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Social Marketing

Social Marketing
Changing Behaviors for Good

Fifth Edition
  • Nancy R. Lee - University of Washington and Social Marketing Services, Inc., USA
  • Philip Kotler - Northwestern University, USA
Additional resources:

Social Marketing

January 2015 | 584 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Turning Principle into Practice  

Social Marketing: Changing Behaviors for Good is the definitive textbook for the planning and implementation of programs designed to influence social change. No other text is as comprehensive and foundational when it comes to taking key marketing principles and applying them to campaigns and efforts to influence social action. Nancy R. Lee (a preeminent lecturer, consultant, and author in social marketing) and Philip Kotler (an influential individual in the field who coined the term “social marketing” in 1971 with Gerald Zaltman) demonstrate how traditional marketing principles and techniques are successfully applied to campaigns and efforts to improve health, decrease injuries, protect the environment, build communities and enhance financial well-being. The Fifth Edition contains 25 new cases highlighting the 10 step planning model, and a new chapter describing major theories, models and frameworks that inform social marketing strategies and inspire social marketers.

Part 1: Understanding Social Marketing
Chapter 1: Defining And Distinguishing Social Marketing
Marketing Highlight: Ending Polio in India  
What is Social Marketing?  
Where Did the Concept Originate?  
How Does Social Marketing Differ From Commercial Marketing?  
How Does Social Marketing Differ From Other Related Disciplines, Behavior Change Theories and Models, and Promotional Tactics?  
What Is Social Marketing’s Unique Value Proposition?  
Who Does Social Marketing?  
What Social Issues Can Benefit From Social Marketing?  
What Are Other Ways to Impact Social Issues?  
What Is the Social Marketer’s Role in Influencing Upstream Factors and Midstream Audiences?  
When Is Social Marketing “Social Marketing”? When Is It Something Else?  
Chapter 2: 10 Steps In The Strategic Marketing Planning Process
Marketing Highlight: Water Sense  
Marketing Planning: Process and Influences  
10 Steps to Developing a Social Marketing Plan  
Why Is a Systematic, Sequential Planning Process Important?  
Where Does Marketing Research Fit in the Planning Process?  
Marketing Dialogue  
Part 2: Analyzing The Social Marketing Environment
Chapter 3: Determining Research Needs And Options
Marketing Highlight: Decreasing Use of Mobile Phones While Driving  
Major Research Terminology  
Steps In Developing a Research Plan  
Research “That Won’t Break the Bank”  
Chapter 4: Choosing A Social Issue, Purpose And Focus For Your Plan And Conducting A Situation Analysis
Marketing Highlight: Every Child By Two  
Step 1: Describe the Social Issue, Background, Purpose, and Focus of Your Plan, and Step 2: Conduct a Situation Analysis (SWOT)  
Ethical Considerations When Choosing a Focus for Your Plan  
Part 3: Selecting Target Audiences, Objectives, and Goal
Chapter 5: Segmenting, Evaluating, And Selecting Target Audiences
Marketing Highlight: Increasing Alternative Transportation by Targeting a Group Open to Change  
Step 3: Select Target Audiences  
Steps Involved in Selecting Target Audiences  
Variables Used to Segment Markets  
Criteria for Evaluating Segments  
How Target Audiences Are Selected  
What Approach Should Be Chosen?  
Ethical Considerations When Selecting Target Audiences  
Chapter 6: Setting Behavior Objectives And Target Goals
Marketing Highlight: Reducing Deaths at Railroad Crossings in India  
Step 4: Set Behavior Objectives and Target Goals  
Behavior Objectives  
Knowledge and Belief Objectives  
Target Goals  
Objectives and Target Goals Are Only a Draft at This Step  
Objectives and Target Goals Will Be Used for Campaign Evaluation  
Ethical Considerations When Setting Objectives and Target Goals  
Chapter 7: Identifying Barriers, Benefits, Motivators, The Competition, And Influential Others
Marketing Highlight: Reducing Litter in Texas: Don’t mess with Texas®’s New “CANpaign”  
Step 5: Identify Target Audience Barriers, Benefits, Motivators, the Competition, and Influential Others  
What More Do You Need to Know About the Target Audience?  
How Do You Learn More From and About the Target Audience?  
How Will This Help Develop Your Strategy?  
Potential Revision of Target Audiences, Objectives, and Goals  
Ethical Considerations When Researching Your Target Audience  
Chapter 8: Tapping Behavior Change Theories, Models, And Frameworks
Marketing Highlight: Preventing Domestic Violence Among Women in West Africa A Social Norms Approach  
Informing Audience Segmentation and Selection  
Informing Behavior Selection and Goals  
Deepening Understanding of Audience Barriers, Benefits, Motivators, The Competition and Influential Others  
Inspiring Development of Social Marketing Mix Strategies  
Part 4: Developing Social Marketing Strategies
Chapter 9: Crafting A Desired Positioning
Marketing Highlight: truth  
Positioning Defined  
Behavior-Focused Positioning  
Barriers-Focused Positioning  
Benefits-Focused Positioning  
Competition-Focused Positioning  
How Positioning Relates To Branding  
Ethical Considerations When Developing a Positioning Statement  
Chapter 10: Product: Creating A Product Platform
Marketing Highlight: Increasing Pet Adoption with Meet Your Match  
Product: The First “P”  
Step 7: Develop the Social Marketing Product Platform  
Design Thinking  
Ethical Considerations Related to Creating a Product Platform  
Chapter 11: Price: Determining Monetary And Nonmonetary Incentives And Disincentives
Marketing Highlight: Reducing Tobacco Use through Commitment Contracts  
Step 7: Determine Monetary and Nonmonetary Incentives and Disincentives  
More On Commitments and Pledges  
Setting Prices for Tangible Goods and Services  
Ethical Considerations Related to Pricing Strategies  
Chapter 12: Place: Making Access Convenient And Pleasant
Marketing Highlight: Books: The Ultimate Toy for Toddlers & Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation  
Place: The Third “P”  
Step 7: Develop the Place Strategy  
Social Franchising  
Ethical Considerations When Selecting Distribution Channels  
Chapter 13: Promotion: Deciding On Messages, Messengers, And Creative Strategies
Marketing Highlight: Seafood Watch®: Influencing Sustainable Seafood Choices  
Promotion: The Fourth “P”  
A Word About the Creative Brief  
Message Strategy  
Messenger Strategy  
Creative Strategy  
Ethical Considerations When Deciding on Messages, Messengers, and Creative Strategies  
Chapter 14: Promotion: Selecting Communication Channels
Marketing Highlight: Increasing Blood Donations in Australia Using Social Media and More  
Promotion: Selecting Communication Channels  
Traditional Media Channels  
Nontraditional and New Media Channels  
Factors Guiding Communication Channel Decisions  
Ethical Considerations When Selecting Communication Channels  
Part 5: Managing Social Marketing Programs
Chapter 15: Developing A Plan For Monitoring And Evaluation
Marketing Highlight: ParticipACTION  
Step 8: Develop a Plan for Monitoring and Evaluation  
Why Are You Conducting This Measurement?  
What Will You Measure?  
How Will You Measure?  
When Will You Measure?  
How Much Will It Cost?  
Ethical Considerations in Evaluation Planning  
Chapter 16: Establishing Budgets And Finding Funding
Marketing Highlight: Increasing Funding through Corporate Social Marketing  
Step 9: Establish Budgets and Finding Funding Sources  
Determining Budgets  
Justifying The Budget  
Finding Sources for Additional Funding  
Appealing to Funders  
Revising Your Plan  
Ethical Considerations When Establishing Funding  
Chapter 17: Creating An Implementation Plan And Sustaining Behavior
Marketing Highlight: Improving Water Quality and Protecting Fish and Wildlife Habitats In Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay  
Step 10: Complete an Implementation Plan  
Anticipating Forces Against Change  
Sharing and Selling Your Plan  
Ethical Considerations When Implementing Plans  


