Social marketing
Social marketing

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Social marketing

6 Course questions

Try to answer the following questions:

Question 1

What is meant by ‘social cognitive theory’?


Social cognitive theory describes how an individual's behaviour is determined by environmental factors such as family and friends, the individual's personal characteristics, perceptions of and interactions with the environment. An approach to adapting social cognitive theory to health behaviours is illustrated in Figure 1, and is also discussed in Hastings (2007), Chapter 2.

Question 2

Why is it important for social marketers to understand this?


Social cognitive theory explains how people acquire and maintain behaviours. Social marketing programmes and interventions aim to change behaviour for the achievement of social goals. An understanding of the determinants of behaviour is therefore essential for the design of effective interventions.

Question 3

What is meant by ‘moving upstream’ in social marketing?


Upstream organisations and individuals include policy makers, politicians, regulators, educators, etc. This contrasts with downstream which relates to those whose behaviour change is the goal of social marketing activity. By influencing those upstream, social marketers can help to effect legislative, policy, attitudinal and behavioural change of key actors such as medical, social and educational workers, which will ultimately impact on the focal behaviours of the end consumer.

Question 4

Effective social marketing communications require consistency of messages. Fill (2002) describes six elements which combine to produce an integrated communications programme. List the elements.


  • Advertising

  • Sales promotion

  • Public relations/publicity

  • Personal selling

  • Direct marketing

  • Interactive/internet marketing


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