Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A systematic review of social marketing effectiveness
Authors: Stead, Martine
Gordon, Ross
Angus, Kathryn
McDermott, Laura
Contact Email:
Keywords: Social marketing
Individual behaviour
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Citation: Stead M, Gordon R, Angus K & McDermott L (2007) A systematic review of social marketing effectiveness, Health Education, 107 (2), pp. 126-191.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review the effectiveness of social marketing interventions in influencing individual behaviour and bringing about environmental and policy-level changes in relation to alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and physical activity. Social marketing is the use of marketing concepts in programmes designed to influence the voluntary behaviour of target audiences in order to improve health and society. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is a review of systematic reviews and primary studies using pre-specified search and inclusion criteria. Social marketing interventions were defined as those which adopted specified social marketing principles in their development and implementation. Findings - The paper finds that a total of 54 interventions met the inclusion criteria. There was evidence that interventions adopting social marketing principles could be effective across a range of behaviours, with a range of target groups, in different settings, and can influence policy and professional practice as well as individuals. Research limitations/implications - As this was a systematic paper, the quality of included studies was reasonable and many were RCTs. However, many of the multi-component studies reported overall results only and research designs did not allow for the efficacy of different components to be compared. When reviewing social marketing effectiveness it is important not to rely solely on the "label" as social marketing is often misrepresented; there is a need for social marketers to clearly define their approach. Practical implications - The paper shows that social marketing can form an effective framework for behaviour change interventions and can provide a useful "toolkit" for organisations that are trying to change health behaviours. Originality/value - The research described in this paper represents one of the few systematic examinations of social marketing effectiveness and is based on a clear definition of "social marketing". It highlights both social marketing's potential to achieve change in different behavioural contexts and its ability to work at individual, environmental and wider policy levels.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Institute for Social Marketing
University of Stirling
Institute for Social Marketing
Institute for Social Marketing

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Stead_etal_HealthEduc07.pdf266.44 kBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.