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Where Are All the Products? Are We Really Doing Social Marketing or Are We Doing Social Sales?

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In their description of social marketing, Kotler and Zaltman (1971) postulate the difference between marketing and sales. Sales are defined as “finding customers for existing products and convincing them to buy these products,” whereas marketing is described as “discovering the wants of a target audience and then creating the goods and services to satisfy them” (p. 5). The marketing mix and consideration of all its Ps (product, price, place, promotion) is a fundamental contributor to the success of marketing. A successful commercial company would never look to promote a message unless it had a product or service, at the right price, in a convenient location. Despite this knowledge, social marketing projects often focus predominantly, and sometimes solely, on the final P - promotion. This article looks at a selection of the products and services offered in England, debates whether we are doing marketing or sales, and attempts to answer the question Bill Smith posed at the World Social Marketing Conference held in Brighton, England, in September 2008: “Where's the product?”
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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