“Social Marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviour that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good.
Social Marketing practice is guided by ethical principles. It seeks to integrate research, best practice, theory, audience and partnership insight, to inform the delivery of competition sensitive and segmented social change programmes that are effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable”.
This definition was the result of a collaborative global effort led by Professor Jeff French to gain international consensus to the often-asked question “what is social marketing?” In February 2012, the International Social Marketing Association (iSMA) and European Social Marketing Association (ESMA) began an iterative and inclusive process to develop a consensus definition of Social Marketing. A working group was formed to lead this work and in April 2013 the AASM agreed to participate and contribute to this process.
The five considerations that have been taken into account when developing the definition are:
1. It is recognised that the definition is a consensus statement; it does not seek to limit or curtail debate about the nature of Social Marketing. The consensus definitions purpose is to enable the supporting associations to develop a common narrative about the nature of Social Marketing that will assist them in furthering the collective aim of capturing and spreading good practice.
2. The definition should focus on both the purpose and nature of Social Marketing practice.
3. It should be as short and succinct as possible.
4. The definition should be as unambiguous as possible and it should be capable of translation into languages other than English without loss of its substantive meaning.
5. The definition should be subject to on-going refinement to reflect the dynamic and developing nature of Social Marketing theory and practice.