CFP International Review of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing–Special Issue on Social Marketing

The closing date for submissions is May 15, 2013 for publication in spring 2014.

International Review of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing

Guest Editor: Sameer Deshpande, Associate Professor, Marketing, University of Lethbridge, Canada

Starting in mid 1960s in India, social marketing has been practiced by the government and nonprofit sector to effectively address critical social problems challenging societies all over the world. In 1971, Kotler & Zaltman introduced the academic world to this sub-discipline of marketing. Gradually, academic and non-academic literature started to emerge. Today, one finds several research studies, books, journal articles, conferences, centers of excellence, and policy reports exclusively devoted to social marketing. However, there exist large gaps in the theoretical and practical understanding. One of the biggest gaps relate to perceptions regarding what is and what is not social marketing which results in when to use and not use social marketing to achieve social change objectives. Poor understanding hampers rich development of theoretical models since emphasis still remains on producing effective message strategy rather than using comprehensive marketing framework. Several core marketing concepts such as audience orientation, competitive analysis, branding and positioning never get adequate attention. Similar focus is found in practice as well. What gets labeled as social marketing is in fact just a communication campaign. There is an urgent need to bring marketing into social marketing. This special issue attempts to address these gaps.

The special issue encourages submission of papers highlighting theoretical and empirical aspects of social marketing focusing on (but not limited to):.

  • Appropriateness and effectiveness of social marketing to influence good behaviours vis-a-vis other social change techniques
  • Marketing social marketing to the government, nonprofit, and corporate sectors
  • Innovative theoretical models applicable to social marketing. Going beyond usual social- psychological models such as Theory of Planned Behaviour and Health Belief Model
  • Appropriateness of Western theoretical models to explain non-Western behaviours
  • Interaction between behavioural economics and social marketing
  • Theorizing ideas from the world of sociology and anthropology in social marketing
  • Stakeholder management and social marketing
  • Application of theoretical models in unusual contexts such as preventing domestic violence, influencing recycling, promoting racial and ethnic harmony, and anti-litter and spitting campaigns. Going beyond the usual public health applications
  • Role of competition in social marketing. Understanding and overcoming the less desirable choice
  • Product management in social marketing. Importance of tangibilizing good behaviours
  • Branding social marketing
  • Role of positioning in social marketing
  • Role of ROI in social marketing
  • Sustaining behaviour change
  • Corporate social marketing

Author guidelines are available on this website:

If you have questions regarding relevance and submission of your work to this special issue, please email the guest editor at

ReferencesKotler, P., & Zaltman, G. (1971). Social Marketing: An Approach to Planned Social Change.Journal of Marketing, 35(3): 3-12.

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