overall result - as well as internal feedback and processing of the results to increase the efficiency of subsequent marketing concepts (marketing, market research, psychological, advertising psychology) (Fig.).

Social marketing provides the frame of reference for the integration of e.g. psychological, business and sociological research results. Psychological attitude and behavior models as well as models of persuasive communication, the diffusion of innovation, social influence and models of social movements are of central importance here. Areas of application are e.g. interventions for health promotion, AIDS prevention, promotion of environmentally conscious behavior (environmental psychology).


Kotler, P. & Roberto, E. (1991). Social marketing. Düsseldorf, Vienna, New York: ECON Verlag.
Novelli, W.D. (1984). Developing Marketing Programs. In L. W. Frederiksen, L. J. Solomon & K. A. Brehony (Eds.), Marketing Health Behavior (pp. 59-89). New York, London: Plenary Press.

Fig. Social Marketing. Marketing cycle (after Novelli, 1984).