Social Marketing vs. Commercial Marketing

Social marketing and commercial marketing sound similar but they are very different. Social marketing is about creating value for a specific target audience and commercial marketing is about creating value for a specific market. They are both strategy-based. Social marketing is a marketing campaign where the goal is to change behaviors of individuals, while commercial marketing is a campaign where the goal is to increase the sales and revenue of a product or service (Gladwell, 2010).

Commercial Marketing

Commercial marketing is advertising, sales, and other marketing efforts that are meant to make money. Commercial marketing is the traditional method of advertising: placing ads in magazines, on TV, or on the radio. Commercial marketing involves the creation of a brand, which is a set of associations in the mind of the consumer. It is primarily focused on financial gain and selling a product or service. Some examples of commercial brands are Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. The following is an example of a social marketing campaign: A microsite is a special type of webpage designed to promote a product or service for a specific business. This type of page is often placed on a specific page of the website and is identified by a special URL that directs visitors to a landing page with a link back to the main website. This landing page is designed for the purposes of capturing leads. The commercial marketing process includes:

  • Market research
  • Market segmentation
  • Target market selection
  • Analysis of goals and objectives
  • Position
  • The four Ps of marketing namely: Product, price, place, promotion
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring and evaluation [1]

Social Marketing

Social marketing is marketing that is focused on making a positive impact on society, often through the use of social media. Social marketing is sometimes called “cause marketing” or “social good marketing”. Social marketing uses the same tactics as commercial marketing (social media, digital ads, etc.) but with the goal of raising awareness about a social cause or creating a positive impact on society. This can include using social media to raise awareness about a social issue, such as animal cruelty, or to raise money for a good cause, such as the hurricane relief effort after Hurricane Harvey. Because social marketing is focused on making a social impact, it often involves the use of social media. This can include posting on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to raise awareness about the cause or to ask others to join in the cause. It can also include using social media to ask others to join a social cause, such as a boycott of a product or service. Some common social marketing tactics include running social ads, creating content that goes viral, and using social media to get the word out about fundraisers or other events. The goal of social marketing is to create a network of social good associations in the mind of the consumer, which will then influence their behavior. For example, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty was a social marketing campaign that raised awareness about the way women are portrayed in the media.

Wrap Up

Commercial marketing involves advertising on various platforms, such as newspaper, magazine, radio, television, and billboards. Commercial marketing is primarily concerned with the financial aspects of running ads, including how much they cost and how much revenue they generate. Social marketing focuses on the use of social platforms or mobile apps to raise awareness about a social issue and gain support for it.

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