Special Issue: Advancing theory and research in strategic social marketing
Journal of Marketing Management, Volume 32, 2016, Issue 11-12

Editorial: Social marketing: the state of play and brokering the way forward
Ross Gordon, Rebekah Russell-Bennett & R. Craig Lefebvre

Seeing through a Glass Onion: broadening and deepening formative research in social marketing through a mixed methods approach
Julia E. Carins, Sharyn R. Rundle-Thiele & Justin J. T. Fidock
“The purpose of formative research in social marketing is to understand the target audience to generate consumer insight, which informs the planning, development and initial implementation of social marketing programmes. Focus groups, interviews or surveys, all of which are self-report methods, are the most commonly reported methods employed in formative research. Reliance on a relatively narrow range of methods may constrain understanding and insight gained during formative research. This paper challenges social marketers to mix methods or use multiple methods and research perspectives to generate a broader understanding of the consumer and the context in which they behave …” Read more >

Evaluating social marketing’s upstream metaphor: does it capture the flows of behavioural influence between ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ actors?
Joshua D. Newton, Fiona J. Newton & Stephanie Rep
“Metaphors are powerful forms of communication that can both facilitate and constrain disciplinary discourse, so the choice of metaphor used to explain concepts of disciplinary importance should not be undertaken lightly. A single case study methodology involving an ‘upstream’ firm considering whether to manufacture products with environmental attributes was consequently used to test three previously unexamined assumptions associated with the upstream/downstream metaphor, a metaphorical distinction that continues to have sway within the social marketing discipline. Contrary to these assumptions, the flows of behavioural influence between ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ actors were found to be bidirectional (rather than unidirectional), interactive (rather than independent), and distinctive (rather than non-distinctive) …” Read more >

Systems-thinking social marketing: conceptual extensions and empirical investigations
Christine Domegan, Patricia McHugh, Michelle Devaney, Sinead Duane, Michael Hogan, Benjamin J. Broome, Roger A. Layton, John Joyce, Marzia Mazzonetto & Joanna Piwowarczyk
“Systems thinking dominated the 2015 World Social Marketing conference with the premise that a more holistic approach takes into account all the issues at play for effective change. Augmenting the broadening social marketing literature, we contend that systems-thinking social marketing enhances the field’s conventional behavioural change with concepts of scale, causation, and iterative co-creating change processes for complex health and environmental problems. The results of our empirical Sea for Society study, a sustainable European marine ecosystem examination of what the barriers to change are and how they are interrelated, find systems-thinking social marketing offers the potential to strategically and critically reinforce, not replace, behavioural change campaigns …” Read more >

Midstream value creation in social marketing
Nadina R. Luca, Sally Hibbert & Ruth McDonald
“The purpose of this study is to develop improved understanding of how value is created at the midstream (meso) level in a collaborative smoke-free homes and cars social marketing programme. The study adopts a qualitative approach including interviews and observation. The findings show that the co-creative organisational model adopted for the Smokefree programme affords access to resources and capabilities of midstream actors and provides opportunities for reshaping and mobilising existing value networks …” Read more >

Commentary: Strategic social marketing to foster gender equality in Indonesia
Irma Martam

Commentary: Social marketing: thoughts from an empathetic outsider
Joel Bakan

Commentary: Social marketing and big social change: personal social marketing insights from a complex system obesity prevention intervention
Roberto Venturini

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