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Social Marketing: An Evolving Definition

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Objective: To review the essential elements of a social marketing approach. Methods: It places emphasis on 4 fundamentals—the marketing mix, segmentation, positioning, and continual marketing. It contrasts commercial and social marketing by focusing on their different objectives—profit versus subsidized social good. Results: Marketing is determined to be a voluntary means to influence human behavior based on a concept of exchange. Conclusion: Social marketing can be distinguished from education approaches that emphasize knowledge as the primary determinant of human behavior and regulatory approaches that use law, sanction, and force to influence behavior.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC.

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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