Practice Theory and Social Marketing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Social marketing is an academic field and an applied approach to achieving behaviour change commonly used in health. Social marketing draws on marketing approaches and always has a clear behavioural goal to benefit society and individuals. Social marketing programmes are designed based on insights about the carefully segmented target audience. The term ‘social marketing’ was coined in the 1970s and has been used worldwide by governments and NGOs to manage targeted behaviour change programs (eg. Change4Life in the UK). Commonly, social marketing focuses downstream on individual behaviours. However, it also works at the midstream level with community organisations, and is also deployed to influence upstream policy decision makers. Recently, an important subfield of social marketing scholarship has emerged; Critical Social Marketing. Critical Social Marketing research critiques the activities of corporate marketing that are detrimental to health and societal wellbeing, but also fosters reflexivity and critical considerations about social marketing approaches, including its unintended consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Social Marketing
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783030144494
ISBN (Print)9783030144494
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2023


  • social marketing
  • practice theory
  • critical social marketing


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