Consumer behavior is one of the top concerns of most companies since they need to identify what the consumer needs. Some marketing theories have been made but nothing seems to be parallel to the concept of social marketing theory. The National Social Marketing Centre (2006) referred to social marketing as the application of social marketing theory along with other methods to primarily achieve a behavioral change for a social good. Mainly, social marketing theory aims to create positive behavior by influencing the general public. For example, costs can be minimized by society when people quit smoking since this means healthier and more productive lives. By following the tenets of social marketing theory and applying some commercial marketing approach, the public may be influenced to give up smoking.
In fact,the very origin of social marketing theory can traced to G.D. Wiebe since in 1950s he proposed the concept that perhaps itâ€™s possible to sell brotherhood and social thinking the way commercial goods like soap are sold. His journal on â€œMerchandising commodities and citizenship on televisionâ€ asserts that non-profit campaigns that could eventually solve social problems can be patterned after commercial campaigns. Two decades after, his ideas were formalized later by well-known marketing guru Philip Kotler and Zaltzman in their work â€œSocial Marketing: An Approach to Planned Social Change” published in 1971. This seminal work by Kotler and Zaltzman can be considered seminal work that espoused social marketing theory.
Because of this, some countries applied the social marketing theory launched public campaigns. An exemplary example is United Kingdomâ€™s launching of graphic commercial campaigns against drunk driving which were meant to be gruesome so the public would be shocked. In the same manner, Australia spearheaded in bringing social marketing theory to practice as the Victoria Cancer Council launched an anti-tobacco campaign in the late 80s according to the VicHealth history. Even developing countries like Philippines applied principles of social marketing theory in convincing the public to avoid firecrackers on New Yearâ€™s eve which cause accidents.
Truly, the application of social marketing theory has ushered a new type of campaign that governments can help them in promoting something worthwhile effectively.