Instructor Teaching Site
Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Social Marketing, Fifth Edition. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank, written by Nancy R. Lee, is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank, written by Nancy R. Lee, is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online course.
  • Chapter summaries highlight key points for lectures and hand-outs
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 
  • Social Marketing Planning Worksheets: Appendix A from the printed text will be made available online in an easily-downloadable format for worksheets and hand-outs.

“It is one of the best books out there, so have continued to use it. Students generally like it. . . .This is the state of the art text.”

W. Douglas Evans
George Washington University

“The strength of the book is in the examples (including boxes), especially the different lengths so that you can kind of choose yourself how much to use and how deep to go into a particular illustration.”

G. Scott Erickson
Ithaca College

“I like the mix of topics in the book, and I like the chapter dedicated to each step of the marketing process.”   

Jennifer Cross
Colorado State University

“I like the text because it ties to concepts the students have learning in Principles of Marketing, but also distinguishes how social marketing is different than traditional marketing.  The vignettes provide good examples, and the chapters are not too long or complex.”

Nicole Vowles
Metropolitan State University of Denver

A detailed account of the key facets of social marketing.

Mr Michael Parsons
Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales
August 19, 2015

Decided to stay with a broader focused text for now.

Professor Claire Kent
Business Administration Dept, Mary Baldwin College
February 5, 2015

Great Intro Text- current, up to date and relevant case studies and examples. Reflects current dialogue and discussion within the Social Marketing discipline.

Professor Karis Schoellmann
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane School Of Medicine
January 22, 2015
Key features


  • A new chapter acts as a convenient reference guide to 17 major theories, models and frameworks that inform social marketing strategies and inspire social marketers  
  • All new Marketing Highlight cases in each chapter, providing up-to-date examples of successful social marketing campaigns  
  • All new Research case examples at the end of each chapter demonstrate the latest techniques for properly conducting market research  
  • New discussion questions and exercises now make the text more applied than ever  
  • More International success stories including ending polio in India, increasing financial well-being in Africa, reducing energy use in Australia, decreasing anemia in Cambodia, decreasing tobacco use in the Philippines, increase use of opiates in Russia, and increasing blood donations in Australia  


  • Presents an introductory case for each chapter, and a concluding case for a majority of chapters to demonstrate for students why and how social marketing works
  • Provides a step-by-step guide to developing a marketing plan, with chapters presented sequentially to support planning development and the inclusion of worksheets in the appendix
  • Incorporates contributions from a range of internationally known social marketers who provide real cases to set the stage for each chapter. Past contributors have included individuals from the CDC, National Centre for Social Marketing, AARP, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and others
  • Enhances understanding with chapter summaries of key points and questions for discussion

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 8

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For instructors

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