The term Social Marketing was first introduced in 1971 to describe the growing use of marketing tools and techniques to promote social cause, ideas and behavior. Social marketing is the application of marketing methods to spread socially beneficial ideas or behaviors. It combines the best delimits of the traditional approach to social change in an integrated planning and action framework and utilizes advance communication tools and techniques with marketing skills to reach the wider audience. It has come to be known as social change management technology involving design, implementation and control of programs aimed at increasing the acceptability of a social idea, cause or practice among targeted adopter groups. The social marketer pushes change goals with an assumption that is will do greater justice to society as large.
Kotler defines three kinds of social products namely
- Tangible object.
Social ideas can take the form of belief, attitude or value. Smoking cause’s cancer is a belief that makes all cancer related campaigns promote anti-smoking ideas in the society. Social marketing campaigns have been used to influence the beliefs or blind beliefs of target audience. The polio campaign is an example of a social practice, which is reflected in the form of Campaigns targeted towards abolition of sati in India.
The third category of social product is a tangible product such as use of pills for family planning and use of ORS for fighting dehydration. While social advertisers are contents with dissemination of desired information, the social marketers goes a steps further to adoption of the new concept or literally buying and using the social product or ideas for his benefits.