|Social Marketing - Expanding access to essential products and services to prevent HIV/AIDS and to limit the impact of the epidemic (UNAIDS, 2000, 12 p.)|
"Social marketing" is the adaptation of commercial marketing techniques for social goals. Using traditional commercial marketing techniques, social marketing makes needed products available and affordable to low-income people, while encouraging the adoption of healthier behaviour.
Social marketing has become increasingly popular among governments and donors as a way of addressing serious health issues in developing countries. While social marketing has its roots in family planning, it has been the use of social marketing to respond to the AIDS epidemic that has attracted much of this attention.
Using commercial marketing techniques, social marketing makes the product available and affordable while linking it to a communications campaign geared to effect sustainable behavioural change.
In the mid-1980s, condom social marketing emerged as an effective tool in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS. Maintaining a product focus, social marketing programmes have adapted and continue to adapt distribution and communications techniques to meet the challenges posed by the epidemic. Social marketing programmes have made condoms available, affordable, and acceptable in countries affected by the epidemic and have used communications messages to raise awareness of the disease and reach people, governments and organizations.
In 1998, social marketing programmes distributed more than 783 million condoms in over 50 countries and conducted targeted communications campaigns in countries as economically and culturally diverse as Haiti, Myanmar, The Russian Federation, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Since its establishment in 1996, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has supported social marketing activities within the context of an expanded response to HIV and AIDS. In addition to expanding access to and stimulating use of condoms, social marketing has contributed to broad behavioural change in a range of contexts. This document highlights three key lessons that have been learned in encouraging and promoting condom social marketing.
· Seed money can effectively be used to leverage additional resources for major public health impact.
· Social marketing can be applied to new products and services.
· Social marketing can help create an enabling and supportive environment for behavioural change.