Difference between Social Marketing and Health Communication

Linking social marketing with health education is crucial. This is due to the fact that social marketing has been shown to significantly affect individuals' health-related behavior. For the objectives of message placement, promotion, and community-level outreach, social marketers employ a wide range of health communication methods across a wide range of communication channels, including mass media, interpersonal communication, and other modes of communication. Despite this, the article's descriptions show that the two are distinct.

What is Social Marketing?

Marketing with a social purpose raises awareness of a problem or issue and tries to persuade people to alter their ways so that the problem or issue may be solved. Such advertising methods are useless and will lead to any firm's downfall. Instead of trying to sell anything, social marketers advocate for a specific way of life or set of behaviors that will positively impact society at large.

The following are some examples of causes that utilize social marketing −

  • Safe driving

  • Anti-drugs

  • Anti-smoking

  • Exercise with a diet high in nutrients

  • Anti-deforestation

  • Anti-bullying

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  • Fighting gender stereotypes

All good marketing strategies incorporate a set of core elements known as the "4 Ps," and social marketing is no exception. They are as follows −

  • Product − Essentially, the commodity being sold here is the experience of engaging in and benefiting from social interaction.

  • Price − There is no monetary need for the expense. This should take into account the difficulties people of that culture have while attempting to engage in the conduct in question.

  • Place − This might suggest a central location that's convenient for the public, but it could also refer to more abstract means of contact, like a toll-free number that's always open.

  • Promotion − To achieve this goal, one must choose the best means of reaching one's intended audience. The radio, television, social media, events, and billboards are just a few of the mediums that may be used for this purpose.

The great majority of social marketing campaigns are launched by charities and other non-profit organizations; but, commercial brands, emergency services, highway safety coalitions, and government agencies also execute campaigns that they are passionate about and that will benefit society −

  • It brings to light issues that need fixing.

  • It does a good job of capturing the attention of its target demographic.

  • It provides a simple answer to an issue that has been bothering locals.

What is Health Communication?

Methods of spreading information with the intention of encouraging people to adopt lifestyles that are good for public health through persuasion, education, and empowerment.

The first stage in effective health communication is to do research about the preexisting beliefs and practices of the target audience. This information is useful for deciding the kind, format, and frequency of outgoing communications. There is a wide variety of endeavors that fall under the umbrella of "health communication," including but not limited to: health advocacy, health policy lobbying, health education, health literacy, and reporting on infectious disease epidemics.

It involves conversations between individuals and conversations that take place in the context of the larger community such as during classes or town halls. Additionally, it may be accomplished through the use of a wide variety of media, including but not limited to social networking sites, radio stations, television stations, and billboards.

Here are some specific types of health communication areas −

  • Protection against HIV/AIDS and care for those who already have it.

  • A preventative approach to diabetes treatment.

  • Stopping people from smoking and using tobacco products.

Some of the many reasons why health communication is so crucial include −

  • Health professionals and other interested parties can assist improve people's health by disseminating information that can positively affect their choices and actions.

  • Dispelling health myths is important.

  • Stress the need of adopting more healthful habits and routines.

Differences − Social Marketing and Health Communication

The following table highlights how Social Marketing is different from Health Communication −

Characteristics Social Marketing Health Communication


As a subset of marketing, "social marketing" refers to campaigns that aim to improve society as a whole by raising awareness of a relevant social issue or problem and convincing a specific group of people to alter their behavior in response to that issue or problem.

Health communication encompasses a wide range of strategies used to inform, educate, and motivate people to adopt healthier lifestyles and habits for the greater good of the public.


Social marketing covers a wide range of issues.

There is a strict focus on health-related topics in health communication.


Campaigns against bullying, unsafe driving, drugs and smoking, deforestation, unhealthy diet and exercise, and harmful gender stereotypes are just a few examples of the many good causes that might benefit from social marketing.

Prevention of HIV/AIDS, diabetes and tobacco use are just a few of the many diseases and behaviors that fall under the scope of health communication.


The term "social marketing" refers to marketing that aims to bring about social change by increasing awareness of a specific issue or problem and persuading the target audience of the importance of certain behavioral changes. The field of social marketing is broad and may cover many different areas.

On the other hand, "health communication" describes a set of strategies for spreading information and persuading people to change their behavior in ways that are good for the public's health. All of the subjects covered are directly related to health. However, the ultimate aim of both is to effect change in society by altering individual behavior.