Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as “differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society.” The product mix of social marketing is slightly different than the traditional marketing and can be defined as follows:
In social marketing context, the product can be a tangible good such as clothing, service such as health care or purely intangible ideas such as environmental protection. Whatever the nature of the product, the goal of social marketing is not just to convince people to buy the product rather the focus is on the consumer to find out what problems they have and what their actual needs are. The role of research here is to discover the consumers’ perceptions of the problem and the product, and to determine how important they feel it is to take action against the problem.
In social marketing, the price refers to what consumers must do in order to obtain the product. Most of the times, the price is in monetary terms whereas at other times, it is more intangible in the form of time and effort expended in obtaining the product. In setting the price, the marketer needs to balance the perception of cost and benefit. If the product is under priced, the consumers will perceive it to be low quality and if overpriced, only a few will be able to afford it.
Promotion consists of the integrated use of advertising, public relations, promotions, media advocacy, personal selling and entertainment vehicles. The focus of promotion is not only to create but also to sustain demand for the products. However, the effectiveness of all the promotional vehicles can be determined through research.
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