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SOCIAL MARKETING: The Basic Guide With Practical Examples



Social Marketing

Social marketing is a tool for influencing behavior that improves individuals and society for good. It uses the technique of commercial marketing campaigns to draw awareness to a cause, convincing individuals to change their actions towards that cause. In other words, social marketing helps to create a sustainable change through social campaigns.

Although non-profit and governmental organizations run the majority of social marketing campaigns, commercial businesses are not left out. They promote causes in their communities, for which they’re passionate. As we proceed, you’ll find out why social marketing is vital, and the strategies organizations employ in creating social good.

It’s, however, important to state that the idea behind social marketing isn’t to promote a commercial brand, a product, or service. Instead, it suggests a sustainable lifestyle for societal benefit. First, let’s consider the benefits of social marketing.

Benefits of Social Marketing

Social marketing is a great asset that offers numerous benefits, some of which includes:

  1. Eradication of social vices like corruption and drunk driving, affecting society and quality of life
  2. Encourages the consumption of socially desirable products
  3. It promotes green initiatives and environmental causes like anti-littering, endangered species awareness, and anti-deforestation campaigns.
  4. Helps individuals adopt a healthier lifestyle, such as exercising and quitting smoking.
  5. Assists people to avoid potentially undesirable behavior. For instance, campaigns that highlight the consequences of drug abuse to prevent individuals from engaging in them.
  6. It is a cost-effective way of promoting sustainable change.
  7. Encourages individuals to learn new skills
  8. It supports social activism such as anti-bullying, gender equality, and racial equality.
  9. It promotes the awareness of a modern lifestyle such as the concept of family planning in a particular community.

Features of Social Marketing

Although social marketing uses commercial marketing techniques to advance a social cause, its principles, characteristics, and features are distinct from other forms of marketing. To clarify the idea behind social marketing, the National Social Marketing Center in the United Kingdom developed eight crucial elements. 

These features, built from Alan Andreasen’s six-point criteria, include:


Social marketing’s objective is to influence the practices of the target audience and not merely to bring awareness or knowledge. Firstly, the focus is to understand their current behavior and develop strategies to shape a new behavioral pattern. Then, you can divide the steps towards achieving this goal into different phases and stages over time.


Market orientation means understanding the beliefs, attitudes, values, needs, and knowledge of the target audience. It’s a conscious effort to find out about people’s lives from their perspective and not based on our ideas.


It’s the use of behavioral approaches to learn human behavior and to develop interventions around this study.


Insight is an essential aspect of customer analysis. It’s a call to gain awareness of what motivates the people and then develop actions to inform their change in behaviors.


Influencing behaviors involves the concept of exchange- giving up something to gain something more beneficial. It’s vital to understand how the target audience perceives rewards and benefits. Then, develop strategies to incentivize the desired behavior.


This concept focuses on understanding the factors that compete for people’s time, attention, and tendency to act in a particular way.


It splits the target audience into segments based on similar characteristics, to achieve an effective campaign. For instance, in a campaign targeting moms, one group may comprise stay-at-home moms while another comprises working moms. These segments help to streamline the interventions accordingly.

Read Also: 6 Types of Market Segmentation (+benefits & example)

Methods Mix

Social marketing involves using the 4Ps of marketing- product, price, promotion, place- to achieve a behavioral goal.

  • Product

The product in any form of marketing is what you’re selling. In social marketing, this product is the behavioral or social change you want to influence, and it’s benefits. Furthermore, the product may be tangible like a vaccine or non-tangible, such as the stop of female genital mutilation. 

  • Price

In social marketing, the amount may be monetary or non-monetary (emotional, psychological, or time-related). It defines the cost the target audience will pay in adopting a change. It’s vital first to minimize the price of the intended behavior. Lastly, increase the value of the existing practice to make the change desirable.

For instance, in a social marketing campaign to promote healthy eating habits, the price may be for the audience to give up their favorite snacks. Minimize this price first, by teaching moderation rather than total abstinence. Also, amplify the benefits of healthy eating. In comparison, maximize the cost of unhealthy eating habits to increase the campaign’s success.

  • Place

It refers to the location where you can reach the audience and where the desired change will be most productive. A campaign to drive a food bank, for example, can take place at a grocery store, with donation bins at the exits. 

