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Social Marketing


Suggs L. S.

Course director


Course objectives
Upon completion of Social Marketing students will know:
1. The development of Social Marketing as a discipline
2. The principles and key concepts of social marketing
3. The importance of situational analysis
4. The role of exchange
5. How to conduct formative research
6. The importance of quality evaluation
Upon completion of Social Marketing, students will be able to:
1. Describe Social Marketing
2. Understand causes of social problems
3. Conduct a situation analysis
4. Describe prominent theories in social marketing
5. Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan
6. Develop an implementation plan
7. Address real-life, local social issues with a social marketing framework
8. Demonstrate critical thinking about social marketing concepts and principles
9. Write a detailed proposal for a social marketing project


Course description
Social marketing focuses on creating social change and social innovation through behavior change communication, policy, and environmental changes. It addresses health, environment, policy, sustainability and other social issues.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the principles, practices, and evidence in the discipline of Social Marketing. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the theoretical as well as practical aspects of Social Marketing.
Key concepts, conceptual frameworks, and theories in social marketing and their implications on social issues will be examined through a problem centered approach to learning. Thus, students will not only listen to lectures and read academic papers, but they will also do hands on work to gain valuable lessons that come from experiential learning.

Throughout the course, students will be provided with real-life social issues and will learn to use Social
Marketing to address them. They will learn from theory and case histories to understand problems, identify strategies for improving these issues and develop critical thinking on social marketing principles and practices. Students will work both individually and in groups to critically analyze problems and potential solutions. Teams will share processes, challenges, changes in thinking, and outcomes throughout the course, and receive feedback from instructors and peer groups.


Learning methods
Lectures will be coupled with problem-based learning and case study methods of teaching. Students will be introduced to real-life social issues that they will then study and address during the course through in class study, assigned readings and assessments. Learning is reinforced by constructive feedback during class discussions synchronous and asynchronous; online and offline.


Examination information
The mark for this course will consist of:
30% work during semester. Students will be assigned a series of activities (well described in writing on icorsi at least 10 days before they are due) accumulating to 30% of the course final mark.
70% individual examination during the exam period. Administered online and composed of short answers, multiple choice questions, and case studies.


Note: The best way to do well in this course is to attend “class” and actively participate. Everything on the exam will be covered in class and the readings; the topics are listed in the learning objectives. Not every answer will be written on a slide that is distributed. If you miss a class, you are responsible for all content covered in class and you must get this from a peer, not the Professor or Assistant.


Required material
Required papers: A schedule for when you should have read these papers will be available on iCorsi. Below is just a sample of papers you will need to read. They are selected because they are helpful to understanding social marketing.
Additional resources (some required others recommended) will be posted to iCorsi that cover a variety of social issues (for example: gender equality, social inclusion, health, environment, xenophobia, climate change, social justice, responsible institutions, biodiversity, sustainability), settings (workplace, community, government, business, etc.), perspectives (marketing, promotion, public management, ethics, communication, economics), techniques
(education, nudging, informing, supporting, design, enforcing), and countries (all across the world, including high, middle and low income countries).

  • Kotler, P. & Zaltman, G. (1971). Social Marketing: An Approach to Planned Social Change. Journal of Marketing, 35, 3–12.
  • Kassier et al 2019. Social marketing comes of age: Social Marketing Quarterly.
  • French, J., & Blair-Stevens, C. (2006). Social marketing national benchmark criteria. Retrieved from
  • Rangelov & Suggs (2015). Using strategic social marketing to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors to parents and children in Switzerland: the development of FAN. Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing. 2015;8:27-50.
  • Hennink-Kaminski, H., Ihekweazu, C., Vaughn, A. E., & Ward, D. S. (2018). Using Formative Research to Develop the Healthy Me, Healthy We Campaign: Partnering Childcare and Home to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Behaviors in Preschool Children. Social Marketing Quarterly, 24(3), 194–215.


• Any edition of Lee, N. R. & Kotler, P. text books on Social Marketing: 6th edition (2019), 5th edition (2015), 4th edition (2011), or the international editions.
- Example: Lee, N. R. & Kotler, P. Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
• The journal Social Marketing Quarterly
• The Journal of Social Marketing