Recent developments in Singapore has propagated it as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Over the years, the country has recorded mixed results caused by several market forces. For instance, the domestic oriented investments in the country contributed to the steady growth registered in 2017. Many factors claim affiliation for this boom in the economy but of particular interest is the extensive marketing strategies that have been employed in the country to promote growth. Marketing in the context of health improvement is one of the themes most world countries emphasize on because of its importance to the labor force. The concept of social marketing is one element of marketing which is currently being embraced globally for its massive benefits in the corporate world. Evans (2006) defines social marketing as the concept of applying proven techniques derived from the commercial sector as a way of promoting social change in the community.
Proven techniques, in this case, alludes to the diverse methods drawn from the science of marketing, behavioral theory, and persuasion psychology about health behavior, reaction to the delivery of messages and how they have been delivered as well as achieving a market mix. The concept of social marketing is a widely used technique in influencing health behavior and influencing people to shun risky social habits. Evans (2006) mentions that social marketers to change behavior also use health communication channels. For instance, promotions, dissemination and message placement can be done in several points where the public can access and understand the intended message. A multimodal approach can also be used to pass the message about health to the audience effectively.
Principles of Social Marketing.
If a business focuses on meeting the demands of the client, then it stands to benefit massively. Sashi (2012) established that one of the principal implications of customer orientation and focus is that it turns customers into fans. When customers become fans, it stabilizes the enterprise market to some degree giving it an edge over other businesses. Social marketers can use theory to identify specific behavioral determinants that need to be modified. Behavioral determinants can be identified through behavioral analysis, persuasion, and exposure concepts to target specific health risk behaviors in the customers. According to Caprara, Vecchione, Barbaranelli, and Alessandri (2013), the cognitive theory is used to supply proper strategies for designing effective interventions strategies as well as enabling consumers to make the best use of their potential. For example, is social marketers aim to educate the public about obesity, they can apply behavioral theory to explain the linkage between behavioral factors of poor nutrition and the superficial glamorization of fast food in advertising media.
Clear behavioral goals.
One of the concepts of social marketing is that it outlines clear behavioral goals which should be attained. This process is an evidence-based approach in which the following four elements are typically targeted:
Accept a new behavior
Reject undesirable risky behaviors
Modify existing behaviors
Abandon old and unwanted characteristics.
Behaviors are functional to the process of achieving goals and behavior can be best understood and predicted by constructing appropriate target levels. Kotlar and Massis (2013) suggested that social interactions can be used to manage target diversity. Social marketers can use the persuasion theory to educate the customer about the importance of achieving specific health goals. From this, reasonable goals are outlined. At this point, supporting structures for attaining the specified goals are set. Initially, social marketers aim to make individuals accept new behaviors and reject their risky and undesirable characteristics. This will pave the way for the modification of unhealthy practices and the adoption of new behaviors.
Kube, Marechal, and Puppea (2012) expound on the principle of reciprocity and its importance in value creation and exchange. This is the basis on which the social marketing principle of exchange. In every activity, an individual seeks to understand what they stand to gain from the interaction. According to Wood (2014), benefits and cost are vital factors to consider in value creation. Usually, a consumer weighs the cost barriers versus the benefit motivators. From that point, they make decisions based on the value that they are likely to make. In social marketing, it is the role of social marketers to create compelling reasons as to why an individual should forego engaging in purchasing decisions, as well as the benefits that they stand to gain. Ideally, this will guide their decision to abandon the unhealthy health practices.
According to Kar (2011), the concept of social marketing seeks to influence social behavior not to benefit the marketer. Conversely, more attention is given to benefiting the audience and the general society through the creation of a market mix. This is achieved through the 4Ps of marketing mix. The 4Ps are as follows:
In social marketing, the product is not necessarily a physical offering. The product ranges from tangible to intangible offerings. For example, in health issues, the product can be AIDS awareness lessons and services. The target audience may also be offered tangible commodities as a way of substituting for the hazardous products.
