The potential of upstream social marketing



Publication Details

Gordon, R. (2013). The potential of upstream social marketing. AASM Viewpoint, 2 (1), 1-4.


Since social marketing emerged in the 1970s, much of the focus in the field has been on individual behaviour change. However, since the mid 1990s, scholars have proposed that social marketing should broaden its scope beyond individuals, or groups of consumers, and attempt to influence those that help shape the determinants of human behaviour such as policy makers, regulators, managers, educators and the media (Goldberg, 1995; Andreasen, 2006). The premise is that marketing concepts and techniques, alongside other tools, can be used to influence the behaviours of decision makers and opinion formers for example to induce policy change. This in turn can influence the environment in which individual behaviours operate. For example, upstream social marketing has been influential in changing the environment in relation to smoking, including bans on tobacco marketing and introduction of smoke free legislation (Pollay, 2004). Yet there remains a lack of guidance, and absence of test cases of how upstream social marketing can and should operate (Hoek and Jones, 2011).

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