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Social Marketing

Social Marketing
Behavior Change for Social Good

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

February 2019 | 624 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Successful social marketing holds the power to change the world. 

For almost two decades, Social Marketing: Behavior Change for Social Good has been the definitive guide for designing and implementing memorable social marketing campaigns. Bestselling authors Nancy R. Lee and Philip Kotler present a proven 10 Step Strategic Social Marketing Planning Model and guides students and practitioners through each stage of the process. The new Sixth Edition is packed with more than 25 new cases and dozens of new examples related to today's most pressing social problems including the opioid epidemic, climate change, youth suicide, and more. The new edition also includes significantly expanded coverage of social media. Whether your students are on a mission to improve public health, protect the environment, or galvanize their community, they will find Social Marketing an invaluable resource. 

About the Authors
CHAPTER 1. Defining and Distinguishing Social Marketing
What Is Social Marketing?

Where Did the Concept Originate?

How Does It Differ from Commercial Marketing?

How Does It Differ from Other Disciplines?

What Is Its Value Proposition?

Who Does Social Marketing?

What Social Issues Can Benefit?

Other Ways to Impact Social Issues

Social Marketing Upstream and Midstream

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 2. 10-Step Strategic Planning Model
Marketing Planning: Process and Influences

A 10-Step Planning Model

Why Is Systematic Planning Important?

What Are Similar Planning Models?

Where Does Research Fit In?

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 3. Research Options
Major Research Terminology

Steps in Developing a Research Plan

Research That Won’t “Break the Bank”

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 4. Behavior Change Theories, Models, and Frameworks
Informing Audience Segmentation and Selection

Informing Behavior Selection and Goals

Deepening Your Understanding of Audience Barriers, Benefits, Motivators, the Competition, and Influential Others

Inspiring Development of Marketing Intervention Mix Strategies

Themes from All

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 5. Steps 1 & 2: Social Issue, Purpose, Focus, Situation Analysis
Step 1: Describe Social Issue, Background, Purpose, and Focus

Step 2: Conduct Situation Analysis, Review Prior Efforts

The Role of Exploratory Research When Choosing Focus

Ethical Considerations When Choosing Focus

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 6. Step 3: Selecting Priority Audiences
Step 3: Select Priority Audiences

Steps in Selecting Priority Audiences

Variables Used to Segment Markets

Criteria for Evaluating Segments

How Priority Audiences Are Selected

What Approach Should Be Chosen?

Ethical Considerations When Selecting Priority Audiences

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 7. Step 4: Behavior Objectives and Target Goals
Step 4: Set Behavior Objectives and Goals

Behavior Objectives

Knowledge and Belief Objectives

Target Goals

Objectives and Goals are Drafts

Objectives and Target Goals Used for Campaign Evaluation

Ethical Considerations Setting Objectives and Goals

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 8. Step 5: Audience Insights
Step 5: Identify Audience Insights

What You Need to Know About Your Priority Audience

How to Learn More About Priority Audience

How Insights Help Develop Strategy

Potential Revisions

Ethical Considerations When Researching Priority Audience

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 9. Step 6: Crafting a Desired Positioning
Positioning Defined

Step 6: Develop Positioning Statement

Behavior-Focused Positioning

Barriers-Focused Positioning

Benefits-Focused Positioning

Competition-Focused Positioning


How Positioning Relates to Branding

Ethical Considerations for Developing a Positioning Statement

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 10. Step 7: Product: Creating a Product Platform
Product: The First “P”

Step 7: Develop the Social Marketing Product Platform

Design Thinking


Ethical Considerations for Product Platform

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 11. Step 7: Price: Determining Incentives and Disincentives
Price: The Second “P”

Step 7: Determine Incentives and Disincentives

More on Commitments and Pledges

Setting Prices for Tangible Goods and Services

Ethical Considerations for Pricing Strategies

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 12. Step 7: Place: Making Access Convenient and Pleasant
Place: The Third “P”

