Who Created the Social Marketing Theory?


Martha Robinson

Social Marketing Theory is a concept that explains how marketing techniques can be used to change behaviors that benefit society. The theory was first introduced by marketing researcher Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman in the early 1970s.

Philip Kotler

Philip Kotler is widely recognized as the father of modern marketing. He was born on May 27, 1931, in Chicago, Illinois. Kotler earned his Master’s degree at the University of Chicago and later earned his Ph.D. at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kotler has written over 60 books and has published more than 150 articles in leading journals. He is also the founder of the Kotler Marketing Group, which provides consulting services to companies around the world.

Gerald Zaltman

Gerald Zaltman was born on October 31, 1936, in New York City. He received his B.A., M.B., and Ph. from Harvard University.

Zaltman is a marketing professor at Harvard Business School and has published several books and articles related to marketing research and consumer behavior.

Their Collaboration

Kotler and Zaltman collaborated on a research project that aimed to apply marketing principles to social issues such as health promotion, environmental protection, and social justice.

Their work resulted in the development of Social Marketing Theory, which explains how commercial marketing techniques can be used to promote behavior change for social good.

The Principles of Social Marketing Theory

According to Social Marketing Theory, behavior change can be achieved by applying four key principles:

  • Product: The behavior being promoted must offer benefits that outweigh any perceived costs or risks.
  • Price: The costs associated with adopting the behavior must be minimized.
  • Place: The behavior must be easy to adopt and accessible to the Target audience.
  • Promotion: The behavior must be promoted using marketing techniques such as advertising, public relations, and personal selling.

The Impact of Social Marketing Theory

Social Marketing Theory has had a significant impact on public health campaigns, environmental protection initiatives, and social justice movements.

For example, anti-smoking campaigns have successfully used social marketing techniques to promote behavior change. These campaigns have emphasized the negative health consequences of smoking while also offering resources and support for individuals who want to quit.

Similarly, environmental protection initiatives have used social marketing techniques to encourage individuals to adopt sustainable behaviors such as recycling and reducing energy consumption.

In conclusion, Social Marketing Theory was created by Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman in the early 1970s. Their work has had a profound impact on the field of marketing and has helped promote behavior change for social good. By applying principles such as product, price, place, and promotion, marketers can use their skills to promote positive change in society.