In the 1970s experts became fully aware that social marketing principles could be used to sell attitudes and ideas and not only to sell products to consumers. Social marketing has changed the communication field over the past years, including more sophisticated techniques that are focused on the consumer with really successful results.
Social marketing ‘’seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer’’, according to Kotler and Andreasen, who define this discipline as an important concept that ‘’differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and its organization’’.
This discipline is used as an approach to develop activities guided for changing people’s attitudes or behaviors for benefit of society. It combines ideas and principles from commercial marketing and social sciences; it helps to decide as a company which people to work with, how to measure and how to go about it and specially what behavior to influence.
As a planned and structured process, it starts by a scope, develop and implement as the three principal steps, then it has to be implemented, evaluated and then followed up. These steps are meant to change or maintain people’s behavior as a main goal, understanding people’s lives, enabling the company to develop products, communication and services that will fit people’s needs and motivations.
For companies and business social marketing is very important, nowadays if a company does not have only presence it does not exist. Marketers report that disciplines such as social media marketing are significant to business because it increase the exposure of the company, staying in mind of current customers and being the possible option for new costumers in any platform. This helps to reach more people and that so change their minds.
It is likely that costumers develop loyalty if a company uses social marketing, especially with the existence of new technologies, making people feel engaged on social platforms for their personal needs. While a regular commercial marketing seeks to influence a person to buy a product, social marketers in services companies want to make a person changes its behavior, and this may not involve finally buying a product, but they create a potential change in target populations.
Depending on the company principal activity the task can change, however, it has expanded to include living communities, injury prevention, ecosystem conservation, sanitation demand, government corruption, and reduction of health disparities, financial literacy, disaster preparedness, sustainable consumptions and other social needs that the company can be working on.
Social marketing involves activities such as creating and sharing content on networks or publicities to achieve branding and marketing goals for making company better, because this tools can help to get closer to the people. It is very dynamic and lot of audiovisual material can be used to update the company’s information.
Is important to distinguish social marketing from social media, nowadays this new concept of a type of marketing helps companies to generate a change that require the influence of policy, operational tactics and methodical strategies to make a change at the individual, cultural, political, environmental and community level.