When it comes to social marketing, most people confuse it with social media marketing. Well, let’s start right here first. Social marketing isn’t social media marketing, such as marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.

There are times where social media platforms will be used to spread social marketing campaigns. However, most marketing that is spread on these social media platforms is oriented towards promoting a product or service.

So, what is social marketing?

Social marketing is a marketing strategy that is designed to create social change, not to directly benefit a brand or from it. It is the use of commercial marketing principles and the use of traditional marketing techniques to raise awareness of a given problem or cause and to improve the well-being of people and the economic, social, and physical environment in which they live. It is a strategy to changing human behavior.

So, instead of selling a product, the concept of social marketing is to “sell” a behavior or lifestyle that benefits society for good, in order to create the desired behavior or change.

The Four Ps:

Like every type of marketing, the primary focus is on the consumer, on learning more about what people want, and what they need, rather than trying to make them buy what we happen to be producing.

There are four basic principles of commercial marketing:

  1. Product is what you are promoting or marketing. In this kind of field, the product is a shift in attitude or a behavior change. It might be something like ending the world’s hunger, stopping people from committing suicide, or ending child abuse and neglect. Any other behavior or attitude that members of the community want to modify.
  2. Price is the cost of changing behaviors or attitudes. For example, how much will it cost a person to take on or to stop a certain behavior/attitude? Price isn’t just a question of monetary cost. Time could also be a question of it. One of the goals of social marketing is to reframe the recommended behavior change.
  3. Place is where the priority population can be reached. It represents all the efforts to make the attitude or behavior change as easy as possible to a consumer. It also might mean offering to change a clinic schedule to fit the time for busy students.
  4. Promotion is the way that is used to notify the public about the change messages. Promotion is the one that is most easily associated with social marketing. It is the advertising you do; letters to editors, promotions on the TV, etc.


The Importance of Social Marketing

Why is social marketing so important?

Social marketing is very important because it involves attention, it spreads awareness about a social issue, through creativity and emotion. Most importantly because it presents a simple way to make the world a better place to live, and it makes this behavior more desirable than any “competing” behavior because it doesn’t feel promoted or like an ad.

Social marketing is extremely powerful when it involves a charitable donation element because people want to make a difference in the world. They like the idea of giving in order to help someone or something out.


What is the difference between Social Marketing and Digital Marketing?

First of all, let’s be clear on one thing: digital marketing and social marketing are not exclusive, digital marketing can be used as means to social marketing. But what is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is also known as online marketing, is the act of connecting with different brands, promoting, selling products, and services by using online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search marketing, and email marketing. Using these online media devices, digital marketing is any form of marketing products online that involves electronic devices, such as computers, laptops, phones.

In many ways, digital marketing is no different than traditional marketing. Digital marketing is the use of the Internet to reach consumers.

But digital marketing has replaced most traditional marketing tactics because it’s designed to reach today’s consumers online, and as we know, the digital world is so trendy right now.

So a summary: commercial marketing tries to change people’s behavior for the benefit of the marketer; social marketing tries to change people’s behavior for the benefit of the consumer, or of society as a whole.




Benjamin Walsh is a graphic designer with more than 5 years experience. He is currently working on an individual project at Taktika Studio. His favorite hobbies are going to the gym and writing.