This research paper explores the concept of social marketing by discussing different definitions and characteristics of the term, and by investigating the influence of initiators on social marketing campaigns. The aim of this paper is to answer the question of whether or not the initiators matter in social marketing. In order to answer this question, an extensive literature review was conducted to gain a general understanding of the issues at hand. Furthermore, six case studies were analyzed to illustrate differences and similarities between campaigns initiated by different types of organizations, as well as to identify specificities of each initiator group. Three major initiator groups were identified: (1) government or public sector agencies, (2) non-profit organizations, and (3) private sector entities. The analysis of case studies revealed that while social marketing campaigns initiated by different agents have some commonalities, there are three main differences. First, for-profit business organizations tend to focus on issues that directly link to their area of operations, are popular and attractive, and have potential to benefit the company itself. Second, social marketing campaigns initiated by public sector agencies focus on issues significantly influencing the quality of life of the citizens. The attractiveness of an issue or potential profit for a governmental agency is negligible. Finally, non-profit organizations address issues around their mission and scope of operations. Based on these findings, it has been concluded that initiators do matter in social marketing. Nevertheless, due to considerable limitations of this research, the paper does not answer the question entirely. Therefore, further study is required in order to fully understand the effects and implications of social marketing being initiated by different agents.
"Do Initiators Matter in Social Marketing? Understanding Characteristics and Particularities of Social Marketing Campaigns Initiated by Different Agents,"
SPNHA Review: Vol. 15
, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/spnhareview/vol15/iss1/7