• Critical review on social marketing planning approaches

      Akbar, M Bilal; French, Jeff; Lawson, Alison; University of Derby; Strategic Social Marketing (Westburn Publishers, 2019-11-13)
      This paper presents the first attempt to map and critically review existing social marketing planning approaches. The discussion highlights that existing social marketing planning approaches have moved on from older product-driven models towards a more customer/citizen-oriented, stakeholder engagement and value creation narrative. There is also a growing connection between social marketing planning approaches and theories from other disciplines. This recognises that a simple push marketing strategy, which was the working principle of many early social marketing-planning approaches, is not often effective for contemporary social marketing practice. Effective social marketing planning requires a greater emphasis on new social marketing principles derived from the new global consensus social marketing definition such as more citizen focus, sustainable outcomes, and ethical practice. Thus, highlighting a need for more comprehensive social marketing planning approaches with a better understanding of recent theory development of social marketing as a field in order to be relatable and efficient. The review sets out some original thinking about how planning in the field of social marketing can be strengthened through a more inclusive adoption of both system thinking analysis and integration with other fields of theory and practice that are seeking to influence behaviour for social good. This review is exploratory in nature and evaluates only 14 social marketing planning approaches; more social marketing approached exist and could be considered in further reviews.
    • The social marketing paradox: challenges and opportunities for the discipline

      Akbar, Bilal; Foote, Liz; Lawson, Alison; French, Jeff; Deshpande, Sameer; Lee, Nancy, R.; Nottingham Trent University; Antioch University New England, NH, Keene, USA; University of Derby; Strategic Social Marketing Ltd, London; et al. (Springer, 2021-08-22)
      This paper contributes to emerging discourse about the ongoing challenges and opportunities of social marketing as a discipline. The paper presents a qualitative perspective on existing challenges faced by social marketing and offers suggestions for addressing these challenges. Nine semi-structured interviews with social marketing academics and practitioners from six different countries were conducted. Thematic analysis was used to analyse and interpret the qualitative data. The study provides insight into existing challenges for social marketing, classified into three key themes according to their position within or outside of the discipline: 1) poor branding of the discipline as an internal challenge, 2) competing disciplines as an external challenge, and 3) overall reach of the discipline, seen as both an internal and external challenge. The findings suggest that social marketing needs to overcome poor branding issues to sufficiently address external challenges. We conclude by arguing for a more robust marketing of the discipline. While scholars have identified the challenges and opportunities for social marketing as a discipline, they have paid little attention to examining these challenges from the viewpoint of expert practitioners and academics. This paper presents a nuanced contextual understanding of the identified challenges through a qualitative perspective and explores how social marketing can overcome these challenges.
    • Social Marketing: Advancing a New Planning Framework to Guide Programmes

      Akbar, M Bilal; Ndupu, Lawrence; French, Jeff; Lawson, Alison; Nottingham Trent University; University of Derby; Strategic Social Marketing Ltd, London (Emerald, 2021-05-31)
      This paper develops and presents a new planning framework of social marketing, known as CSD-IES (Consumer Research, Segmentation, Design of the Social Programme, Implementation, Evaluation and Sustainability). The proposed framework is based on recent theoretical developments in social marketing and is informed by the key strengths of existing social marketing planning approaches. The CSD-IES planning framework incorporates emerging principles of social marketing. For example, sustainability in changed behaviour, ethical considerations in designing social marketing programmes, the need for continuous research to understand the changing needs of the priority audience during the programme, and the need for explicit feedback mechanisms. Research Implications – The CSD-IES framework is a dynamic and flexible framework that guides social marketers, other practitioners, and researchers to develop, implement, and evaluate effective and sustainable social marketing programmes to influence or change specific behaviours based on available resources. This paper makes an important contribution to social marketing theory and practice by integrating elements of behaviour maintenance, consideration of ethical perspectives and continuous feedback mechanisms in developing the CSD-IES framework, bringing it in line with the global consensus definition of social marketing.
    • Use of social marketing principles in sexual health: an exploratory review

      Akbar, M Bilal; French, Jeff; Lawson, Alison; University of Derby (Westburn Publishers Ltd, 2020-09-17)
      This paper presents a systematic review of the use of social marketing principles in sexual health studies in order to determine the effectiveness of the programmes. Systematic literature review method was used, and Andreasen’s (2002) benchmark criteria were adopted to analyse the use of social marketing principles in the selected studies. There is evidence of full use of some elements of Andreasen’s (2002) benchmark criteria, for example, consumer research, behaviour change objectives and segmentation. The use of the marketing mix theory and exchange elements were limited, whereas the evidence of the use of competition is not noted. In addition, the majority of the selected studies focus on short-term objectives leading to varying and inconsistent outcomes. Overall, no single element of Andreasen’s (2002) benchmark criteria was independently associated with the success of any of the selected studies. The review highlights a need to use more social marketing principles in planning and implementing sexual health programmes to enhance their effectiveness. Improvement in performance might be achieved through the development and application of a new social marketing informed methodology for designing social programmes on sexual health.