  • Promotion

What methods and channels are you employing to notify your audience and draw attention to the desired change? It can be through social media, radio, television or billboard adverts, or one-on-one activities. The campaign should reinforce every detail about the product and its benefits to attract a response in a creative way.

Read Also: Concept of Marketing Environment (+ successful case studies)

Importance of Social Marketing

Social marketing uses the same tools that traditional marketing employs to sell products, to sell healthy behavior. Think about the effect a commercial advert can produce, for instance. Not all ads may catch your attention or make you develop an interest in a product or service. However, a creative ad can speak to your emotions and make you check out what a brand is offering.

Creative social marketing campaigns have a similar effect. How? People are generally not impressed when you tell them what to do via news or public service announcements. Some may ‘deliberately” break a traffic rule, in defiance, after listening to the news instructing them otherwise. Others may find it difficult to break long-standing habits like smoking.

Also, some individuals may never understand the severity of a problem via a PSA. For those who understand, they may find it challenging to adopt a new habit, or they may think that their actions alone will not count.   

However, with a well-designed social marketing campaign, organizations can capture the attention of a large group of people. These campaigns can appeal to an audience’s emotions and transform their perception about a social cause. In summary, it’s an effective strategy that offers a simple and more compelling way to make people accept change.

The importance of social marketing is also visible in the drive for charitable donations. Several people want to make a difference in kids’ charity and campaigns for special needs people. Social marketing can help to drive these worthy causes in a super creative way.

Types of Social Marketing

There are two types of social marketing: operational and strategic social marketing.

Operational Social Marketing

Organizations can choose to undertake social marketing operationally to change existing behavior. It’s a planned process, and it involves different stages from scoping to follow-up, to achieve specific goals.

Strategic Social Marketing

It involves the formulation of new policies and development strategies to inform an audience and enhance their behavior. In other words, organizations can apply strategic social marketing to assist in creating and implementing new policies.

Social Marketing Examples

Let’s look at some notable social marketing examples from different organizations in the past. 

Save Paper, Save The Planet

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature organized the Save Paper, Save The Planet campaign to reduce paper use, especially paper towels. The campaign featured a paper towel dispenser with South America’s image, which represents the Amazon rainforest. 

When an individual takes more paper towels from the dispenser, South America’s image turns from green to black, indicating the effect of paper usage on the forest. As people read the message in public restrooms, they were more inclined to reduce their use of paper and go for alternatives to save the earth.

The #missingtype campaign

In 2014, the #missingtype campaign helped NHS Blood and Transplant raise awareness of the importance of blood donations. Before the campaign, there was a rapid decline in blood supply to blood banks. Therefore, the objective was to rekindle donors’ interest and save future blood supply. 

The strategy involved the omission of some letters of the alphabet to capture people’s attention. NHS Blood and Transplant were able to attract its target audience- between the ages of 17 and 25 -and mainstream media. For instance, Daily Mirror ran its papers with letters A and O (the most sought after blood type) missing from some headlines. 

The campaign reached over 2 billion people in the UK, with new donors accounting for 47% of the total blood donations. 

Dumb Ways to Die 

The most famous example of a social marketing campaign in 2012 was probably Metro Trains’ Dumb Ways to Die Campaign in Australia. The aim was to convince people to stay safe around trains. It featured a catchy song and animated characters showing different ways to die, with unsafe train behaviors being the dumbest. 

The campaign went viral, with over 190 million views currently. While it was supposed to be a paid advert, it generated free media coverage worth $60 million. Months following the campaign, Metro Trains was able to report a 21% decrease in train-related accidents. 

Social Marketing Strategy

A social marketing strategy helps reach a target audience through cost-effective interventions that will impact them over time. If you’re trying to use social marketing to solve a problem, your strategy should evoke emotions and motivate actions to bring about change. 

First, you should be sure about your objectives and the type of response you’re expecting from the audience. Be sure to define the 4Ps of the campaign before launching it clearly. Secondly, consider crafting a catchy and thought-provoking slogan such as “We can do it” or “plastic bag kills.” 

campaign slogan

Thirdly, incorporate compelling visuals capable of illustrating the problem and triggering a response. You may want to create a symbol to tie in with your campaign, such as the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness. In conclusion, tailor your strategies such that your social marketing campaign spreads the right message and receives the intended response.

