Difference between Social Marketing and Commercial Marketing

Marketing, which may be thought of as inducing demand for a good or service by publicizing its availability to potential buyers, is not only a common practice but crucial to the growth of any business. One of the most common forms of marketing is promoting and selling goods and services to consumers to make a profit. However, there are also forms of marketing that do not seek financial gain but instead seek to influence consumer or societal behavior.

Social marketing, for instance, aims to encourage consumers to maintain existing behavior patterns or adopt new ones that benefit society. Social and commercial marketing have some common ground but also important disparities.

What is Social Marketing?

This approach has the potential to be used to bring about and maintain societal-level behavioral changes, and it does so in a way that is both enduring and economical. Your efforts will benefit not just individuals, but all of society. While social marketing's initial application was in the medical field, its scope has broadened to include environmental protection, good government, schooling, commerce, and financial literacy.

Because of the difficulties in influencing people's behaviors, social marketers have loftier goals than traditional marketers, making it more difficult for them to be realized.

Examples of social marketing causes include −

  • Consequences of smoking

  • The value of practicing safe sexual practices

  • Dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Methods and processes for protecting the environment

  • Keeping a healthy weight through a combination of nutrition and exercise is crucial.

Some examples of businesses that engage in social marketing include

  • Institutions of the State

  • Those groups that don't make a profit

  • Entities that provide medical care

  • Corporates

  • Schools

  • Government-related businesses

The benefits of social marketing to society cannot be denied.

What is Commercial Marketing?

Marketing is the art of persuading customers to buy a company's goods or services by demonstrating their worth. Potentially done to maintain and grow patronage.

To guarantee the success of any commercial marketing initiatives, conducting market research is crucial. This is useful information for learning about the intended market, particularly about their purchasing habits and requirements. Consequently, the following steps should constitute the commercial marketing process −

  • Research on the market

  • Market segmentation

  • Target market selection

  • An investigation of the aims and targets

  • Position

  • The four pillars of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion

  • Implementation

  • The monitoring and analysis of results

Commercial marketing, the most common kind of promotion, is often used by profit-making businesses. Businesses that want to succeed should put their efforts into creating items that appeal to their ideal customers and using fair pricing strategies.

Similarities − Social Marketing and Commercial Marketing

  • Customers are first for each of these companies.

  • Products, prices, places, and promotions (the "four Ps") are all used in both of these approaches.

  • Both were written with specific readers in mind.

Differences − Social Marketing and Commercial Marketing

The following table highlights how Social Marketing is different from Commercial Marketing −

Characteristics Social Marketing Commercial Marketing


Sustainable and low-cost methods of influencing and maintaining social norms are collectively referred to as "social marketing."

A company's bottom line depends on its ability to maintain and grow its profit margins, and commercial marketing is the process by which that margin is influenced by persuading consumers to buy more of the company's products and services.


Through the strategic use of social media, the desired behavior may be marketed and sold.

Ultimately, commercial marketing aims to generate revenue from product sales.


Social marketers aim their efforts at persuading those who can make a difference in getting others to adopt new habits or who are already doing so to do so.

A company's marketing efforts are most effective when directed at a certain demographic of consumers who are highly inclined to purchase.


Motivating people to change their actions in a way that benefits society is what social marketing is all about.

The fundamental goal of participating in the commercial market is to raise one's financial standing via the acquisition and resale of various products and services.


Government agencies are able to access funds for use in social marketing.

Businesses rely on private investors to support their marketing efforts.


Sustainable and low-cost methods of influencing and maintaining social norms are collectively referred to as "social marketing." promotes the desired action and target individuals who are most likely to initiate, support, or spread it throughout the community.

In contrast, "commercial marketing" is the process of persuading consumers to buy a product or service by highlighting its benefits to them. This is done with the goal of increasing or maintaining a company's financial gain. It sells both physical products and intangible services because it places a premium on making money through these channels.