Social Marketing in Population Health Programs

Social marketing began back in the 1970s; it has gradually evolved and is currently used even by the health sector. Social marketing has been defined as the process of applying marketing techniques and principles to communicate, create and deliver value to make an influence in the behavior of the target audience (Kotler & Lee, 2008, p.120). Social marketing plays a significant role in population health programs. Such includes reduction in HIV/AIDs risk behaviors, fighting of child abuse, increase in utilization of various public health resources, and promotion of family planning, good nutrition, childhood immunizations, and contraceptive use among others.

Organizations that currently adopt social marketing engage in constant evaluation and remaking to increase their likelihood of meeting the ever-changing needs of its population.

The data used in social marketing can be collected from various sources. Such includes focus groups, baseline KAP study and marketing databases. These data sources are known to be effective and capable of clearly bringing out the desired information.

Focus group provides some of the most excellent solutions when an organization is seeking information regarding its target audience. Such is the case when information regarding beliefs and perceptions is required (Lazer & Kelley, 2003, p.128). Focus group works by bringing together a group of like-minded individuals, who are provided with a discussion forum and letting them react to each other’s comment.

Baseline study is very important when planning to implement a social media marketing strategy. Information regarding Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) is greatly required. This is done in form of survey; interviewers are selected and trained to collect the required data (Lefebvre, 2013, p.75). This method is effective since the information is derived directly from the target population.

There are various marketing data bases from which this information can be collected.  For example you can check out the various researches that had previously been carried out by other agencies and formulating hypothesis.

In conclusion, social marketing forms a very important part of health programs in today’s world. For this reason, development of new techniques to boost this worthy cause will be of great benefit and should be encouraged


Kotler, P., & Lee, N. (2008). Social marketing: influencing behaviors for good (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Lazer, W., & Kelley, E. J. (2003). Social marketing: perspectives and viewpoints. Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin.

Lefebvre, R. C. (2013). Social marketing and social change strategies and tools for health, well-being, and the environment. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.