Otejiri is an entrepreneur and a creative content writer. She runs a manufacturing firm and collaborates with startups to launch their brands. Helping businesses succeed is a fulfilling part of her work.

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Demarketing Ads: Types, Strategies, Examples and Case Study



demarketing ads

To many, the term demarketing ads might not ring any bells but such ads can prove invaluable in navigating some tight corners in marketing. Demarketing essentially refers to every and all wilful efforts and strategies made to reduce the demand for a product, especially in a situation, of which there are many examples, where the demand for such is greater than the producer’s ability to supply.

Perhaps, the most effective effort of demarketing is the use of advertising. Advertising is a paid-for, non-personal communication that appears on any mass media, aimed at selling an idea, product or service.
Although some authorities also consider purposely refusing to market products as demarketing; we are however more concerned with active and paid demarketing.

This article sheds some light on demarketing ads as a concept; looks at the types, strategies and examples of demarketing ads. It also answers the question of why demarketing ads are important in the business world. To effectively implement this, you would have to read our post on marketing management

Demarketing Ads

Demarketing ads are advertisements put out to discourage (but not destroy) demand for a product at a particular time. To the uninitiated, such ads might seem dangerous, counterproductive and wasteful. It is, however, important to note that behind every demarketing ad is the intent to cause some favourable effect.

Conceptually, demarketing is not new. The term has been in use in the academic world since the 1970s when Kotler and Levy coined it. In that Harvard Business Review article, Kotler and Levy described a phenomenon that hitherto had no name.

Of course, the concept of demarketing begs the question of reason; why would producers want to actively reduce sales of their products when the natural order is to sell as much?

One of the commonest reasons for demarketing is to remedy a situation in which demand exceeds the producer’s ability or desire to supply. This might be due to poor or non-existent distribution channel. Also, when selling in a particular region registers very little gain, demarketing becomes necessary in curbing the emergence of another competitor.

Sponsors also use demarketing to help consumers make healthier and more responsible buying choices. In a situation where resources need to be conserved; or where the product causes health complications, demarketing becomes necessary.

There is also the idea that demarketing is ultimately cheaper as a marketing strategy. Hoarding goods to create scarcity (a demarketing move) also increases the market value of the product.

In their 2010 MIT paper, Mikl´os-Thal and Zhang posited that in a situation where marketing costs were non-existent; the producers faced no capacity constraints; scarcity did not increase the value of products and; the seller had no competition, demarketing would still be necessary to control buyer’s perception of product quality

Read Also: SOCIAL MARKETING: The Basic Guide With Practical Examples

Types of Demarketing Ads

There are three major types of demarketing ads, namely:

General Demarketing Ads

When the sponsor of the advertisement aims to discourage all customers from demanding the product, they use demarketing ads. Governments looking to conserve scarce resources or dissuade citizens from purchasing potentially dangerous products often use such ads.

Anti-alcohol ads like the ‘Parents are Monsters’ ad on CNN; the anti-cigarettes ads like the ‘Download Cancer’ ad sponsored by American Cancer Society and the ‘Smoking Isn’t Just Suicide. It’s Murder’ ad by the Chilean Corporation Against Cancer are example of the general type of demarketing ads.

Similarly, electricity and water advertisement advising consumers to turn off the light or tap are general demarketing ads. An example is the Colgate ‘Every Drop Counts’ commercial of 2016 .

Selective Demarketing Ads

Such ads target specific types of people with the aim of discouraging them from buying a certain product. This could be in order to protect loyal customers who may be affected by sudden mass interest in a hitherto niche product.

Despite the Fair Housing Act in the US, many complaints were lodged against certain ads which claimed (by stating or implying) not to be interested in catering to the needs of low income earners or families with children.

Ostensible Demarketing Ads

Although, artificial scarcity can be created with company policies and what not, putting out advertisements to that effect can really send home the point. This type of demarketing ads tend to however create cases of panic-buying, especially if it is an essential product.

Amazon and Modcloth advertise products on their websites with phrases like ‘only 2 left in stock’ and ‘back in stock’ which consumers interpret as ‘you’d better get it now’.