This refers to what the customer must pay or do to obtain the product or service. The cost may be financial or other intangible sources of value. If the cost outweighs the benefits, then product is unlikely to be adopted. On the other hand, if the benefits are considered to be much higher, then they are likely to adopt
This defines the methodology used for the product to reach the target segment in the market. In social marketing, it is imperative to train the team to identify particular habits in the target segment. Ideally, this will boost the chances of adoption.
In social marketing, it is important to determine the best channel which will advertise and play a bigger role in the use of the products and services.
Social Marketing Methodologies in Health
Social marketing in relation to health takes the following conceptual framework.
Social Marketing Initiatives
In applying social marketing in relation to health improvement, social marketers can use the commercial marketing strategies as a way of guiding and aiding social change within the target group (Dann 2010). For example, the 21st-century marketing can be adopted. The 21st century marketing strategy is this case refers to incorporating trending technological advancement to drive social change with a target audience or the entire community. Technology is continuing the landscape of carrying out business and dissemination of information. In this regard, social marketing can also use this approach to propagate social change messages in community or specific target audience. According to Hays, Page, and Buhalis (2012), the social media has gained prominence over the years as a vital factor in destination marketing organization in commercial marketing. Demonstrably, commercial marketing strategies can be used in the implementation of social marketing.
The next methodology of social marketing in relation to health is exposure. Social marketers can develop brands on the basis of lifestyle and health behaviors which need to be changed. After developing brands, which outline the themes of the social marketing process, social marketers will seek to encourage exposure to the social change message being delivered. Evans (2006) states that social change and truth campaigns are based on providing alternative healthy behaviors. Ideally, this is achieved by creating appealing images that depict healthy lifestyles as the preferable option as compared to unhealthy practices. De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang (2012) asserts that proper positioning of brands in social media and other marketing platforms enhances the popularity of the brand. In the same manner, social marketing can increase the exposure of positive social images as a way of passing information and knowledge regarding health practices.
Another methodology used in social marketing in relation to health is education the target audience or the general community about the themes of social marketing. Alrubaiee and Al-Nazer (2010) study indicate that enterprises can use relationship marketing to improve its competitiveness and benefits in the market. In that same manner, social marketers can build on relationship marketing to educate the target audience of values and importance of practicing certain behaviors. In effect, education will enhance the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and understanding that individuals have concerning particular health risks and the implications of continuing with the practice.
Lastly, application of social marketing policies and ideas is applied as one of the methodologies. After education the audience about the importance of using the preferred behavioral changes, the step involves ensuring that the recommended changes are applied. The effects of mass communication indicate how useful the application of social marketing is and how it can be used to drive social change.
Strengths and Limitations of Social Marketing.
Social marketing is a new tool which if used correctly can be a great asset. The benefits accrued for using this technique can be tremendous, but one must bear in mind that to gain from it, it must be used in the most efficient ways as possible.
Social marketing in health promotion is more appealing. One of the benefits accrued from using social marketing is that it creates consciousness in the target audience to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Gordon, McDermott, Stead, and Kathryn (2006) state that the use of social marketing in relation to health improvement provides a reliable framework where individual and community health is improved. This objective is achieved by directly communicating to the audience about the risks of practicing unhealthy health habits. Social marketing identifies the main health issues that directly relate to the public. According to Troung, McColl, and Kitchen (2015), one of the relevant key trends of advertising campaigns should be personalized advertisement. This is one of the recommended propositions that guides and improves performance of a firm. Social marketing in health improvement excels in this area as it gives particular attention to the needs and demands of the target groups depending on their specific needs.
Another benefit is that it gives focus to green marketing. Mishra and Sharma (2010) defines green marketing as the aspect of marketing products which are deemed to be environmentally safe. Social marketing campaigns for commercial marketing with the aim of improving health behaviors. Through green marketing, business enterprises can re-market and package their existing products with the guidelines that it brings about the least impact on the environment and its users. This strategy has given social marketing an edge over the other forms of marketing which do not give significant focus to its users or the environment.
Additionally, social marketing advocates for the consumption of socially d...
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