Exploring Value Destruction in Social Marketing Services



Publication Details

Leo, C. & Zainuddin, N. (2017). Exploring Value Destruction in Social Marketing Services. Journal of Social Marketing, 7 (4), 405-422.


Purpose - This paper seeks to draw from services marketing theory as an alternative and under-used pathway to social and behaviour change for the achievement of societal well-being. Social marketing services are an important part of social change programmes as they contribute towards service users' health, wellbeing, and the fulfilment of social marketing goals. However, value destruction can occur in users' service experiences, leading to a decline rather than improvement of their well-being. The purpose of this paper is to understand the nature of the value destruction process and identify the outcomes in social marketing services from a consumer's perspective. Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative exploratory study using a focus group (n = 4) and individual depth interview (n = 4) methods was undertaken. The discussions were guided by a semistructured interview guide and were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Findings - Thematic analysis of the data revealed two value destruction processes: incongruent resource application and misuse of firm resources. The value destruction processes suggest three types of outcomes: reduced usage of the service, termination of service and strategic behavioural actions. Originality/value - This study is the first to examine value destruction processes and outcomes in social marketing services from a consumer's perspective. This study contributes towards the small but growing body of research on value destruction in both commercial and social marketing by challenging the assumption that value creation is always positively valenced and responding to critique that there is currently insufficient focus on value destruction in service research and its impact on well-being.

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