Demarketing Ads Strategies

Price Discriminating Demarketing Ads Strategy

Producers can structure demarketing ads so that certain people pay more than others for the same product. especially with online ads that require you to click to purchase.

Companies like Bolt (Taxify) use price discrimination strategy, selecting a popular location as your destination might incur a larger fare than a less popular location near it. Dell sold the same computers for different prices depending on the kind of customer you registered as. Pay-per-click ads also been touse price discriminating demarketing ads strategy.

Bait and Switch Demarketing Ads Strategy

Advertising two products in such a way that consumers are persuaded to buy one instead of the other is regarded as bait and switch demarketing. One product is advertised in an unattractive way (usually, with an unattractive price) just to push consumers to buy the other. This strategy is often unethical and illegal.

Read More: Ansoff marketing matrix explained: Practical examples, theories and strategy

Phone companies like Samsung and Apple often advertise their expensive flagship phones alongside cheaper higher mid-range phones in order to sell more units from the mid-range line. Consumers often come away feeling they are getting the bang for their buck.

Stock Outage Demarketing Ads Strategy

Stock outages are very advantageous to sellers because it gives them the opportunity to make increment in the prices of goods. Also, consumers tend to buy more when they think that scarcity is impending.
Starbucks’ ‘unicorn frappuccino only available for a few days’ ad on its website caused Starbucks to see a lot of orders from customers and the drink quickly sold out within the first day.

Crowding Cost Demarketing Ads Strategy

This demarketing ads strategy is usually employed during festive periods like Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas where such sales events like Black Friday are held. Ads are put out to target people who are willing to pay more to bypass the teeming crowds expected on such occasions.

Differentiation Demarketing Ads Strategy

This involves publicly announcing unlikely marketing decisions targeted at the 4Ps of marketing, namely price, place, product and promotion. In this demarketing ads strategy, ads might announce an increase in price, unfavourable condition in a particular place or with a particular product or altogether refuse to market their products.

Demarketing Ads Examples

More real-world examples of demarketing ads include:

  • ‘Are you Pouring on the Pounds?’ ad by New York City Health Department aimed at discouraging consumers from buying popular sugary beverages.
  • ‘Secondhand Smoke is Firsthand Death’ ads targeted at parents who smoke, encouraging them to quit buying cigarettes and so doing, stop endangering their children.
  • ‘Cancer Cures Smoking’ ad by the Cancer Patients Aid Association.
  • ‘Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself’ ad aimed at discouraging consumers from buying alcohol.
  • Anti-marijuana ad by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Partnership for a Drug-Free America (now known as Partnership for Drug-Free Kids).

Demarketing is the conscious act of unselling a product by reducing the desire people have for it. Demarketing ads can be a useful marketing tool if used properly.

Read more on marketing

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Marketing information system

Somethings in life are very essential and one of them is information. So, just like you need the information to carry on normal day-to-day activities; business owners and marketers need information from the marketing information system to optimize their activities. So, let’s dig into this subject.


Basically, the marketing information system is designed to serve as an aid in the marketing activities of a company. It’s a system that’s designed to gather, store, analyze, and send out market information to marketers regularly and continuously. Changes in the marketing environment are dynamic. Hence, marketers need to stay up to date with these changes. So, they can make wise and evidence-based decisions.

Read more: Marketing Management (All you need to know)


The components of the marketing information system are an interconnected framework; that interact with one another to continuously feed the marketing information system. So, they are essential for the proper functioning of the marketing information system. And they are as follows.

  1. Internal intelligence system:

    This component of the marketing information system provides information to marketers from the internal records of the company. Every information gathered by a company in its daily operation is handy for the marketers. For example, sales records of sales representatives can tell marketers a lot. And examples of marketing information that can be gathered from such are, periods of highest sales, location with the highest sales, etc.
  2. Market intelligence system:

    This informs marketers about the current sitrep of the market. Hence, using this sitrep they will know the necessary adjustment to make. Examples of the marketing information here are current market trends, competitor’s pricing, new products, and their effect in the market, customer appealing promotion strategies. Sources of these could be by purchasing competitor’s product, interviewing the channel partners like retailers, obtaining relevant government data.
  3. Marketing research:

    This component of marketing information involves more activeness than the aforementioned. So, in an attempt to garner more details about a marketing environment or solve a brand problem in the market. A company conducts market research that can involve primary or secondary data collection. For example, questionnaires, surveys, etc.
  4. Marketing decision support system:

    These are applications that enable marketers to analyze the big data they have gathered from other components of the marketing information system. So, they automate the statistical calculations and some even predict the direction of the market based on some predictive algorithm.