Step 7: Develop Place Strategy

Social Franchising

Managing Distribution Channels

Ethical Considerations When Selecting Distribution Channels

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 13. Step 7: Promotion: Deciding on Messages, Messengers, and Creative Strategies
Promotion: The Fourth “P”

Step 7: Develop a Promotion Strategy

A Word About Creative Briefs

Message Strategy

Messenger Strategy

Creative Strategy


Ethical Considerations: Messages, Messengers, and Creative Strategies

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 14. Step 7: Promotion: Selecting Communication Channels
Promotion: Selecting Communication Channels

Traditional Communication Channels

The New Communication Channels

Product Integration

Factors Guiding Communication Channel Decisions

Ethical Considerations When Selecting Communication Channels

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 15. Step 8: Monitoring and Evaluation
Step 8: Develop a Plan for 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 Summary

CHAPTER 16. Step 9: Budget and Funding Plans
Step 9: Budgets and Funding Sources

Determining Budgets

Justifying the Budget

Finding Sources for Additional Funding

Appealing to Funders

Revising Your Plan

Ethical Considerations When Establishing Funding

Chapter Summary

CHAPTER 17. Step 10: Implementation and Sustaining Behaviors Plans
Step 10: Complete an Implementation Plan



Anticipating Forces Against Change

Sharing and Selling Your Plan

Ethical Considerations When Implementing Plans

Chapter Summary

Appendix A: Social Marketing Planning Worksheets
Appendix B: Sample Social Marketing Plans
Appendix C: Additional Planning Models
Appendix D: Social Marketing Resources
Appendix E: History Annex
Appendix F: Courses
Appendix G: International Social Marketing Association’s
Academic Competencies


Instructor Resources

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.
  • 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.
  • Syllabus provides a sample to start with to customize for your classes. 
  • Power Point presentations to assist with lecture preparation

“This practical, step-by-step book will give your students the skills they need to walk out of the classroom and start making a difference in their own communities by developing well-researched and theoretically grounded campaigns.” 

Christopher J. Carpenter
Western Illinois University

“It is the seminal textbook for social marketing.” 

Karen H. Smith
Texas State University

“The ‘go to’ book for developing social change programs” 

Marie-Louise Fry

Social Marketing: Behavior Change for Social Good effectively balances social marketing theory with practical application strategies. I recommend this textbook for social or nonprofit marketing courses.” 

Paul Christensen
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

“This book is THE comprehensive authority on social marketing by two highly respected key scholars in the field. Your students will find this pragmatic textbook engaging and easy to read. The level of detail and planning exercises will give your students the skills they need to conduct social marketing projects of their own.”

Susan E. Stein
Drexel University

“This is the quintessential textbook for social marketing. The book is reader friendly with excellent examples from the field!”

Tavis J. Glassman
University of Toledo

“Lee’s and Kotler’s social marketing textbook is your number one resource on learning how to become a social marketer. Its process model and tools are the quintessential for developing effective social marketing programs.”

Timo Dietrich
Griffith University

I needed two chapters from this text. I bought the paper version to share on my LMS.

Dr Brooke Reavey
Business Public Policy Dept, Dominican University
September 14, 2020

Love this text. Used it before. Wanted the most recent version for my student.

Ernie Kaninjing
health sciences, Georgia College/State Univ
August 2, 2020
Key features


  • 27 new case studies, six updated ones and a dozen recent examples of social marketing addressing the authors "most wicked" social problems including the opioid epidemic, climate change, youth suicide, obesity, gun responsibility, traffic congestion, preventable injuries and deaths, youth substance abuse, immunizations, family planning, Zika virus, wildfires, landfills, property crime, and homelessness.
  • An expanded chapter on Theories and Frameworks provides a reference for often sited theories and frameworks as well as informs and inspires development of a strategic plan.
  • A comparison of the 10 Step Strategic Planning Framework to other ways to approach social marketing provides a mechanism to align alternative frameworks.
  • An update of Social Marketing courses and degrees offers a single resource of exploring options.
  • An updated History Annex offers a quick history of the development and evolution of social marketing over the past six decades.



  • 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.

For instructors

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