Read more: Download 500+ business plans for any business


As you already know, marketing research is a component of the marketing information system. And it’s that component that helps gather information about the marketing environment. However, for marketing research to be handy and high yield is should have the following features.

  1. Searches for relevant data:

    Good marketing research should search for relevant data. For example, if the research is through a questionnaire, the questionnaire should ask the relevant questions. So, a good way to achieve this is by asking yourself what problem will this question help solve while designing the questionnaire.
  2. Should be systematic:

    This entails that every process of marketing research should be orderly planned and orderly executed.
  3. Should be objective:

    Marketing research that has lots of error isn’t just a waste of resources it can also cause a big loss for the company in the future. And lack of objectivity is a cause of this. So, to be high yield; marketing research should be objective.
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CMO (Chief Marketing Officer): Definition, Job Description, Skills, Salary





Whether to achieve market penetration, brand promotion, or any other marketing goal of a company. It’s apparent that the role of a marketing team is pivotal in a company. And just like every other C-level position of a company the Chief Marketing Officer is in charge of the marketing team. So, what should you know about this position? The job description, the skills. Let’s iron out your questions with this post.


A CMO (chief marketing officer) is the C-level executive who is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring the marketing activities of a company. So, the position of CMO is vital to every company. Because they are the guys that know ins and outs, pros and cons of the market a company wants to function in.


Basically, the CMO’s job description involves overseeing the marketing team’s activities and reporting to the CEO of the company. The list below shows a customizable template of a CMO’s job description.

  • Set marketing goals and objectives
  • Research on the target market of the company
  • Keep the marketing strategies of competitors in check
  • Create, plan, implement the company’s marketing strategies
  • Work with the sales team
  • Review and analyze companies marketing strategies for improvements
  • Know the latest technology and best practices

Also, in some companies, sales management is incorporated as part of the job description of a CMO.


The CMO’s salary varies based on the company with big companies giving out the big pay. So, basically, the salary of a CMO is dependent on the company’s budget. And the range for the CMO’s salary in the US varies wildly. With top CMOs earning as high as 15 million USD per year. However, on the average the CMO’s salary in the US is just over a hundred and seventy thousand USD per year.

Read more: Download 500+ business plans for any business


The marketing environment is dynamic, affected by many factors that can throw a company off if they are neglected. The chief marketing officer is the C-level cooperate executive whose functions interact most with the market environment. So, they, the chief marketing officers, need some essential skills that will keep their company in the industry and also keep them as a CMO in the future.

  1. Constant consumer observation:

    The consumers are a major force in the market. Even loyal customers are easily by better products that satisfy their needs. So, the smart CMO should always keep watch at the interest of consumers in his industry. Because this will help him make the right decisions in his marketing activities.
  2. Data aficionados:

    Data about the market and about every of the company’s marketing activities are very important to the CMO. Because they are needed for better judgement in the next marketing activities of a company. Also, CMO that’s a data aficionado can easily defend any of his marketing activities in corporate meetings.
  3. Innovation and creativity:

    Creativity and innovation make marketing activity unique. For example, when most big companies go into experiential marketing, they rarely copy an old idea that has been done by another company. Copycatting a rival suggests the mediocrity of your company in the minds of consumers.
  4. Flexibility in tech adoption:

    Technology has proven itself, several times, as a facilitator of activities. Therefore, a smart CMO must realize the power in every new technology and how it can foster his marketing activities. Hence, dropping old ones when necessary and picking up new ones.
  5. Resilience:

    Depression can manifest as a result of failure in a marketing activity. As a CMO, marketing is a war and your job is to make your company the best in the market. So, in an attempt to do this you can lose some battles, and win some. However, make sure you win the major battles and to do this, your resilience should be top-notch in the face of failure.
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